Having children poses no barrier, she says now
08 May 2021
"I’ve never seen having children as a barrier to my career, but I still didn’t expect to be offered this kind of role while on maternity leave,” says Stine Kristiansen. In January 2020, Stine was appointed as a Head of Customer Segment Municipality in TietoEVRY Norway.
Just like that, she went from maternity leave to a new role in the top leadership group of the country’s biggest tech company.
"My first thought was actually oh no!", Stine says and continues with a laugh; “Then I had to go several rounds and think about whether a leadership role like this was the right thing for me to do at that moment.”
This is not the first time Stine has taken on a challenge. She started in the company after she graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics. After four years, she was responsible for the business area in Norway.
"Outstanding leadership skills, great understanding of business and an ability to deliver” is how Stine’s colleagues describe her. When she returned from maternity leave after having her first child at the beginning of 2020, it was natural to offer her more responsibility.
“It was extremely exciting to start working more closely with the business,” Stine says.
Christian Pedersen, Managing Partner in TietoEVRY Norway, explains by what criteria he selects people for his top leadership group in Norway.
“When choosing people for the leadership group, I measure candidates from objective criteria. For me, the most important thing is to assemble a team that I know focuses on the customer, the employees and the company as a whole – especially when hard decisions are being made,” says Christian.
“With these criteria in place, diversity in terms of gender, age and competence came as a natural consequence. We’re almost 50/50 in terms of gender balance in the Norwegian leadership group and the age varies from 34 to 60 years. I think our group is a great mix of personalities that play to different strengths,” he says.
TietoEVRY offers critical systems to Norwegian municipalities, among them services within healthcare, archiving, human resources, and business and salary systems.
Heading our offerings for the municipal sector is a task Stine takes on with great humility and great excitement.
According to Christian it didn’t come as a surprise that Stine was hand-picked for this role.
“She always delivers and was an obvious pick for this role. Not just through her personal qualifications, but her background also delivers great value to the leadership team,” says Christian.
Throughout Stine’s career, she herself has been led by motivating and inspiring leaders. She says this has been important in helping her develop. Hard work and support from colleagues have been important for her fast journey to the leadership team.
"All the doubts I had about handling two new roles, both as a leader and as a mother, very quickly turned out to be unnecessary. As I now see it, having a child has in many ways been an advantage. I feel like I’ve grown more conscious of how I spend both my time and the time of others. In that sense, I’ve become more efficient,” says Stine.
In the end, it all came down to one important reason as to why she concluded that accepting a new role was the right thing to do:
“Most of all, I wish to show my daughter that seizing opportunities is always right!”
The tech sector needs more women