Mr Bludau, what makes your colleague Claudia Whitcher a good headhunter?
Kaan Bludau: On behalf of our clients, we are looking for suitable people for specific positions, above all management positions. You can only be successful if you have understood the requirements of the customer and convinced the candidates and the company that they fit one hundred percent to each other. A good headhunter is, strictly speaking, an excellent seller from the heart. And in this case my colleague Claudia Whitcher at least as good as me.
Mrs Whitcher, you often place female leaders and you are committed to their equality. Is it critical for you to be convincing, since you have a male superior with Kaan Bludau?
Claudia Whitcher: No, I do not think so. Kaan Bludau is particularly interested in employee development and coaching. He offers every employee great training opportunities and for him it is important that we all develop to successful consultants - he provides significant upward leeway. It can be said that all employees at BludauPartners, are promoted and thus able to develop into an executive.
Kaan Bludau: There is at most an experience hierarchy between us, because I have been in this business for almost 20 years. We both benefit from our teamwork.
“Mr Bludau provides significant upward leeway.”
Claudia Whitcher is a Manager at BludauPartners. She supports big businesses, internationally active mid-tier companies as well as venture-capital financed tech-start-ups in filling and assessing leadership positions.
Do men and women have different salary negotiations?
Claudia Whitcher: Mostly, women do not have such a strict idea in mind as men have. It matters to them that they are higher in salary than their current income. Men argue more often with all the added value that they bring the company in the future, and then set their salary expectations.
Mr Bludau, do you think women have to be more demanding?
Kaan Bludau: It depends. When explicitly women are searched for a leadership position, it can backfire if a woman has typically male behaviours. Men usually react negatively.
What do you suggest then how women should behave? Or can you just do it wrong?
Claudia Whitcher: Unfortunately, that's still a question of education and culture. Young women need to learn that being a woman with a leadership role is a matter of course. Many women see this image unfeminine. However, top executives may not think like this.
Do women support each other?
Claudia Whitcher: Most women in a leadership position have made it so far through male support. Mutually women support rather limited in this regard.
How can the working environment for women change?
Kaan Bludau: Unfortunately, women still have to prove themselves, even today. In management there is a lot of hidden humiliation against women. The bosses have to admit and act. They cannot stand and watch.
Are there still so many macho man in the top leadership?
Claudia Whitcher: This chauvinism arises mainly from fears. A woman on the board is also considered a rival, just like a man.
Kaan Bludau: In the end it can be said that women and men follow different leadership styles, but neither one nor the other style is "the only best". The best would be a balanced mix of men and women at management level.
Kaan Bludau and Claudia Whitcher place women in management positions throughout Europe.