A successful career woman

Gunilla Hansson, Production Manager at Stralfors AS Norway, is a role model for many women. Here is the story of her career and her thoughts about leadership and gender parity.


Gunilla Hansson, Production Manager at Stralfors AS Norway.

You took up your new position at Stralfors in January 2014. What has been the best and the hardest part of being a Production Manager at Stralfors?
The best part is to work in a production unit that has so many engaged, customer-oriented employees. The hardest part for me has been to build up a good picture of Stralfors’ diversified production operation in a short space of time in order to identify opportunities and areas for improvement.

How would you describe your career? Do you have a clear career plan?
My formal background is a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Before joining Stralfors I worked for ten years at DHL Express, first in Sweden and then in Norway. I have had both specialist and managerial roles, as well as working in different departments, but always with focus on quality and process improvement.

My career plan is to challenge myself, to give it my all and to say yes to an opportunity when it comes along.

What made ​​you apply for the job as a Production Manager at Stralfors AS?
Firstly, the challenge, and secondly, the opportunity to further develop production, my leadership and myself. Also, changing industry from transportation to communication was fascinating. Stralfors is also a company that has a clear vision, which is important in an industry that is changing quickly.

How should a company focus on gender equality?
I want to receive credit and be promoted based on my skills, not on my gender. I believe a company should choose new employees and managers based on qualifications and not on whether you are a man or a woman. From my perspective, focusing too much on gender equality can have the opposite effect.

What is your recipe for success as a leader?
For me leadership is about being yourself, being positive and delivering. That said, it is not always easy to be a leader. In my opinion, it is important to have a good balance between work and private life, so that you can clear your mind and gain new energy.