SXSW (South By Southwest®) is an annual multi-faceted festival and conference that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries.
It brings together future driven leaders across industries that span from tech, automotive, CPG, media, film and music. Exciting, creative and unique conversations set the tone for a litany of experiences during the interactive component of the festival. Some of the exclusive programming included: brand showcases, screenings, exhibitions, intimate concerts (such as Haim at the Bumble Party) as well as keynote speaker sessions. Intertwined within this unique mix of programming are a variety of networking opportunities for global professionals who are looking to either make a name for their startup brand or communicate the future and direction of some of the more established and iconic brands they represent such as Mercedes-Benz.
This year, Mercedes-Benz and South by Southwest® brought a unique experiential integration element to their partnership on American soil in the form of the second annual me Convention in Austin Texas. At its core, me Convention is an event chalked full of inspiration and insights featuring Mystery panel discussions, live music and tech demonstrations highlighting the future of transportation and mobility. The inaugural Frankfurt rendition hosted 150 speakers over the span of 3 days and inspired more than 2,700 participants from over 35 countries to think about the future.
We had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with keynote speaker Britta Seeger – A Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG, as well as the woman responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. After she delivered her powerful speech, “30k Employees & Mother of 3: Pushing Change & Digitization” she sat with us to discuss her journey with Mercedes-Benz and inspire other female entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. Below are some of the key takeaways from our conversation:
On setting an example to women in the workforce and the everyday moments she feels empowered as a mentor: “For me it’s important to share that it’s feasible to be in this position, and also be a mother and a wife. I have a lot of mentees asking me questions and interestingly enough, it’s not only women, it’s men as well. I get asked how to combine career with family and I love to talk about it because everyone needs to understand: there’s not one recipe. It’s not a one size fits all formula. I think it’s important to share it’s not always easy or shiny or glossy. You have to organize logistics and rely on each other. You have to work as a team!”
On the moment her career path clicked and what feeds her passion on a daily basis:
“There wasn’t one clicking moment! A very important personal decision I made was to stay 1 ½ years at home once I became a Mom. With triplets, how do you ever foresee going back to work? I was in a situation with my husband where he was saying “Let’s switch roles. You work and I’ll stay at home with the babies”. Before becoming pregnant, I was 12 years with Mercedes. Once you leave it’s easy to go for something new but I knew all the ups and downs and how the company was ticking. It was clear to me that it was the best company in the world.”
On giving advice and insight to the new generation of aspiring global female executives on the rise:
“It’s always worth it to believe in yourself and your strengths. Whatever you’re faced with from the outside, if you truly believe in it, you should do it. Whether you’re small in hierarchy, or an absolute beginner, it’s worth standing up and fighting every time. Sometimes it’s something as small as having a statement and making sure you’re heard. This is my biggest positive experience. The more clear, transparent and authentic you are, the better the chance you have to move things forward.”
For more information about the Mercedes-Benz and SXSW partnership, read about the me Convention here.