Professional Women Power: It pays to be yourself, believe in yourself and trust your intuition


published on 5 October 2022

In the context of our career blog “professional women power”, female colleagues introduce themselves,
talk about their career paths and day to day work at Rödl & Partner.
In this way, we would like to raise awareness of women as well as motivate female applicants and colleagues
to bravely pursue their individual career paths at Rödl & Partner.

“It pays to be yourself, believe in yourself and trust your intuition”

Renata Kabas-Komorniczak

Renata Kabas-Komorniczak is managing partner at Rödl & Partner. She supports investors in the organisation of accounting departments and global shared service centers. She leads projects on process acceleration, process change, digitalisation, compliance, tax planning and data protection.

Renata, you hold one of the highest positions at Rödl & Partner. What is your work philosophy? What were the milestones in your career? 

I believe that in my case openness towards myself and others, attentiveness towards others and unconditional respect are of crucial importance. In my opinion, it pays to be yourself, believe in yourself and trust your intui­tion – regardless of branch, position or gender. One should regularly ask and answer the question: What do I want, and what are my professional goals? What values are most important to me, and do they match the values of the company I work for?

Regarding openness to others, cultural sensitivity is of great importance to me. This is especially true when working in an international environment. You have to accept that someone else may think differently, have dif­ferent experiences, and different points of view. Accordingly, openness to change, close observation, and the ability to listen are important to me. My youngest daughter and I have a special gene, which is actually a cha­racter trait: we are High Sensitive Persons (HSP).  I consider this – my social as well as emotional sensitivity – to be that unique ability that helps me to understand the world and sets me apart from others. This is my super­power that has helped me throughout my life. I hear more (internally and externally), see more, perceive more, and understand more. And over the years, I have learned to use this superpower to perfection.

The next aspects of my work philosophy are constant development, successive acquisition of new skills, inter­personal relationships and getting to know people – continuous improvement and continuous development.

If you want to be successful, you have to constantly improve your qualifications. Every day must bring some­thing new. And it's not just about academic knowledge. I am a graduate of the Faculty of Law and Admin­is­tration at the University of Warsaw, as well as the British Centre for European and English Law Studies and the American School of Law (University of Florida). I have also completed doctoral studies in economics and give lectures and seminars at the Warsaw School of Economics. I hold the title of Polish Tax Advisor and am a member of the Chamber of Tax Advisors. I have completed an MBA in Digital Transformation and post­graduate studies in ACCA. In 2004, I joined Rödl & Partner Poland, initially as the Head of the Business Process Out­sour­cing Department in Warsaw. A decade later, I became a Partner in Poland, Head of the Warsaw and Gdansk offices, and another six years later I was promoted to Rödl & Partner's closest management circle. For the last 10 years I have been actively expanding my knowledge and trying to convince others of the benefits of Lean Management. Currently, I am one of 8 managing partners (and one of two women in this circle). In addition, since August 2022, I have been a member of the CEO Round Table – an organization that includes the CEOs of the largest companies operating in Poland. This is an unusual circle and an unusual experience.

Paradoxically, the whole enterprise is headed by a Frenchman. The circle consists mainly of people from Eu­rope (including many Germans), but even beyond that it is a very interesting cultural experience. You can't apply to join this circle, you have to be invited, that's why it's such an elite circle. But gender parity has to be main­tained. It is not complete yet, because there are only 20% women, that's why (whether I like it or not, and I don't like it) female bosses have it a little easier. There are not so many of us women in this circle, and therefore we stand out more.


Rödl & Partner is a family company that is characterized by team spirit. How do you rate that?

People are the measure of any success. This is especially true for those of our colleagues who have been asso­ciated with the company for a few years, for more than ten years or even for decades. If we weren't a family business that pays so much attention to people, no one would work for us for so long. From the big picture to the details: In this context, I would like to point out my team, of which I am very proud – it has consisted of the same people for years, only their functions have changed. Since the beginning of my career at Rödl & Partner, I have encouraged my colleagues to improve their qualifications, acquire new credentials and attend training courses. I have had a lot of success with this – at least a dozen of the people or more from my team have pro­gressed very far professionally. If that's not team spirit, then what is?

I would like to highlight another aspect of employee welfare that I am proud of. During the pandemic – and to this day – we have provided our colleagues with a comprehensive program of psychological support out of con­cern for their mental health. This includes both prophylactic measures (webinars on psychological well-being in the broadest sense, incorporating work and private life, and an Internet portal with information on this topic) and psychological support from specialists in the form of a 24-hour hotline for employees and their families. It is very well received by colleagues because they can use it without restrictions, with guaranteed anonymity and support from proven professionals.


You not only run a company, but you also get involved in non-commercial projects. Can you tell us something about that?

Helping people is in my blood. I owe this attitude to my father. But first and foremost, I am the founder and chairman of the “Kochasz Dopilnuj” (“Mindfulness for Love”) Foundation. We have been active since March 2020 and are dedicated to the prevention of breast cancer in women and testicular cancer in men. Each of us had either herself or in her family a person with cancer. In more than two years, the Foundation has conducted several dozen free health care webinars. Because of the pandemic, many of our activities took place online.

Slowly, however, we are returning to “live” workshops held in Rödl & Partner's offices in Poland, in schools, hospitals, businesses, and at outdoor summer events for families held by local authorities throughout the coun­try. We permanently cooperate with outstanding professionals and doctors for whom their profession is at the same time a vocation. We were able to get well-known personalities from society, business and politics to parti­cipate in our campaigns. Wait until you see Robert Lewandowski in our campaign against testicular cancer!

The “Mindfulness for Love” Foundation is the heart of my philanthropic activity, but I also help in other ways. Since I don't always have time – I also have to make time for my family (in my private life I am a mother of three children) – I try to achieve this goal by financially supporting some other foundations. On the list of my constant donations is, among others, a foundation for the protection of children called “Zdążyć z Pomocą” (“Rushing to Help”). Recently, I was also asked for support by representatives of “Telephone 116 111”, which is run by the Foundation “Dajemy Dzieciom Siłę” (“Strengthening Children”). This foundation is about providing psycholo­gical support to children and preventing suicide. Also, I – together with my sister – help organizations that support people with Down syndrome. Our oldest brother has Down syndrome. After our parents died, my sister and I support him together. But we also try to activate and involve him in various actions, with the help of precisely foundations and local associations, which we actively support in this way. Within the limits of my strength and financial means, I help where I can and feel that it is necessary.


With all that do you even have a little time for yourself?

I have to admit, it has been getting harder in recent times. The geopolitical state does not improve on this. Lately, I have provided a lot of support together with my polish colleagues in regard to the Russian-Ukrainian war. Now we are all fighting together on the front lines against inflation and are permanently negotiating new prices with our clients. We are slowly changing our work philosophy. In addition, I am also a mother, and the pandemic has not contributed to the well being of children. One has to be very aware and pay attention to the needs of the children, so as not to miss anything. Therefore, I accompany my daughters to swim training or act as a sparring partner for my son in his kickbox training and previously I have gone horseback riding with my children. In the past, we have trained regularly together with my colleagues from Rödl & Partner and have started at the Runmaggedon und the Spartan. We absolutely must resume those activities; I miss them very much. During the pandemic, each one of us has started training individually, but I long for the joint training sessions. They provide a different sort of energy and motivation.


And how do you reconcile career and family?

To be frank – it takes an inhuman amount of effort, and it troubles me often enough. I am doing my best, but it doesn't always work – especially now when managers must handle much bigger challenges than before. We do our management work in times of crises and – to say it openly – in wartime economy. And don't believe anybody that it would be easy to achieve just by good logistical organizing. It is extremely difficult and requires nerves of steel, perfect planning, and a lot of sacrifices. Although, I have the support of aunts and child caretakers and we have complete equality at home (including the fact that in my family since always the men cook, and quite excellent at that), it is sometimes hard for me to reconcile all my obligations. This is especially true for those years where the children are growing and need more and more support. Small children, small worries – but with older children the parents have decidedly more duties und need to pay more attention and have a greater sensibility. This is hard as well when you are constantly under tension and stress. Next to the family, there are also friends, volunteering, the personal development, the need for reading belletristic literature or going to a concert or to the opera, so that one`s soul can be at rest again. Good, that there are audio books and podcasts now and music can be heard over headphones while working out. This is what we call “kill two birds with one stone”. With this open confession, I want to dispel a certain myth, but also assure that those efforts are possible and worthwhile. It is a source of deep fulfillment and inner strength.


Are you a feminist?

Yes, I am decidedly in favor of political, economic, personal and societal equality of gender. The same is true for my colleagues. Any other attitude is foreign to me. I am for equality and against the discrimination of any gen­der. From the German perspective, it might seem unbelievable, but in countries such as France or Poland there is a dominance of women in middle as well as upper management. In the service line “Business Process Out­sour­cing”, we practically have to fight in every country for a higher number of male colleagues. Nonetheless, I am always very unsatisfied when a certain person is chosen for a specific position with the argument of gender parity. For this reason, I don't participate in rankings “only for women” in principle. I admittedly made one exception and that was for the plebiscite Kobiece Twarze/Womens Faces and I actually only decided to take part because of the castle Książ, where the plebiscite is held. I have never been to Książ before, but I have read a lot about it. The castle Książ is an unbelievable place; in all probability, the “golden train” is located under this castle. It is a train from the III. Reich, which between November 1944 and the end of January 1945 should have gone from Breslau to Wałbrzych, however, it never arrived in Wałbrzych. It is said to have contained gold, treasures, artworks and secret archives from the III. Reich. Those items were allegedly brought from Bres­lau to a secret hiding place, most likely in the region of the “owl mountains” (also a very mysterious place) or the “giant mountains”. Until now, no one has rediscovered this train. But just like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said: “The magic of a secret always attracts us.” A wonderful place close to the german-polish border which one has to visit. Moreover, one can go hiking or kayaking there in the mountains. In general, I highly recommend a tour of the castle and palaces of Lower Silesia – an unforgettable experience.


Thank you, Renata, for being part of our career blog and for taking the time to give us such authentic and personal insights into your career and personal life!
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