Mia Norman, Group Leader Development & Operations in TOMRA Collection Solutions Digital
Today on International Women’s Day, we celebrate the achievements of women across the globe, and the progress that has been made toward gender equality and representation. TOMRA has many talented women in its worldwide team, and today TOMRA Collection Solutions spotlights three of its female leaders in technology: Ingrid Solberg in product management, Lisa Hodska in information technology and Mia Norman in digital development.
TOMRA Collection Solutions provides advanced reverse vending machines for collecting bottles and cans for reuse and recycling. It also offers digital solutions that extend the value of machine usage and ownership, by bringing the Internet of Things and big data to recycling.
What is your role at TOMRA Collection Solutions?
Mia: I am Group Leader Development & Operations in TOMRA Collection Solutions Digital, managing the development team building our Internet of Things platform. I’ve always had a passion for innovation and creativity. I collaborate with our highly-skilled developers, working with ideas and solutions, and seeing our excellent products come to life for users worldwide. Growing the world recycling rate is the right way forward and extremely motivating; there is so much potential in what we’re doing at TOMRA.
Lisa: In my role as VP Information Technology for TOMRA in North America, I lead a team of 12 employees that concentrate on infrastructure/help desk support, application development, project management, database administration and data warehouse development/analytics. I really enjoy working with a dynamic team, and that the custom applications that we have developed for have a direct impact on business operations.
My role is Vice-President Product Management in Reverse Vending Technology. I love my job because I get the opportunity to work in an international, high-tech company. It’s a fantastic combination of working with advanced technology, and developing solutions together with great colleagues, customers and partners across the world. I am really proud of the fact that TOMRA makes solutions for a better environment, to contribute to something positive for all of us.
What motivated you to take this career path?
Lisa Hodska (front), VP Information Technology for TOMRA in North America, with her team
Lisa: When I started my career at TOMRA 22 years ago, I worked in the Finance department. During that time, we were going through our first ERP (enterprise resource planning) implementation, and I really enjoyed being part of the project team. I ended up switching departments and took on a role as business analyst in the IT department. The past 17 years working in IT has been very rewarding. TOMRA North America has very unique business requirements, and it’s been fun and challenging building the applications that support the business.
I have a technical background, with a Master of Science in optoelectronics. Even as a child I was fascinated by how all the technology around us worked. How was it possible to make a phone call, or even watch television? I wanted to understand and learn why and how it was possible to make these things, and perhaps even make something new or better. After joining the work force I realized this kind of role is so much more than just technology; I spend most of my time communicating with others, working in teams across borders – and I love it.
From school I had a preference for mathematics, and combining that with my creative side led to an engineering education. I hold a Master of Science degree in the Mechanics of Material. As a graduate engineer, it was fascinating to experience my direct impact on products – like seeing something in production that I had on my drawing board a few months ago. A role as project manager brought in exciting elements like team dynamics, bridging communication across cultures and organization levels. In my career path, I’ve followed what I like to do, and combined it with a curiosity and fearlessness that has led me here.
What advice would you give to encourage more women to choose a career in technology?
Ingrid Solberg, Vice-President Product Management in Reverse Vending Technology
Go for it! It will open a world of opportunities; you can take a deep dive into the technology, use your creative and innovative skills, or develop as a leader. Tech today is also highly international; you must develop your language skills and understanding of other cultures to make the right products and cooperations. A career in tech is a good bet: the world will always need clever and skilled technology people in the future.
Mia: I tell everyone that it’s simply the best job. So be smart: just go for it! Having more women in technology organizations is very much wanted. There are so many different things you can do within technology, and you can find a niche that matches your interests and what motivates you – whether it’s the technology itself or everything surrounding it.
Lisa: In order to succeed in a career in technology you need to be adaptable. Technologies are changing faster than ever and you can’t be complacent. Also, translating business requirements into technical specifications requires being very diligent. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and challenge the status quo!
Happy International Women’s Day from the team at TOMRA Collection Solutions!