Today is the International Women’s Day, a day that first became an official day for women’s rights in 1977. There are still great challenges for women to have equal rights as men worldwide. At Nordnet, equality is about creating a workplace for our employees where equality and diversity are prioritized, and making savings available to everyone. In honour of the day, we want to praise three successful women at Nordnet with different careers. Meet Christina Juhlin Dannfelt, Head of Customer Operations, Anne Buchardt, Country Manager in Denmark and Karitha Ericson, Board Member of Nordnet.
We asked them to share their career journeys, view on leadership and their best career tips.
Christina: I came directly from school when I joined Nordnet and I have been working my whole career here. During my 7 years at Nordnet, I have had five different positions and these years have transformed me to the person I am today. I started at customer service, a department which I think is the best department to start at. As a Customer Representative and Savings Expert, you are building a huge internal network, while at the same time you get a helicopter view over the whole organisation, the customer’s needs and the financial industry. After that, I worked in different roles within the Swedish Sales organisation before I became Head of Customer Service. Today I have gone deeper inside the company and work as Head of Customer Operations.
Anne: I started at Nordnet during fall 2018 and I have been working for more than 20 years in the financial industry in Denmark. I have always been working within the field of investments and savings, most recently at Nordea where I held several leading roles in the Wealth Management Unit. I began working at Nordnet because I thought it was going to be exciting to work for a smaller niche bank with faster opportunities to create improved customer value.
Karitha: My career started in Gothenburg where I worked for a consultancy and audit firm. I studied at the same time I was working there and during that time I also became familiar with HR, a field that interests me a lot. After six years, I moved with the firm to Stockholm and changed field to banking and private Equity, part of the time abroad. In total, I have worked within the financial sector for 25 years, several of them as HR Manager. Since a few years back, I’m the COO of Grant Thornton.
View on leadership
Christina: I want to get an insight of my team’s responsibilities, challenges and how we are going to create understanding, in order for me to coach my employees better. For me it is important to find all team members’ individual strengths and build up their self-confidence, so every team member believe in themselves and on their own ability. In that, way we can use all strengths to the maximum. I am also very keen to create a team spirit, where we all support and complement each other. Lastly, my goal is walk the talk and live as I learn.
Anne: Primarily, leadership is about setting a clear overall strategy and direction. To show interest for your employees, coach them and give them feedback is important and to delegate responsibility, in order for them to grow. I also believe that the key for a successful leadership is to create an open, positive and motivated culture.
Karitha: For me, everybody is a leader, regardless if you have someone reporting to you or if you are reporting to a manager. Leadership is about knowing yourself and have self-awareness, to know your own strengths and to help others to find their strengths. In that way, you can influence and motivate your team. In addition, you have to be kind to yourself and have self-compassion. Dare to put yourself in uncomfortable situations, meaning that you are taking the risk to fail and that you are willing to fail. That is how you learn and grow.
Best career tips
Christina: Network – when you are working for a quite a big company, there is so much knowledge and interesting people inside the walls. If you are curious of what another department is doing: ask that manager out for lunch, sit next to that person and co-listing during an hour etc. Dare to challenge – get out from your comfort zone. If there is something that feels uncomfortable, think the other way around – “this is now I actually learn something new”. The extra mile – be ambitious! If you are interested in a new role, do not wait! Take more responsibility, put more time and effort to learn new things on your spare time. Everyone is going to see it. Know your weaknesses – to work with your weaknesses will make you come a long way.
Anne: Career planning is overrated – always work with something you enjoy doing and what gives you energy. Be the “cooperation champ” – become a person that everyone likes to collaborate with on a daily basis, then you will come far. Focus on deliveries – make sure that you are delivering what you are promising. It will show. Take responsibility and show initiative – do not wait to be asked.
Karitha: Build relationships – be curious, build relationships with your colleagues and create a big network. A majority of the decisions are personal and if you are having a big network of relationships, you will be that person that someone in your network wants to recruit.
The image above shows from the left: Christina, Anne and Karitha.