This week, 8th of March, is the International Women’s Day (IWD), and we'll highlight and put our focus on one of the IWD Missons; To forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated.
IWD is an opportunity to celebrate the successes that women have achieved but also mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity. To mark IWD 2022 we have asked a couple of female leaders at Quinyx to share their experiences and perspectives of being a female leader within the tech industry.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I am Malin Lindbom, a Head of Product, and I work at our Stockholm office.
When you began your career, did you ever imagine yourself having a leadership role?
I graduated in mid 2008 in the middle of the financial crisis and I didn’t really know what to do with my life. I’d changed my plan from continuing with psychology to realising that academic life wasn’t for me.
I had a friend, who worked for a tech recruitment company, who helped me to get a job at a tech startup. The plan was to do that until I had figured out what to do with my life, but it turned out that I really liked it, haha. I started to work with products quite early on as well, I have always been into understanding people's problems and trying to solve issues, doesn’t matter if it’s within software or talking to a friend. Understanding human behaviour is key. I think I will always be in product one way or another, it’s just too interesting not to be part of.
It has never been a goal to be in a leadership position, I don’t think of leadership in that way to be honest. I want to be in a position where I can make a difference, and what drives me is seeing my product team evolve, grow and improve. I have a lot of knowledge within product management and I want to share that knowledge so that we can improve as a team and solve problems for our customers and users.
Who inspired you to be a leader and why?
I’m fortunate enough to work closely with someone who is by far the most competent and inspiring leader I have ever seen. He is one of a kind. He doesn’t try to be a leader, he is a leader. He operates with empathy and heart and he genuinely cares, and that has inspired me a lot, both professionally and personally.
As a female leader, can you tell us more about any significant gender related roadblocks you have experienced?
Well, honestly I’ve seen most things by now but something that I have seen throughout my career - and I know many women in my network talks about as well - is the different standards that apply to men and women. As a woman you can not afford to come to a meeting unprepared, you need to do your homework and you need to make sure to always be on top of things.
Have you seen some gender related patterns over the years about women at work?
I’ve seen men bullshitting themselves throughout their career. And I’ve seen it happen over and over. This extremely likeable dude, comes in completely unprepared, takes over the meeting with ideas (that are not his). You would never get away with that as a woman. Never. To point out here though, most men I have worked with over the years are lovely human beings, hardworking and intelligent and nothing like that but I know that many women will know exactly what I’m talking about.
Why do you think companies would benefit from having more women at the top?
It’s quite obvious why companies would benefit from having more women at the top; companies with equal boards have a significantly higher profitability and turnover than other companies. Those are the facts, it’s not an opinion.
How can women support other women in their organizations?
Honestly, women shouldn’t need to support other women in order to succeed in organisations. The companies themselves should see the benefit of having a better mix of gender and more diversity in general.
Why should more females be attracted to the tech industry?
I’m not sure women should be attracted to the tech industry. The tech industry needs to make themselves attractive to women so that we want to join!
What’s helped you the most in your career?
Stubbornness. I’m just too stubborn to know when to give up, haha. I just try and try until I find a way.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
What advice I would give? Hmm, surround yourself with good people. Both at work and outside. And know your value, know when it’s time to walk away.
Why is IWD important?
Is it important? What about the other 364 days? Every day should be about fighting against injustice in society (in any shape or form), not just this day.