Anna Trunk

Head of Business Recruiting and Programs CARIAD (Volkswagen)

Main focus: (Self-)Leadership today

Websites/blogs: ,

Languages: German, English

City: Berlin, Germany

State: Berlin

Country: Germany

Topics: female leadership, business coaching, transforming organizations, diversity, resilience, corporate startup relations

Services: Talk, Moderation, Workshop management, Consulting, Interview

  Willing to travel for an event.

  Willing to talk for nonprofit.

Personal note:

"Solutions are never found in your comfort zone" - probably sums up me and my life best. What defines me is the joy of tackling unknown topics and turning projects and sometimes even entire business units into reality with diverse teams.

My CV reflects exactly that: many different stations, many different experiences, but always characterized by my enjoyment of and expertise in communication, as well as my ability to think strategically and analytically - driven by the question of how I can best support the members of my team to be able to bring their own strengths into the projects or to develop these strengths and also their own personality further.

In just under 10 years with the Volkswagen Group, I have been able to learn and experience a great deal, from the communication challenges of the diesel crisis, to project management in setting up Audi's Innovation Hub in Berlin and a wide variety of responsibilities in the areas of R&D and HR strategy, to the positioning of board members both internally and externally, as well as the first publication of Audi's digital annual and sustainability report. Because of this, and not least because of my positions at CARIAD, Volkswagen's software subsidiary, I am naturally no stranger to the topic of transformation of a traditional industry, nor to agile working, and certainly not to the situation as a woman in this environment.

Through my two-year training as a personal development and business coach, I have also found another way for me to use and expand my passion for supporting people in their individual professional and personal development on a part-time basis. Coaching is not about giving advice, but about finding new solutions and approaches to individual challenges together by listening and asking questions.

As a speaker and participant in panel discussions, I also get the opportunity to not only share but also reflect on my experiences as a woman in the automotive industry and as an executive in a volatile environment.

I can also back all of this up scientifically, above all through my part-time doctorate / PhD on the subject of resilience, which was also a great but very challenging experience for me.

It is this diversity of impulses that inspires me and I look forward to the challenges that are still to come in the most diverse facets.


1988: Born in Bamberg, Bavaria, as the eldest of 4 children
2007-2012: Business studies, Oestrich-Winkel, incl. semester abroad in Quebec City and Shanghai
2012-2021: AUDI AG, Ingolstadt, Germany
- press department
- R&D Strategy
- Project lead for setting up Audi Denkwerkstatt Berlin (=Audi's innovation hub for collaboration with start-ups)
- Head of HR Innovation
- Head of Financial Communication

Since October 2021: CARIAD SE, software subsidiary of Volkswagen
- Head of Employer Branding
- Head of Business Recruiting and Programs

2016-2022: PhD at FAU Erlangen/Nuremberg on the topic "Resilience in supply networks: the combination of technology, partnerships and personality".

2020/2021: Training as business coach and coach for personality development at Dietz und Partner

Examples of previous talks / appearances:

Als Frau in einer traditionellen Branche - will ich das? (Vortrag auf der hercareer und der Hannovermesse 2021)

For English version see below

In diesem Vortrag, den ich schon im Rahmen verschiedenster Veranstaltungen halten durfte, beantworte ich anhand meines Lebenswegs und meiner Erfahrungen die Frage, wie man sich als Frau in einer traditionellen (=männerlastigen) Branche zurechtfindet und den eigenen Weg geht. Ich berichte von Rückschlägen, Herausforderungen, Unterstützer:innen und meinen ganz persönlichen Learnings in Bezug auf mein Verhalten, meinen Auftritt und auch meine eigenen inneren Antreiber:innen. Da ich selbst bei Audi und damit im Volkswagenkonzern das Glück hatte, nicht nur viele Abteilungen und Bereiche kennenzulernen, sondern auch bereits mit 32 in den Führungskreis berufen wurde, durfte ich hier viel positives - aber auch viel herausforderndes - erleben; in Bezug auf Chefs, Chefinnen, männliche Kollegen, aber auch der Tatsache, dass ich mir selbst manchmal im Weg stand. Ich freue mich, bei diesem Vortrag vor allem auch auf individuelle Fragen der Teilnehmer:innen einzugehen - auch auf die von Männern, die auch bereits Teil meines Publikums waren.

I am happy to give this speech in English as well: Being a woman in a traditional industry - is this what I really want?
In this speech, which I have already had the pleasure of giving at various events, I will answer the question of how to find one's way as a woman in a traditional (= male-heavy) industry and how to go one's own way, based on my own life and experiences. I report on setbacks, challenges, supporters and my own personal learnings with regard to my behavior, my appearance and also my own inner drivers. As I was lucky enough to not only get to know many departments and areas at Audi and thus in the Volkswagen Group, but was also appointed to the management team at the age of 32, I was able to experience a lot of positive - but also challenging - things here; in terms of bosses, female bosses, male colleagues, but also the fact that I sometimes stood in my own way. I am looking forward to answering the individual questions of the participants - also those of men who have already been part of my audience.

Hier noch ein Artikel in der FAS über meinen Vortrag auf der Hannovermesse / Article about my speech at Hannovermesse:

Und noch ein Link zu einem Vortrag / Link to one of my speeches:

Hier auch noch ein Podcastinterview mit mir zu diesem Thema / Podcastinterview on the topic:

Und noch ein Interview / and another interview on the topic:

This talk is in: German
Combining start-ups and corporates...the best of two worlds? (Vortrag auf der Bits & Pretzels 2020)

For English version see below

Im Jahr 2016 bekam ich den Auftrag "Geht mal nach Berlin, macht mal was mit Start-ups" und durfte so als Projektleiterin Audis Innovationhub, die Audi Denkwerkstatt aufbauen. Weit weg vom Headquarter Ingolstadt im großen Berlin, setzten wir ein Programm auf, dass Mitarbeitende mit Start-ups in Verbindung brachte und gemeinsam an Geschäftsmodellen arbeiten lies.
In diesem Projekt und den darauffolgenden 2 Jahren in Berlin, als die Denkwerkstatt ein etablierter Teil von Audi war, durfte ich nicht nur am eigenen Leib erfahren, wie anstrengend Diversität sein kann - und wie gewinnbringend aber am Ende; ich durfte auch erleben, wie aus den größten Traditionalist:innen aller Alterstufen Agilist:innen wurden und wie inspirierend die Zusammenarbeit in diesem Umfeld und mit den verschiedensten Stakeholdern für alle war. Aber ich erlebte auch die Grenzen, dass es nämlich nicht so einfach ist, eine Zusammenarbeit mit Start-ups in großen Corporates wirklich umzusetzen bzw. lernte schnell, was es dafür braucht.
Deshalb freue ich mich, in diesem Vortrag von meiner Erfahrung im Aufbau einer Innovationseinheit berichten zu dürfen, von den Erfahrungen im Programm und vor allem meiner Zeit an der Schnittstelle zwischen Corporate und Start-up.

I am happy to give this speech in English as well:
In 2016, I was given the task of "Go to Berlin, do something with start-ups" and, as project lead, I was able to set up Audi's Innovationhub, the Audi Denkwerkstatt. Far away from the headquarters in Ingolstadt in the big city of Berlin, we set up a program that connected employees with start-ups and let them work together on business models.
In this project and the following 2 years in Berlin, when the Denkwerkstatt was an established part of Audi, I was not only able to experience first-hand how exhausting diversity can be - and how profitable in the end; I was also able to experience how the biggest traditionalists of all ages became agilists and how inspiring the collaboration in this environment and with the most diverse stakeholders was for everyone. But I also experienced the limitations, namely that it is not so easy to really implement a collaboration with start-ups in large corporates or quickly learned what it takes to do so.
That's why I'm happy to share my experience in building an innovation unit, my experiences in the program and especially my time at the interface between corporate and start-up in this talk.

This talk is in: German
Buzzword Resilienz - wie bleibe ich bei mir, wenn sich um mich herum alles ändert?

For English version see below

Resilienz ist in aller Munde - ursprünglich aus der Biologie, also dem Tier- und Pflanzenreich, bezeichnet man damit heute alles, was irgendwie mit Krisen oder Herausforderungen zu tun hat. Was Resilienz rein wissenschaftlich bedeutet, kann ich vor allem auch durch meine Promotion zu diesem Thema erklären und durch eigene Erfahrungsberichte anschaulich darstellen, wie sich das im Alltagsleben umsetzen lässt. Resilienz bedeutet nämlich nicht "Augen zu und durch", sondern "anpassen und weiterentwickeln" ohne dabei aber das zu verlieren, was einem wirklich wichtig ist und die eigene Persönlichkeit ausmacht. Dies ist je nach Umfeld und Situation schwierig oder weniger schwierig, in jedem Fall bedarf es einiger Hilfestellungen, um die eigene Energie nicht zu lange in die falsche Richtung zu lenken.
Der Vortrag enthält wissenschaftliche Aspekte, fokussiert aber vor allem auf Beispiele und gerade am Ende ist es mir immer sehr wichtig, auch die persönlichen Fragen zu diesem Thema zu beantworten - gerne auch anonym.

I am happy to give this speech in English as well: Buzzword resilience - how do I stay with myself when everything around me is changing?
Resilience is on everyone's lips - originally from biology, i.e. the animal and plant kingdoms, it is now used to describe everything that somehow has to do with crises or challenges. I can explain what resilience means in purely scientific terms, particularly through my doctorate/PhD on this topic, and vividly illustrate how it can be implemented in everyday life through my own reports of experience. Resilience does not mean "close your eyes and get through it", but rather "adapt and develop" without losing what is really important to you and what makes up your personality. This is difficult or less difficult depending on the environment and situation, in any case it requires some assistance in order not to direct one's own energy in the wrong direction for too long.
The lecture contains scientific aspects, but focuses mainly on examples and especially at the end it is always very important to me to answer also the personal questions on this topic - gladly anonymously.

This talk is in: German
Panelistin zum Thema Diversity

For English version see below

Diversity ist für mich kein Buzzword, denn ich durfte spätestens in meiner Zeit in der Denkwerkstatt erleben, wie viel Mehrwert es bringt....aber auch wie unglaublich anstrengend es sein kann. Im Rahmen der "Diversity 2020" und auch in verschiedenen anderen Diskussionsrunden durfte ich bereits zu diesem Thema als Panelistin teilnehmen, von meinen Erfahrungen berichten (nicht immer nur positiv, aber am Ende immer gewinnbringend) und auch gemeinsam mit den anderen Panelist:innen diskutieren, wie es gelingen kann, das Thema in all seinen Dimensionen noch schneller in die Umsetzung zu bringen. Wir reden hier natürlich einerseits von großen Unternehmen, aber auch von Bildung und anderen gesellschaftlichen Bereichen. Ich freue mich, wenn Sie jemand suchen, der aus Sicht einer Frau, die in einem sehr traditionellen Unternehmen "groß" werden durfte, und die beim Aufbau von Audis Innovationhub in einem hochdiversen agilen Team arbeiten durfte, zu diesem Thema in ihrem Panel spricht.

I am happy to join English-speaking panels as well:
Diversity is not a buzzword for me, because during my time at Denkwerkstatt at the latest, I was able to experience how much added value it brings....but also how incredibly exhausting it can be. As part of "Diversity 2020" and in various other discussion groups, I have already been able to participate as a panelist on this topic, report on my experiences (not always positive, but always profitable in the end) and also discuss with the other panelists how it can be possible to implement the topic in all its dimensions even faster. Of course, we are talking about large companies here, but also about education and other areas of society. I would be delighted if you were looking for someone who could speak on this topic in their panel from the perspective of a woman who was allowed to "grow up" in a very traditional company and who was allowed to work in a highly diverse agile team while building up Audi's Innovationhub.

This talk is in: German