I have a dream… that one day people of all genders, religions and origins will be able to sit together as equals at the (business) table.
To that end, I’m thrilled to continue with our *Women in BPM journey. For this second episode, I chose an inspiring lady who has proven success with one of the biggest ARIS transformation projects at Philips: Sarah Meiners. Sarah is now Business Unit Lead for Transformation Services at SAP service provider McCoy & Partners
Sarah entered the BPM arena after university and her career has evolved into a 20-year journey into IT, process automation and business process management. I very much admire Sarah’s professionalism and openness. In this discussion she shared some exciting stories but also some very personal insights on her way up to top management.
Learn about Sarah’s journeys and get insights into her very own success story, challenges and all.
Q: Why do you think that women are good at BPM and business process management?
SM: It has a lot to do with a willingness to adapt to the environment you’re working in. In the end you somehow become “one of the guys.” I think there are two skills that are particularly important in leadership and in BPM and IT that women are very good at: self-reflection and listening to understand. But it is not just about gender, it is also about character.
Q: What would you advise women in BPM, or women in any male-dominated environment, to get to where you are right now?
SM: To make it to top management or to be in a leadership position, you must educate yourself and focus on the where the business is headed – be clear on what your role and objectives are and work tirelessly towards these goals. Don’t get yourself distracted by personal or emotional discussions. Focus on the business.
Q: How would you describe business process management to your grandmother?
SM: I would tell her: BPM brings the world together within a company, showing you all the aspects of what you are trying to achieve. It reveals what information you need, and how you can process it to achieve your company’s objectives.
Q: Is there anything specific that excites you about BPM? Why do you like it
SM: I really like processes: Process thinking is inside of me. But I also really like the variety of stakeholders I get to work with; it’s top down, left, right – everybody from IT to business, from end-to-end value chain to top executives.
Q: What do you think will be the next big hot topic in our business?
SM: Now and especially during the pandemic, we found out that working remotely is working well. We also see that in healthcare with telehealth still increasing. I’m not sure whether this is a prediction, but I do feel we are really finding our way in this hybrid environment to work together with robots and humans, online and offline.
JQ: You are a very successful woman. You have a job that you like. You seem to be managing it all, which sounds great. But after that are there any challenges that you continue to face?
SM: I found I really need to focus on my priorities first now, as I am getting a bit older. You know, life is not endless so balance all the important things. And of course, work is an important part of that, but also your children, pets, partners are important. And having fun, sometimes it’s also good!
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
SM: Yes. For women working in male-dominated environments – don’t be impatient. I see a lot of very smart women now really changing the ways they are educated, and their careers are advancing. They are also getting their husbands or partners to help with the children. So, we just need a bit of patience. And maybe in 20 years we will not have this discussion anymore.
I love discussing BPM with so many great women, and I am looking forward to the next ones. We are all very different and somehow all the same. So, thank you Sarah and to everyone else: Take action and be patient.
*By the way, I am not just talking to women! As I strive for equality and diversity, in our Passion for Processes series, we discuss processes with passionate colleagues, partners, customers and thought leaders from every gender.
You can watch the entire video with Sarah here:
And learn more about how ARIS can inspire your passion for processes by clicking below.