Mar 17, 2019

Mopping up Dieselgate: The woman transforming Volkswagen

Many of Ms Werner's fellow corporate leaders do not grasp the scale of Germany's problem. Her most likely successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, is a woman, as is Andrea Nahles, who leads the main opposition party, the SPD. Hiltrud Werner and Angela Merkel have something in common - both were brought up in East Germany, a country, Ms Werner points out, in which "More than 90% of the women worked". Ms Werner makes an effort to do the opposite: "I don't want to be a woman dressed like a man, I often intentionally come in colourful dresses." "Not having children has also helped Mrs Merkel overcome German prejudices."She has never been seen as a working mother that left her kids at home," says Ms Werner. As VW goes about repairing its reputation, Ms Werner wants the firm's hundreds of thousands of employees to hear the same message: that she has the car industry's best interests at heart.

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