Johanna Grimbichler

The chemical industry has always been a sector where women tend to be underrepresented. That's true at Kuraray as well - especially in technical jobs. We therefore asked some of our female engineers whether they come up against any particular challenges in their work and the reasons why they chose their degree or vocational training course.

Johanna Grimbichler joined Kuraray in 2013 immediately after gaining her degree in chemical engineering at Karlsruhe university. She started out in Operational Business Support and now holds a managerial position as a process engineer in POVAL Production. 

She explains why she opted to study engineering: “At school, I took Spanish and French as my main subjects alongside chemistry and I was also very interested in maths. However, I didn't find the career opportunities in the arts particularly appealing.” Her decision to specialise in process technology has a lot to do with her father and a friend, both of whom worked in this field. 

She doesn't believe that being a woman puts here in a special position: “The tone can be a bit rough in production plants at times – but that applies to everyone. If that disturbs you, there are other types of jobs in engineering! I've never experienced discrimination. I get a lot of respect and acceptance from my colleagues and staff,” says Johanna Grimbichler. “Maybe it's a problem in other places - but I wouldn't want to work in places like that.”

Johanna Grimbichler is sceptical about quotas for women as long as so few women choose to study engineering or train for technical jobs. She believes it would make more sense to encourage girls and young women to develop an interest in technology at a young age. Therefore she supports internships in her field.