BY Anette Tanneryd, MANAGING PARTNER, CAPCO NORDICS
I was an entrepreneur from an early age. When I was 12-years old, my father took me to the bank to buy my first stock. By this age, I had already tried my hand at selling everything you can imagine, from lemonade and cookies to flower bouquets. Today, as Managing Partner of Capco Nordics, I still think of myself as an entrepreneur before a consultant or academic, and try to apply this mindset into my work.
When I look back on my career, it is the many inspirational people I’ve met along the way that stand out most; many of whom are professional women. From my social studies and dance teachers, through to one of my first mentors, a senior vice president at IBM, these women were all role-models for my future success.
At Capco, we take mentoring very seriously. I try to encourage everyone working in our offices to have a mentor, and because of my own personal experiences, feel that they are particularly important for women in the workplace.
Women are still in the minority in the business world, especially in leadership positions. Building strong networks does not just open career opportunities, it gives the businesses that both promote and participate in them a competitive advantage. Indeed, one of Capco’s philosophies is that diversity of thought is critical to success and I truly believe this. It is part of my recruitment strategy as we expand in the Nordics.
And looking to the wider debate of how we ‘Press for Progress’, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, I strongly feel that we need to treat gender equality as a business matter, not a women’s issue. Far too often the topic of diversity is only discussed within the echo chamber of closed forums. The problem with this is that it closes the debate and it’s often those outside these groups who need to be onboard to help instigate meaningful change.
I also think that we should be measuring progress like we would with any other metric, such as financial performance, sustainability, headcount, attrition or brand awareness. Naturally, setting targets should form a part of this to ensure that progress is being made or highlight the lack of progress.
As both a woman in leadership and as the mother of two daughters, I do not want to leave this world thinking that I could have done more to change the status quo. That’s why I try to be like the professional women who came before me to ensure that any female talent is appreciated, prepared and has the opportunity to reach her full potential.