Who are you and what is your role at Vetter?
My name is Hristina Freitag, I am 36 years old, and I work as EHS manager at Vetter. The abbreviation stands for “Environment, Health & Safety” and we monitor working conditions to protect both employee health and the environment.
How did you end up working for Vetter?
The story began in Bulgaria when I was 19. I packed my suitcase, grabbed my teddy bear, and made my way to Jena, where I studied pharmacy. Then, as pharmacist, I really wanted to work in the industry, and I sent an incredible number of applications until – thanks to a friend and a headhunting agency – I came in contact with Vetter. Everything clicked immediately. I’ve always dreamt of living by the sea and I realized quite quickly that Lake Constance is actually a much better option because here you have the mountains too.
What’s your perspective on the topic of “diversity” at Vetter?
I lead the HPD Panel; the abbreviation stands for “high potency drugs.” Many departments sit at the same table to evaluate requests for new APIs and to define measures for protecting employees and products in future production processes. Different people representing various interests come together in the committee. Our EHS department with its 17 employees is also very heterogeneous and diverse ‒ and it’s a cool team.
I am only interested in the person standing in front of me.
Hristina Freitag, EHS-Managerin
Has a particular “diversity moment” stood out to you?
While I was studying, I lived in a shared apartment. Years later, my old roommate called me and said, “I have to tell you something, and I would understand if you no longer wanted to be friends with me.” He came to the realizeation that he was gay. I replied, “Why on earth would I cut you off because of that?” We’re friends to this day.
What role does diversity play in your private life?
I grew up in Bulgaria, in a very traditional society. The male and female gender roles, for example, were clearly defined and resistant to change. During my studies, I got to know a different, more diverse, more colorful world with more freedom. I realized that this was the world to which I wanted to belong. A world in which we can see others without prejudices. I don't need all these compartments labeled “man,” “woman,” “race[PL1] ” or what have you. I am only interested in the person standing in front of me.
What suggestions do you have for making diversity a success?
When I came to Germany, I immediately started listening to German music, so I would like to answer this question with a quote. It’s from a song by Sido called “Astronaut,” and it goes:
“From up here, suddenly none of it matters anymore.
From here, you see neither borders nor the color of the skin.”
Let’s all become astronauts!