© Alexander Paul Englert

Christiane Benner

Second Chair, IG Metall, Berlin, Germany

Benner trained as a foreign language secretary at the Carl Schenck company, where she stayed until 1993. It was at that point she entered the world of sociology, studying at universities in Marburg, Frankfurt and in the US.

In 1997, Benner joined IG Metall, Germany’s Industrial Union of Metalworkers, Europe’s largest industrial union. In October 2015, after spending four years on the IG Metall board with a focus on Industry 4.0, Benner became the first woman to be elected to Second Chair in IG Metall’s 125-year history, winning 91.9 percent of all votes. Benner is also a member of the supervisory board at BMW.