Monika Leiber’s 30 years at BINDERSeptember 2019
“Moni, do you have a minute?”
BINDER employee Monika Leiber’s eyes light up as she puts on her red work pants early in the morning. She feels as comfortable in them now as she did at the age of 27, when she first entered the BINDER workforce.
Back then, her work contract was sealed with a handshake over her garden fence. Marianne Binder – the mother of current CEO Peter Michael Binder – ran the business at that time and was urgently looking for a new employee. She asked Monika Leiber if she knew anyone who would be right for the job.
On the spur of the moment, Leiber asked: “What about me?” – and with that, she added a working relationship to their already neighborly one. The two mothers knew each other well, and from that point on Leiber increasingly grew to be part of the BINDER family, which consisted of only five employees at the time.
She was always the first one at work so that she could light the wood-burning stove straight away, but the premises were often cold despite this. Marianne Binder presented her with a self-knitted red hat and gloves to give her some immediate relief. She even prepared tea and fresh butter pretzels for all her employees.
Even then, Leiber was fascinated by what was considered to be a man’s job. “I tried out all the different roles available to me and decided I definitely wasn’t cut out for an office job,” says the Tuttlingen native, who has known today’s CEO since he was a young boy. “He still has the same great sense of humor and his heart in the right place – just like his mother’s,” she says.
30 years later, she now works in final inspections, a responsibility that she takes very seriously. “I see the units in their final forms – so I can just imagine all the important laboratory work that will be carried out with them. That’s why everything has to be just right.”
Her skilled hands have inspected many chambers, but she is always especially thrilled to come across an incubator. “The CBs are like my babies,” she laughs. Among her LEAN FACTORY colleagues, Leiber is considered one of the pillars of the operation.
When asked whether she really feels comfortable working among all the men there, she is quick to answer. “Absolutely! They don’t beat about the bush. A lot of them actually come to me for advice – ‘Moni, do you have a minute?’ is something I’m used to hearing.”
Monika Leiber is one of 16 women working in production at BINDER. It’s a number makes her happy, as it is testament to her belief that women can do a “man’s” job just as well.
To sum up in her own words: “I’m really happy here, and it’s where I want to stay.”