March 3, 2022
When the number 70 of the newspaper for HARTING employees appeared a few weeks ago, it was a clear indication of an upcoming anniversary. Twice a year, “People” informs about everything important from the company and Margrit Harting is responsible for each and every issue. It’s been that way since 1987, when she joined the HARTING Technology Group and launched the first employee newspaper at the time: “HARTING verbindet” (“HARTING connects”). Now the senior manager (“Member of the board and Partner”) is celebrating her 35th year of service. And her work as “PEOPLE” editor-in-chief is only a small part of her extensive and passionate commitment to the family business – and far beyond.
The native of Lippe had actually envisaged a completely different career. As a high school graduate she defiantly informed her father that she wanted to pursue oceanography as a career. But as the founder and director of a private business school (Dr. Kohlhase) in Herford and Rahden, he was not able to muster much understanding for this – and ordered his daughter to study business administration with the prospect of becoming the future head of his schools. She complied, became a commercial teacher and a senior teacher, taught classes, married Dietmar Harting in 1971 and took on the role of housewife, mother and educator of son Philip and daughter Maresa. She gained an insight into the family business at meals with her mother-in-law Marie Harting, who had headed the company on her own as from the year 1962. Then, in 1987, after Marie Harting fell seriously ill, Dietmar Harting asked his wife for support. 1 March was her first day at work.
In her position of managing director with sole power of representation, the new employee set to work with verve. With many initiatives, creative ideas and sustainable projects she succeeded in raising the visibility of the medium-sized company – which in 1987 had about 1,300 employees and a turnover of DM 148 million – in Espelkamp and the region as a modern company and an attractive employer. She shaped and designed HARTING in its visual profile and style, with words and images, colours and stagings to become a powerful brand.
Headquartered in Espelkamp, the company promotes cultural, sports and educational facilities and offerings. In this context, Espelkamp has experienced highlights such as the famous Berlin Ensemble and its artistic director Claus Peymann, guest performances as part of the cultural project “Wege durch das Land”, the visit of former Federal President Joachim Gauck and many other personalities to the town and to the annual trade fair stand in Hanover. The modernisation of the Neues Theater was a matter close to her heart, which evolved into the leading venue in the Lübbecker Land region. As chairwoman of the Volksbildungswerk Espelkamp, the Interessengemeinschaft Standortförderung für den Kreis Minden-Lübbecke, the Philharmonische Gesellschaft Ostwestfalen-Lippe and as vice-president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld (2006 – 2018), Margrit Harting provided decisive impulses and impetus. She has received many awards for her achievements, including the Cross of Merit with Ribbon in 1998 (together with her husband), the Federal Cross of Merit First Class in 2009, and the honorary citizenship of the town of Espelkamp in the same year. Leibniz Universität Hannover awarded her honorary citizenship in 2018.
With regard to the company, the remit of the grandmother of eight comprises marketing and public relations, training and further education, human resources, as well as women’s and junior staff development. In order to drive these matters forwards, competitions and campaigns were launched, for example for safety and order in the workplace (“Harty”), the familiarisation of children with technology (“KiTec”) or enabling former employees (“Emeritus”) stay in touch. And with her creative zest, Margrit Harting always helps anniversaries, company parties, inaugurations and public appearances to succeed and shine.
She is a relentless perfectionist, a go-getting personality endowed with wit and charm, vigour, perseverance and assertiveness in the interest of the company and the people of the region. But she can also be patient – at least when playing Scrabble with her husband and hunting.