She returned to her birthplace just over a year ago, close to her family and friends with whom she goes way back. Here in Kiel’s historic city centre, she found a place to set up house: living quarters upstairs, gallery downstairs. Art is a great passion of hers, but unfortunately, she doesn’t have as much time for it as she’d like. She’s only home two, maybe three nights per week, she explains. Menne knows how to keep herself busy: she speaks at conferences, gives interviews and is a member of no less than five supervisory boards. She’s also a mentor, an investor in a start-up and an adviser to the Ministry of Finance in matters related to the capital market. But there was a time when it seemed unlikely that she would ever be where she is now. She admits that she was never a particularly good student, having graduated with a meagre C average. Maths was never her thing either, and it didn’t help that her teacher saw the subject as a boys’ club. It wasn’t until attending a vocational school for tax clerks that she first discovered her passion for numbers. After that, she studied business administration and started her career in the auditing department at the ITT Corporation. That was in 1987. Two years later, Menne began working as an auditor at a major airline, which saw her leading the accounting department for the West African region by 1992. Years later, she went on to become the first female chief financial officer of a DAX-30 company.