How would you encourage more women to choose a career in your field?
Debbie: Find something you believe in and are passionate about, and stick with it. If you wake up every day loving what you do, you will be successful.
Tove: First, I would encourage everyone to find something that you are passionate about. I don’t believe you can excel in something unless you really enjoy what you are doing. Second, dare to be ambitious. Not necessarily about climbing a career ladder, but dare to be ambitious of what you can achieve and what impact you can have.
My third point will be to not let fear steer you. It might seem scary to become a leader and suddenly have the responsibility for many people and large revenues and profit. It might seem scary to become a CEO, and yes, it will be for a time. But don’t let that guide your decisions. Being a leader is not about having all the answers yourself, it is not about making a lot of decisions alone behind closed doors. It’s about building a team, pulling on the strengths of the organization, listening, and facilitating so the right decisions can be made. Of course, it might be tough sometimes, but then it’s important that you have a support network around you – and it’s also a lot of fun. I get the opportunity to be involved in all parts of the organization, I get to travel around and meet with so many great people. I get the opportunity to learn new things every day, and I get the opportunity to make choices and decisions that can create a difference. In the end it is a privilege and definitely worth going after.
Liliya: Actually, gender has never been an issue for me when I pursue what I want, and I don’t think anyone should limit themselves with it. If you love it, then go for it. I do notice the perspectives of certain industries has been transformed when they get more and more female employees. With ideas from different angles and new viewpoints, the performance of those traditional industries is better and potential opportunities are also increased. See? We are making a difference!