Best of Both Worlds

Dr. Julia von Grote-Pastré

Dr. Julia von Grote-Pastré proves you can be a part time employee and have a successful career. She travels around the world as Senior Product Developer for the Vileda brand.

The young Swiss native’s job takes her abroad several times a year – to destinations as far away as China and Australia. Von Grote-Pastré is responsible for glove products at Vileda and Vileda Professional around the world; she travels to view production sites and meet local sales colleagues. She has an exciting and interesting job that demands excellent organizational skills.

Dr. Julia Grote-Pastré is interested in the different cleaning habits all over the world. (Photo: Andreas Pohlmann)

Von Grote-Pastré works part time and needs to cope with professional demands in the office and the needs of her family at home. “Flexibility is key,” she says. “If I have a meeting scheduled, I will switch my working days to be there. If one of my children is sick, I work from home.” Von Grote-Pastré is a living example for her eight-year-old and eleven-year-old daughters that a job can also be a calling and they do not have to choose between family and career. “Even though organizing everything takes up a lot of time and can be stressful, I love my job and cannot imagine doing anything else.”

As a developer, she works closely with customers to find out what they want and need from new products. “The personal interactions with customers and working with new technological possibilities make things really interesting,” says the doctor of chemistry who started at Freudenberg in 2003. “I am fascinated to find out about cleaning habits around the world and I enjoy listening to customer ideas. I can then test whether new technologies can help us develop a new product.”

Washable scented household gloves are just one example of Dr. Julia von Grote-Pastré’s product innovations.

Sometimes the best innovations are just pure luck. “After a series of product tests, the inner flocking in a glove took on the pleasant scent of a dishwashing detergent. We then had the idea of selling a washable glove with a pleasant scent on the liner instead of the normal smell of rubber,” says von Grote-Pastré.

The passionate pianist and amateur dancer has also had ideas for new products when cooking with her family. The ideas were then presented to a larger team for discussion. “The development process lives from discussions and gathering different perspectives. The team’s ideas often lead to successful products.” Every product brings her closer to her ultimate vision; “I want cleaning to be easier so that we spend less time on it and can focus on the more important things in life."


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