At this year’s AGM, Kim Lindberg (board member since 2019) and Gabriella Bergström (deputy board member since 2020) left their seats as their respective careers took a busier turn. After careful considerations, the nomination committee proposed to elect Hanna Edström, deputy board member since 2020, as an ordinary board member and to elect two new deputy board members.
To get to know them better, we have asked these two ambitious and inspiring women to share their reasons for joining the board and a personal experience that could be useful for other women in the industry.
Educated in Mathematical Statistics and Financial Mathematics, Helen Idenstedt nowadays heads External Partnerships and Innovation at the Swedish state pension fund AP1, where she has spent the past seven years. Previously, Helen worked at quantitative Stockholm-based hedge fund boutique RPM after starting her career as a statistician and economist at the Swedish Statistics bureau.
Helen has been an early member of the Kvinnokapital network. “I have enjoyed many of the events that have been organised over the years. During the pandemic, when we could not network in the same way as we have been doing historically, it became even more clear to me how valuable it is to be part of an inspiring group like Kvinnokapital. That is why I became interest in getting more involved by joining the board,” Helen says.
“I also signed up to be a mentor in the new mentorship program. Given that I have been working in the finance industry for almost 20 years I hope that some of my experience can be of help to younger women in the industry. But I also have high hopes of getting valuable insights from the mentees,” she continues.
In general, Helen believes in staying humble while keeping an inquisitive mind and she welcomes the opportunities to challenge herself. “I have had the privilege of having an employer that over the years have assigned me with new tasks and responsibilities that has not necessarily been my area of expertise. It is usually easier to stay within your comfort zone and stick to what you know but my experience has been that if you can find a way to handle that initial scary period of uncertainty it is usually very rewarding. My method to deal with change is to let prestige go and ask questions (reach out to your network!) and trust the process. And, last but not least, be kind to others as well as to yourself,” she says.
Cecilia Sjöberg joins as the youngest member of the board. Even if she obtained her M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Luleå University as recently as 2020, Cecilia has already accumulated an impressive list of both professional and volunteering experiences, including as a mentor and a mentee in various organisations, and as a board member for Ung Företagsamhet Norrbotten, an organisation part of Junior Achievement Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs, which delivers immersive learning in a variety of work-related fields. Today, she works with Digital Marketing for Stockholm-based Atle, the investment management arm of the listed investment company Bure Equity.
“Even if I am relatively new to the finance industry and have only become a member of Kvinnokapital recently, my short experience has taught me the importance of a solid network. KvinnoKapital fulfils a crucial role for women in the asset management industry in enabling us to share experiences and knowledge with each other. The events that I attended before joining the board were also really fun. I wrote my master thesis about Industry Branding and I think KvinnoKapital is an important piece of the puzzle to closing the gender equality gap. It is in that context that I became interested in joining the board, to contribute to the organisation’s expanding relevance,” she explains.
For Cecilia, the workplace provides an opportunity to make a difference by proving yourself as a competent team player but a job also has to provide the right fit. “What I have learned so far and, I believe, applies to all industries, is that it is important to know your own value, no matter whether you are a recent-graduate or have been in the industry for years. Dare to say yes, but also dare to say no. Going to work should be fun and give you energy. Day-to-day tasks and responsibilities are key of course, but the opportunity to be part of a motivating team and evolving in an enriching environment while being supported by a good manager are part of that equation too,” she concludes.