For an Airtight Connection

Interview with Stefanie Bindzus, CEO of ITV GmbH

Stefanie Bindzus, CEO of ITV GmbH
Stefanie Bindzus, CEO of ITV GmbH

In pneumatics, compressed air or gas is used to drive tools or machinery. For this, connectors and systems are required to safely transport the air from A to B. With 8,000 products and individual special solutions, including the patented IPSO connector, ITV GmbH from Bielefeld is a leading provider in this sector. In an interview with Wirtschaftsforum, second-generation CEO Stefanie Bindzus talks about the challenges and visions of the company as well as her experiences as a woman in executive management.

Wirtschaftsforum: Ms. Bindzus, women in leadership positions are unfortunately still a rarity. How was your journey to the executive board?

Stefanie Bindzus: Today, it is actually a matter of course for me, but that was not always the case. My father founded the company together with a partner in 1980 to manufacture connection parts for pneumatics. After my engineering studies, I decided to join the company after all. Initially, there was no clear position for me, so I started in sales and order processing. Later, I completed further training in quality management and took over the technical management of the company together with my father. The generation change occurred in 2009. Although it was foreseeable, it was still a challenge and felt like a leap into the cold water. Fortunately, we had a coach in the company who supported me and the then authorized signatory, Peter Wittkämper, in coming together as a team. This experience convinced me of the value of coaching.

ITV Quick Connector
The patented IPSO quick connectors allow hose assembly with one handling

Wirtschaftsforum: What are the challenges today?

Stefanie Bindzus: Since 1981, we have been on a good growth trajectory. In 2007, we established a turning shop in Northern Italy for working with brass. As the next generation's managing director, I am faced with the challenge, together with my partner who wants to retire in the next five years, of planning the succession of the company. We want to try to preserve the spirit of a family business while simultaneously transitioning into the next generation. It is important to consider not only technical skills but also interpersonal competencies. As a managing director, one must have judgment and resilience to find the middle ground. Much of this can be learned. Hence, we will involve a coach and set up a mentoring program to ensure that we continue to be successful in the future.

Wirtschaftsforum: How can digitalization help in this regard?

Stefanie Bindzus: Our company has survived the pandemic well, and we have used this time to invest more in digitalization. We have implemented almost a paperless office and are now able to offer flexible working models, including the option for employees to work from home.

Wirtschaftsforum: What is your view on the development of women in leadership positions and the compatibility of family and career?

Stefanie Bindzus: As a woman in a leadership position, over the years I have realized that it is important to encourage girls and women to dare to take on such roles. One can grow into this role and at the same time reconcile family and career. The distinction between genders is no longer timely, but women still need to assert themselves more, especially in the commercial field. For me, equality is very important. For example, we do not have a pay gap. Conversely, I welcome it when young fathers fully utilize their paternity leave entitlements. If this is also perceived as normal for men, it in turn helps women.