European Leading Women
Name: Milagros Caina Carreiro-Andree
Title: Board member for human resources and labor relations
Company: BMW Group
Location: Munich, Germany
Age: 53
Family: Husband
Born: Boboras, Spain
Nationality: Spanish
Languages: German, Spanish, English
Education: Degree in business administration from the Administration and Business Academy (VWA) in Hagen, Germany

Milagros Caina Carreiro-Andree

What attracted you to the auto industry?

I love being part of an industry that sets things in motion and is constantly moving forward and changing. It opens up some exciting challenges and creative possibilities for human resources. Mobility has been the common thread throughout my career: first, rail mobility, then freight and logistics, and now individual mobility for people. It is really exciting that the automotive industry combines mobility with passion and emotions. At least that’s the case at BMW Group. And once again this industry is undergoing a radical transformation.

First automotive job:

I started at BMW as a member of the management board in 2012.

What was your big break?

I don’t think there was any one event. It was more like a series of different happenings, experiences and overcoming one new challenge after another. But dwelling on the past really isn’t my thing. I would much rather look ahead to the future.

What major challenge have you faced in your career?

Obviously, one of the biggest challenges as a manager is to keep challenging yourself and motivating others to do the same. That is especially important during the good times when you tend to forget that things could also be quite different.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

My first manager who encouraged me to step up to the challenge and follow my own path in a technical industry.

What should be done to encourage women to enter the auto industry?

At the end of the day, whether you are a man or a woman what really matters is competence and expertise. That is the only way to stay competitive. We have to make sure there are more women with the necessary skills and qualifications for technical careers. That is not something the auto industry can achieve on its own, of course. It’s a challenge for society as a whole. What we need is a culture change, a new way of thinking outside of traditional gender roles. That way we can get a greater number of young women interested in technical careers and recruit more of them to the automotive industry.

What’s your favorite weekend activity?

I love to spend quality time with family and friends.

What keeps you awake at night?

Hopefully nothing.

Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know.

I used to love to dance. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to keep it up these days.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

It would be painter and sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. She was a remarkable artist who passed away some time ago. It would have been great to get to know her.

If I had it to do all over again, I would ...

Certainly do one or two things differently, but, overall, I would follow the same path.

When and where was your last vacation?

In Galicia this August. It’s the region in Spain where my family comes from. I’m still deeply rooted in the region and its culture and, besides, it’s a beautiful destination for vacations.

Name one talent you wish you had.

I always wanted to learn to play the saxophone. However, I don’t really have a talent for music.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Sometimes, to see clearly, all it takes is a change of perspective. This is a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

What advice would you give your child?

Be brave and follow your own path.

If you were a car, what car would you be?

For me, there’s only one answer to that: a BMW art car. The art car project was introduced in 1975 by French racecar driver Herve Poulain. Since then many well-known artists have added their personal touch to a BMW. If I had a choice, it would be the BMW M3 GT2 created by Jeff Koons in 2010. 

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