Believe in yourself and work hard
Sofie Magnusson
Engineering Director
Maersk

Facts

What do you find most interesting about your career and your leadership position?
I get to work with everything I love in a great mix. I get to drive technical decisions and set strategies we need to take for the growth of our business. At the same time, I get a chance to attract and build new talent. I could never accept having a role where I cannot balance tech, product development and people. That mix is what matters to me and has been the red thread throughout my different leadership positions. 

What has been crucial to get you to where you are today?
When I was 14, the Swedish government tried a program to offer girls in our city 3 weeks paid summer school with tech as the only subject. We got to explore subjects and that made me decide to select computer science the next year. I honestly think that I would not be working in this industry if someone hadn’t helped me open the door into tech, in this safe environment surrounding myself with like-minded young people.

Tell us about a female role model and the impact they had on you – either personally or professionally?
It would probably be Maria Rang, my first manager in the tech industry. She showed me the way at Sony Ericsson when I was a young engineer. She showed me that this industry can be a comfortable place where you can be vulnerable and still succeed. She has an amazing talent to create a team spirit where you feel as an important part of the team. Someday I hope someone have the same reflections about my contribution to their career.  

What advice would you give to young female students today?
My advice would be as simple as believe in yourself and work hard. I think I have constantly been too hard on myself and doubted that I knew what I was doing. So, do not think everybody else knows how to do it. Do not for one second think that everybody else understands and knows so much more than you. There will be times you get stuck, and that is normal. At those times you need to be open to receiving feedback and learning from it. 

Looking into the future, what role do you think STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education will have?
I believe that STEM already today has a huge impact, but in future everything will root in STEM.