Women's Hiking Weekend
2021, St. Anton am Arlberg (Austria)
For the first time, we as Women@Industrials/Operations, organized a weekend trip with our growing female community to hike in the mountains. It was also one of the first face-to-face meetings after an 18-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions. We started our hiking weekend from our Munich office on a Friday afternoon and went to St. Anton am Arlberg to spend some quality time together. In total, our group consisted of nine women from three departments with varying Roland Berger entry dates (May 2016 to July 2021) and diverse professional experience levels (ranging from Consultant to Project Manager and Partner).
The purpose of this weekend was to get to know each other better, enable networking opportunities within our platform, strengthen our female community, and simply enjoy the hiking activities on our trip out of town. Since many of us started during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were particularly happy to finally meet our female colleagues in person. We booked a large Airbnb apartment with a variety of amenities such as a big terrace, multiple bedrooms, a sauna close to the mountains, and a comfortable living and dining room with self-catering facilities in order to create a relaxed atmosphere in which to get to know each other.
Aside from the home comforts, our main activity – the hike – was scheduled for Saturday lunchtime after a sumptuous self-made brunch. Although a temperature of 10 degrees and rain all day was the very opposite of favorable weather, we did not let it get to us and began our hike along the Alpenrosenweg at 11 o'clock after the brunch. Hiking for almost 5 hours, we really had the chance to get to know each other, discussing a variety of business as well as personal matters as we went. Spurred on by our team spirit, we hiked 17 km and overcame a climb of 900 meters altitude difference to enjoy the rewarding view at the end with exhausted but happy faces.
As soon as we got home, we relaxed in front of the fireplace for a while before moving on to a 3-course cooking event and closing the evening with a "Who is it?" game we had developed ourselves, which involved guessing the colleague based on a questionnaire we had each filled out before the event covering categories such as background, professional interests, hobbies, favorite food, personal fun facts, role models and "what I have always wanted to say". These are some of the funniest background stories:
- I almost boarded the wrong plane when I was 8 – luckily, it was a different color.
- I was almost arrested for breaking into my own house (through the window on the first floor) during my semester abroad.
- I am afraid of crabs.
- Since my parents never allowed pets in our home, I built myself a robotic pet.
Afterwards, we played a round of "Codenames", a particularly challenging game once you've actually got to know each other, as you are required to think alike. After the game night, some of us even chatted into the wee small hours of Sunday morning!
All in all, the networking activity was an amazing opportunity to get to know other female colleagues, especially after such a long time without personal meetups. Since we are very grateful to work with so many inspiring women, we've decided to make this a new Roland Berger tradition and have already collected plenty of new ideas for a future event. We feel grateful to be part of such a fantastic team and are looking forward to more activities within this brand-new initiative, especially with even more inspiring female colleagues in our team next time.
All the best, the Women@Industrials/Operations