What is your advice for young people on the road to a career?
Go 100% with your interest. Don’t let yourself be influenced by what others think is cool or smart, which is what we often get as young people. You will be in the labour market for 40 years, so it’s important to do something that makes you happy. I never had a plan, but chose according to my interest and seized random opportunities.
What should a young woman be aware of?
Rarely do the girls of the performance generation reach the top, but rather the ones who can twist and turn. It is the mindset and not the nature of the diploma that determines how far you will go. Relax a bit instead of trying to be perfect in everything, and don’t let life run away because it doesn’t all turn out the way you wanted or thought it would.
Who did you find yourself inspired by?
I remember early in my career attending several lectures where women managers inspired me – especially by the fact that they could get ahead with children and family life. It made me realise that children should not be an option, even though I was ambitious. Since then, I have been inspired by many people I have worked with. It is important to pay attention to those we are inspired by.
What has been crucial to get you to where you are today?
I believe in coincidence – with everything in life. You have to dare to believe that what you want will probably come about. I don’t believe in setting a lot of very specific goals, as it can easily feel like defeat if you don’t reach them. It is better to pursue the opportunities that arise and not over-analyse everything. Dreams and desires also change throughout life.
When did your career shift?
When I was pregnant the first time, I asked my boss at the time for a meeting. It suited him well because he also had something to tell me, and he began by offering me a managerial position. I said it was good that his news came first, since mine was that I was pregnant. He said that was secondary, as I was being offered the position because I was the most suitable.
How do you find the balance with children?
Recently, my daughter asked if I could not go out and travel again so soon. The kids get pancakes and hot dogs when I’m away and I always have something fun to tell them when I get home. I also think it’s better that they are in a school and play than being at home and sitting in front of a screen. But we are a little contentious here in Denmark and are rather judgemental of women with careers, so it’s difficult to resist as a mother. We need a more nuanced picture.
What are you most proud of?
That I can piece the jigsaw puzzle together. My husband is a partner at PwC and works more than I do, but we have a mutual understanding. As a family, we eat together and then we often continue working when the children are asleep. We work a lot of hours during the week and then keep the weekends completely free.
How important is the salary for you?
Finance is a concern for many that I really appreciate not having. There is a freedom in earning well. In addition, it is my job to purchase economically, and in private, I am also a bargain hunter. That’s just how I am. I also only ask for a higher salary if I am not satisfied, and the most important thing for me is to have a good boss, an exciting job and flexible working hours.
What is most important to you as a manager?
That people should think it’s fun to go to work. I give priority to social cohesion, because if colleagues know each other, this brings about greater benevolence and understanding. If they get along well, they like to go the extra mile for each other.
When have you met resistance?
I’ve met a lot of resistance when I’ve wanted to implement change. But I stood up to it and it has paid off in the long run. Some of my toughest critics ended up, after a few years, praising the result of the changes I had initiated.