THE SWEDISH-AMERICAN SINCECHAMBER OF COMMERCE, INC. 1906 IN NEW YORK A Spotlight on Swedish-American Business
Agents for Change NEW MEMBERS
ADVOKATBYRÅ PRIMA AB
THE EWC LUNCHEON 2018
EDSBYN SENAB GROUP
ÅSA REGNÉR LENA APLER
IN N E W YO R K No. 3 , 2018 THIS ISSUE IS SPONSORED BY PWC
Editor & Writer Eustacia Huen
Editor-in-Chief Yasmina Backstrรถm
Publisher Anna Throne-Holst
Editor-in-Chief, Art Director & Editorial Isabella Cramner
8 åsa regnér 10 Ceo advice 12 pwc 14 anna ryott 16 Gateway 18 SACCNY’s Tools Main Feature
20 Cathinka Wahlström 22 new members 24 Lena Apler 26 Birgitte Bonnesen 28 ewc luncheon 2018 30 Recent happenings Feature
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IN NEW YORK is the magazine of The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Design: D Solutions NYC
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L ET TER FR OM T H E P R E S I D E NT Dear Members and Friends Having more women assume leadership roles is not just about an inclusive workforce. It is essential for economic growth. See how the women in our network are part of driving this change!
Role Model My dad, Johan Throne-Holst
Female Network BBB
Highlights This Summer Almedalen Hosting ”Sommar i P1” on the 4th of July
In many ways, 2018 is a landmark year for professional women at SACCNY. Beyond a 100 percent-increase in female board members, it marks the 17th year of the Executive Women’s Conference (eWc)— which, now revamped as a seminar style luncheon (better suited to the busy lives of professional women!) continues to strengthen our female executive network by addressing issues pertinent to the female workforce. 2018 is also the 10th anniversary of the SACCNY Mentor Program—our remarkably successful and highly reputed program supporting women in international business. In Agents for Change, our issue dedicated especially to women, we look to pay homage to professional women on the global market. By highlighting the many impactful changes women have brought to our business climate today, we want to do our part to encourage and facilitate more female leadership in the years to come.
This Spring, we brought together many of these inspirational powerhouse women to this year’s Executive Women’s Luncheon. Drawing from a wealth of experience, this impressive lineup of speakers and panelists, elaborated on the effects of transformational digitalization and the preparation needed to “skill, re-skill and up-skill” in an ever-changing job market, again, focusing on the female work sector and professionals. In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to PwC, the principal sponsor of this issue and one of the the partners for the eWc conference series. Thank you, PwC, for being a positive force for progress and for helping drive society toward a more equal, and hence successful, business environment. As always, we aim to live as we learn and live as we teach. I am excited to encourage change of the business climate with some of these inspiring women.
Recognizing gender equality as one of the cornerstones of Swedish society, we proudly forge our paths toward a balanced and equal business climate. To that end, this magazine serves as a look into and how-to guide: providing hands-on advice; in-depth interviews; and insightful comments from many of the most influential gamechangers of our time —all of them part of our SACCNY family.
Anna Throne-Holst, President, SACCNY
WOM EN IN B U S I N E S S FA C T S
105 % 91% 87% 80%
more board positions have been acquired by women in Sweden since 2003 1
of all listed financial firms in Sweden have more than one female board member2
of CEOs across the globe are focused on talent diversity and inclusion 3
of the female population in Sweden are active in the workforce, compared to 54% in the U.S. 4
CALENDA R O F E V E N T S Jun 27
Young Professionals: Tour at The federal reserve bank
SACCNY Board meeting, Stockholm
eacc fall networking event: Boat crusie
saccny mentor program kick-off
Visit www.saccny.org/events for further detail and registrations
1 2 3
Ekonomi Fakta, Redan 36 procent kvinnor i styrelserna, 2016 Almi, StyrelsekartlĂ¤ggning, 2018 PWC, Winning the Fight for Female Talent, 2017 4 Ekonomi Fakta, Kvinnor pĂĽ arbetsmarknaden, 2018; Catalyst, Statistical Overview of Women in Workforce, 2017
Inventions Beneficial for the Environment Presenting the SACCNY-Deloitte Green Award Nominees 2018
Photo: Sokol Vjerdha
Sustainology Summit 2018, SACCNY’s fall conference focusing on food tech and the challanges of sustainable food production and consumption, is now in the planning. On June 7, Anna Throne-Holst joined Stockholm Foodtech, The Big Meet Conference, our new partner focusing on the future of food. There, Throne-Holst presented this year’s four nominees for the SACCNY-Deloitte Green Award; including Karma, Micvac, Ecofarma and Järgaren & Kocken. Each year the award is presented to a Swedish company developing disruptive innovation and technology linked to food chain challenges. The winner will be presented by Deloitte at our Sustainology Summit on November 13 and selected by a jury comprised of industry experts led by Deloitte Partner, Andreas Marcetic and SACCNY President Anna Thone-Holst as well as executives from Sweden FoodTech, AgFunder, Haga Initiative, Square Roots Urban Growers and Gullspång Invest.
Newark SAS Lounge Unveils New Look Scandinavian Airlines Teams Up With AbsolutArt.com
Photo: Zlatko Batistich
Hospitality meets culture in the latest collaboration between AbsolutArt.com and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), where two leading innovators in their respective fields unite in reimagining the airport lounge experience. On May 7, Absolut Art decked the walls of SAS Lounge at Newark Airport with more than thirty special works of art, connecting travelers with distinguished artists such as Samara Golden, Erik Berglin and Los Carpinteros. These globally sourced art pieces not only pays tribute to the beauty of Scandinavia, but also celebrates the concept of traveling as a means to connect, inspire and educate. To shop or learn more about the collection, visit absolutart.com/sas for further information.
Veckans Affärer Celebrates Female Leaders
Key Players in SACCNY’s Network Land On Veckans Affärer’s Power List
Photo: Teodor Axlund
The prominent Swedish Business Magazine, Veckans Affärer (VA), recently announced its 2018 ranking of the 125 Most Powerful Women in Sweden. Not surprisingly, many key players in SACCNY’s network were featured on the list, such as Board Member Lena Apler, Founder of the $1-Billion online bank Collector Ventures; Helena Stjernholm, CEO at Industrivärlden and former mentee in SACCNY’s mentor program; Anna Ryott, CEO of Norrsken and Executive Women’s Conference (eWc) speaker; and Stina Eherensvärd, Founder & CEO of Yubico and previous winner of the Anders Wall Award for Exceptional Entrepreneurship at Innovate46. Considering that “[…] gender-equal companies are more profitable than others, the Swedish business sector is in need of all talents, regardless of gender,” said Åsa Uhlin, Editor-in-Chief of VA, in an interview.
Paypal Acquires iZettle For $2.2 Billion How Swedish Tech Firms Strike Gold in the Global Market
Photo: Håkan Dahlström
On May 17, PayPal announced the purchase of iZettle for $2.2 Billion. Not only is this the largest acquisition to date for the digital payment giant, it is also the third billiondollar payout—after Spotify and Bambora—for Swedish tech firms since July 2017. Clearly, this is no coincidence. According to TechCrunch, Stockholm has had the highest Billion-dollar exit per capita in the world since 2000. As to why these Swedish tech companies perform so well in the global market, Hans Otterling, Partner at Northzone, believes there is a notable trend. “What’s consistent about the companies that succeeded— I’m thinking for example Spotify, Klarna and iZettle—is the founders’ ability to sell big ideas and raise money for their companies. That gives them a big competitive advantage.” Suffice to say, the Swedish tech scene is thriving. At SACCNY, we are working hard and putting our know how to work hoping and hoping more Swedish Tech firms will join us across the pond.
A Benefit for All How Broadening the Focus Can Help Achieve Gender Equality
ÅAsa Regner ”Look beyond women’s empowerment and consider how it ties in with branding; democracy; contribution in society; and competitiveness of an organization, society or even a country,”
Åsa Regnér, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, shares how the power of expanding focus could be the secret to advancing gender equality. It is no coincidence Sweden is a progressive leader nation today. While it only became the world’s first official feminist government in 2006, Sweden had in fact been paving its way for gender equality long before anybody else had it on their radar. “Sweden made many major political decisions during the 60s and 70s that formed the welfare state and transformed it into a more genderequal society. These decisions cover issues far and wide—accessible day care; parental leave for fathers; access to contraceptives; and individual
taxation—which empower women in profound ways. While some of these decisions remain controversial to certain countries today, they are the things that define and bring about the country’s progressiveness and promotion for gender equality at an early stage, which also laid the foundation for today’s high employment rates and economic growth,” said Åsa Regnér, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. As Sweden’s Minister for Children and the Elderly and Minister of Gender
Equality before assuming her role at the UN two months ago, Regnér looks at the issue of gender equality more broadly than the average expert. This, along with
We wish Regner all the luck on her new role at UN Women
The UN is established with a purpose to promote and to encourage ”fundamental freedoms for all”
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)—world’s first intergovernmental body dedicated exclusively to the promotion of gender equality—is established 1946
her progressive Swedish roots, gives her an edge in devising a more effective and far-reaching approach on a global scale. To the seasoned politician, achieving gender equality is not limited to solutions such as improving female rights and increasing women’s labor force participation, it also extends to creating a more supportive working environment for women, plus landing more business women in leadership positions. “We need laws, policies and lots of resources to make this happen,” Regnér said. This requires the support of everybody, not just women, to make it happen. Thankfully, female empowerment does not solely benefit women. It provides deeper and wider benefits to society as a whole. As a result, this generates more opportunities for getting everybody on board. According to the UN Women Deputy Executive Director, an effective approach is to show people how they can contribute. “If we really want to achieve gender equality, we as female activists, organizations and UN Women, need to include men and make them more interested in our work. Men are capable of engaging in many important societal issues like peace and security, migration, and much more. Likewise, we also need more men to engage in women’s issues and show more solidarity with their struggles” noted Regnér. Beyond addressing both genders when it comes to achieving equality, “define budgets in a gender sensitive way, so people can see how national resources are equally distributed among women and men within the country,” she said. Encourage more fathers to take parental leave so more mothers could
The UN begins commemorating International Women’s Day—an important date which the UN General Assembly officially formalizes two years later
Among the eight Millennium Development Goals set in the UN Millennium Declaration, goal 3 calls for the promotion of gender equality
have a fighting chance at managing their responsibilities at home and at the office. This can create a more balanced labor force that retains more female employees. “However, there is not a single recipe for success and all countries must find their own solutions to achieve this”, noted Régner. Sweden has become somewhat of a posterchild for such endeavors: by offering financial incentives and highlighting the emotional benefits of taking paternal leave, the country has notably seen a 33% increase in fathers taking parental leave since 1995. “We know for a fact that fathers who spend time with their small children report enjoying closer relationships with their children well into their teenage years. Not only does this speak to the men who prefer more quality time with their children, it also appeals to the general public with the idea that a child can build closer relationships with both parents as opposed to one.” said Regnér.
UN General Assembly creates the UN Women to accelerate progress on meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide
express themselves. This could involve challenging old traditions, according to Regner, as she urges companies “to change the ideas and notions of status; truly listen to the victim regardless of rank, and take action efficiently.” Lastly, do not see achieving gender equality as a single issue. “If activists and organizations could look beyond women’s empowerment and consider how it ties in with branding; democracy; contribution in society; and competitiveness of an organization, society or even a country, it can open the door to many possibilities”, Regnér concludes.
Evidently, perception can drastically affect one’s view of the same issue. When discussing the #MeToo movement—a major conversation-starter on gender equality in the past year—Regnér recommends adding more weight to the issue by identifying it as much of a women’s rights and gender equality issue, as a business one. Discuss the importance and benefits of maintaining a positive company image, and point out how great talents—regardless of gender and other qualities—must always be cherished. To that end, companies must seek to create a positive working culture where no harassment exists. In the event where disputes arise, companies can build a warmer and more welcoming environment for junior associates to
Photo: UN Women, Susan Markisz
Åsa Regnér Deputy Executive Director UN Women
THE important QUESTION “What advice do you wish you had gotten when you started your career?”
CEO, Industrivärden “To succeed, you must pursue something for which you have a sincere passion. Try to find opportunities where you can truly contribute with visible results. Whether you are applying for a job or working in a full-time position, spend some time understanding the broader picture and the challenges faced by the employer. Then, look for assignments where you can play a crucial role. Last, but not least, choose a good manager who wants you to succeed. No matter how good you are, it is hard to succeed without a supportive boss.”
q. & a’s With ceos
President, Northeast at AT&T “There are several things I wish I had known. I wish I was told at an early age about female empowerment. Rather than shying away from the concept, it should be embraced. I wish I had recognized that being a role model does not mean achieving perfection— one can try to do it all while sharing the challenges. However, what I am glad I learned is the importance of paying it forward. We must nurture tomorrow’s female leaders and provide them with the necessary tools for confidence and success.”
CEO, The Absolut Company
CEO, Brilliant Minds
CEO, Volvo Car Mobility
“If I could go back in time and give my 25-year-old self some advice, I would say, ‘See your career as a marathon; not a sprint.’ Forget perfection this week, and focus on your ability to perform over the long haul. Respect the balance between work and rest, and do not get too upset about minor setbacks. Also, I would have told myself the importance of building strong friendships at work, which as a highly enjoyable endeavor, shapes you to become a better person plus makes for the highpoints of any career.”
“To me, the groundbreaking nature of an entrepreneur or female leader often conflicts with the traditional mold or ‘advice’ shared by a different generation. What worked for older professionals may not apply in our fast-evolving world. While experience and big community of supporters can help you succeed, you also need to trust yourself in knowing what serves you best. After seeing how many criticisms are often veiled as advice, I wish that my younger self would know when to take advice and when to follow my gut and heart.”
”First, I must say that today’s young professionals are much more aware and mature than I was in my twenties. Yet, if I were to share any knowledge that has helped me over the years, it would be the the impact of ownership structure. The business logic and culture is impacted if you are a listed company; cooperative or family run business. Another is the importance of your manager’s leadership values. Ultimately, you want to grow and develop your business persona, so it is important to choose a boss that can help you.”
Charlotte ekhammar CEO, Kreab
CEO, Gender Intelligence Group
”I wish somebody would have told me to get assistance with administration and similar tasks. Too many women, including myself at younger age, fall into the ’good girl trap’ and spend a lot of time keeping things neat and tidy, rather than focusing on results and developing executive skills. When I founded Simris Alg I made sure to hire other people to keep my paperwork and books in order, rather than wasting time on something I am frankly quite bad at. Focus on your core areas of expertise and get help where needed.”
“My ideal advice would consist of several parts. First, learn from a boss whom you respect, since that is how you will become a better boss yourself. Second, if you do not feel comfortable with your position; colleagues; and the working atmosphere, leave and move on to something else. Third, surround yourself with people who know other things better than you do. Remember: Do not get stressed over minor things. As always, sleep on it first and act later if you are upset. Finally, learn to be a good listener by listening before you speak.”
“I wish somebody would have told me what not to do as a female executive. If I had known these pitfalls—not making bold requests; avoiding being too self-promotional or being too hard on myself; believing that recognition is only directly related to hard work; taking on grunt work as opposed to something more highprofile—it would have saved me from many costly mistakes. At the end of the day, women should show their authentic self and stop trying to fit into the male-driven society. There are many powerful female qualities that could enrich a successful business in a remarkable way.”
CEO, Simris Alg
Bridging the Gender Gap Why We Need More Women in International Business
P wC “71% of female millennials want to work outside their home country, while 84% of the women consider international experience as critical to furthering their careers.”
Jennifer Florido, People and Organization Management Consultant at PwC dishes on the challenges, the solutions, and the reasons why having more women in international business could benefit the workforce overall. Talent diversity is something employers always attribute to building to a more effective workplace. Yet, when it comes to gender equality, especially in the context of international business, why are women often so underrepresented? According to Modern Mobility, Moving Female with Purpose—a 2016 report conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) focusing on the millennials— the relative scarcity of women in international business is not a result of lack of desire. In fact, the study indicates that 71% of female millennials want to work outside their home country, while 84% of women consider international experience as critical to furthering their careers.
According to Florido, People and Organization Management Consultant at PwC, given there is a desire on the management end for growing female representation in senior and leadership positions, coupled with aspirations for work abroad on the part of many female professionals; business leaders must focus on finding key elements to effectively advance gender equality and women’s careers. To further expand on her thinking, Florido sat down with SACCNY and highlighted notable challenges, solutions and reasons why bridging the gender gap is absolutely essential to a high-performing workforce.
Jennifer Florido People and Organisation Management Consultant PwC
Lack of Trust
According to PwC’s survey, women around the world do not trust the information from their bosses—be it on promotions and pay, or what helps or hurts their careers. Therefore, said Florido, “they need greater transparency about these practical markers so employees could trust the feedback, understand where they stand, and successfully make their own case.”
When it comes to choosing candidates for international business assignments, it is important to develop an active realtime list of employees who are available to work abroad. “Aside from safeguarding against potential gender biases, decisionmakers can select based on objective and concrete data, rather than on who they think of first or know best.”
Lack of strategic Support
Focus on Employee Experience
Self-promotion is often highlighted by women as outside of their comfort zone, but when they do speak up, they get results. Women need proactive networks of leaders and peers who will reinforce their self-advocacy and develop, promote and champion them—both inside and outside the workplace. ”Women don’t need men to back away. They need dedicated sponsors and role models of both genders.”
Rather than letting employers choose what employees get to go where, this steers the focus on employees’ wants and needs. Imagine taking a customer-centric approach to your employees, and sell that experience—abroad or otherwise—for them to then choose the best opportunity. This is a powerful shift for employers too, as global business opportunities are one of the key factors in attracting and retaining talents today.
The reason why building an international career can be so difficult for women ultimately traces back to their relationship with their working companies. Without an open exchange between employers and employees, multiple issues could arise.
Social Conventions Above all else, what works against women the most is the social convention that females still carry out the majority of housework. While some employers may offer more flexibility in terms of vacation days, oftentimes, “flexibility alone is not the issue: people do not take breaks precisely because they believe it will hurt their careers,” said the PwC expert. “Fundamentally, there is a need to question and redesign the conventions of work in order to create more sustainable diversity more sustainably. Women need employers who can rethink their approach to balancing work, life, parenthood and family care plus provide organizational solutions that can truly make a difference.”
To tackle these issues in the digital era, one must rely on data to find a solution that is fair, systematic and accurate as quickly as possible. The concrete benefits are manifold, according to Florido.
Percentage of CEOs that agreed their organisation has reaped the following benefits from its strategy to promote diversity and inclusion
90% Attract Talent
85% Enhance Business Performance
83% Strengthen Brand and Reputation
Increase Transparency Access to updated information is essential to building trust among employees. By being transparent about potential international global projects and job roles, the right opportunities become accessible to the best candidates. Effectively, this could be a win-win situation for all—“employees will feel empowered to articulate their career ambitions and actively pursue those goals; while employers have an internal global labor market that facilitates growing interdisciplinary skills, flexible career paths and better talent retention.”
Biggest Takeaway Moving women with a purpose invigorates the workforce. It increases global visibility of top female talents and creates new expectations on the organization, new role models and a new perspective on equality in global talent.” If you are a young female professional looking to relocate abroad, Florido said, “Go for it! I for one found great success through my international working opportunity—both in broadening horizons and in advancing my career. However, make sure that you have a good sponsor; a clear assignment and a competitive compensation package.”
78% Collaborate Internally & Externally
63% Leverage technology
Source: Moving Women with Purpose, PwC, 2016
One- On- One
Creating A Better World How Women Can Drive Important Change
Anna Ryott “If we want to increase female leadership in the workforce, we have to make sure that women are influencing decision as owners, and investors as well as entrepreneurs. Then, that is where real change happens.”
Anna Ryott—Deputy CEO of Norrsken Foundation and the most influential female society changers of 2018 according to Veckans Affärer—shares how women can make this world a better place. As one of the distinguished speakers at SACCNY’s Executive Women’s Luncheon 2018, she is part of a rare breed of incredible people who have Midas’ touch in whatever she pursues. Equally sharp as the Deputy CEO of the advertising firm Storåkers McCann in 2001 to 2007, she is powerfully effective in the same role at Norrsken today—one of Europe’s largest hubs for social entrepreneurship. The savvy businesswoman-slash-socialentrepreneur spared a few moments before her presentation at the luncheon to talk about her experience; importance of women; and other major driving forces for a better world.
How did you make the switch from a career in finance to your current role? A question like this involves a multi-part answer. First, it began with a conscious decision ten years ago when I realized that I wanted to make this world a better place. After building a successful business career as a management consultant at McKinsey and Deputy CEO at advertising firm Storåkers McCann, I asked myself: ‘How can I channel my experience and knowledge to change this world for the better?’ This is where the challenge began. To make the actual switch, it required a combination of openness, careful
assessment of the global environment and understanding of my own expertise. For seven years, I worked at SOS and UNICEF fighting for children’s rights. During that time as I traveled extensively to Africa and Asia, I discovered my calling. It dawned on me that in order to prevent these children from getting abandoned, I must fight the root cause—poverty. It is through rescuing these children’s parents from their predicaments that I can truly help these children. This epiphany led me to focusing my efforts on investing in the private sector in Africa and Asia, which creates more
job opportunities for people in need— as I became CEO of the governmentowned Swedfund and most recently the Deputy CEO of Norrsken. In sum, my richly diverse background; personal conviction; plus involvement in the business, social and political sectors are what equipped me for dealing with the complexity of my leadership role at Norrsken today. What are the essential ingredients of a successful social enterprise? An effective social enterprise is about solving global problems. In order to do that, we need to identify and analyze the issues, find new ideas and resolve them effectively. That being said, having a great solution to a global challenge is not sufficient, we also need a viable business model to make the approach sustainable. This is why, striking a balance of expertise—between the innovative entrepreneurial sector and the practical business sector— is absolutely critical in building a successful social enterprise. Why do you think it is important to have more women in leadership roles? To fully appreciate the importance of bringing more women into business and investing in female entrepreneurs, one must stop seeing it as just an inclusive goal. If an organization wants to create strong, positive change and deliver groundbreaking development, recruiting more female leaders is key. I firmly believe women have all the tools necessary to be great ambassadors, investors and owners of fantastic companies. What is the best way to increase female leaders in the workforce? In the business world, change goes where the money flows. As it stands, 50 percent of our members at Norrsken are women, which is a lot when it comes to entrepreneurs.
However, still nearly all the investors are men. Therefore, if we want to increase female leadership in the workforce, we have to make sure that women are influencing decisions as owners, and investors as well as entrepreneurs. Then, that is where real change happens. On the bright side, I have
noticed that solving global problems is becoming most lucrative in today’s business climate. Given female entrepreneurs are typically more focused on saving the world and benefitting society, there is hope that many of these entrepreneurs could become big investors further down the road. How would you encourage those who feel helpless about driving this change? As someone who chose to work at Norrsken because of our mutual focus on driving change, I can understand why one could feel helpless in certain situations. Nevertheless, running the risk of contradicting myself, I would remind those people that everyone can help—no matter what or where they work. I would urge them to understand how gender equality could lead to bigger, more important changes to the workforce as a whole. If we do not get more women into the workforce as leaders or investors, we will never move forward. With technology as a helpful tool, one can do more than what is expected. The importance is not hinged on how big or small your role is, it is just about getting started—so use your power to make a change!
SACCNY LAUNCHes Professional Platform A Unique and Indispensable Landing and Launching Pad
Patrick Mesterton, Epicenter & Anna Throne-Holst, SACCNY
SACCNY is launching a unique innovation platform and venue for Swedish and American scaleups and global corporations in New York City. Learn more about the project and the collaborations with investors and the new partner, Epicenter.
What is it? Gateway will be a professional community where companies and entrepreneurs are able to share knowledge, experience, and expertise on how to succeed in the U.S. market. The platform will be the ultimate venue for Swedish companies with a need for permanent, regular or occasional office and meeting space in New York City. The aim is to lower the barriers for Swedish firms to conduct businesses in the New York area, regardless of size and maturity. In addition to the state-ofthe-art office-, conference- and event facilities, Gateway will offer a range of services including innovation labs, business matchmaking, acceleration programs, workshops, crash courses and master classes in corporate innovation.
Where is it?
About the Collaborations
Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan at 900 Third Avenue, Gateway puts Swedish businesses mere steps from the most influential companies and investors in America, while providing the optimal business development working arena in the financial capital of the world—New York.
SACCNY has been working on project Gateway for a year and recently decided to partner up with the Swedish Digital House of Innovation, Epicenter. Anna Throne-Holst, is enthusiastic about embarking on this journey together with Epicenter and states: “The purpose of the platform is to create opportunities for Swedish and American companies to collaborate, innovate and grow their businesses. It will also offer U.S. corporations the possibility to connect with some of Sweden’s most innovative companies. Epicenter is an invaluable partner in realizing these ambitions.” Further, Gateway will be realized though investments by approximately 20 companies including Pfizer and SACCNY’s Gold Members Volvo, Skanska, SAS and Ericsson.
Who is it for? Gateway will serve as a unique and indispensable landing and launching pad for start- and scaleup businesses internationalizing into the U.S. market as well as a home-away-from-home for larger corporations, and serve as the ultimate platform for spurring synergies between multinational corporations and startups.
A home for Swedish Business and Innovation in New York City
opening SEPTEMBER 2018
Gateway The culture. The community. Together.
Pre-register at www.saccny.org/gateway
Tools To Get Women Into Leadership Positions SACCNY’s Network Shares Thoughtful Insights
Recognize the benefits of diversity Having more women assume corporate leadership can positively impact the economy in more ways than one. Beyond improving performance substantially, it also represents a higher inclusion rate and diversity throughout the workforce.
Develop an Inclusive Culture To create a sustainable yet collaborative inclusive culture pertaining to recruitment; performance management; succession planning; and talent development, the CEO must lead as an agent of change.
Implement mentor programs Executive forums and mentorship programs are effective at facilitating collaboration and knowledge exchange. This allows leaders to serve as mentors and offer advice to women seeking for leadership roles.
Create Business Networks A solid business network is paramount to enriching women’s professional growth toward leadership. In addition to building engaging dialog among female executives, it creates a forum that centers on individual successes as well as the group’s.
“It makes no sense that women outnumber men in university attendance, yet remain underrepresented in corporate leadership. According to our research report Gender-Lens Wealth, companies that best harness women’s knowledge, skills, and perspectives stand to outperform their competitors. This edge can produce an even more profound effect on global growth.” —Laura Kane, Executive Director, Head of Investment Themes Americas at UBS Wealth Management
“I believe ‘acknowledgement’ is the catalyst for inclusion and diversity. In Corporate America, acknowledgement is often reserved for people who occupy specific jobs or meet some pre-defined criteria. If you find ways to recognize everyone in the organization, you can gain real value from the unique contributions of each employee.” —Felicia Guity, General Manager of Education Industry Channel Management at Microsoft
”Mentor programs are excellent for building your personal network of business leaders. Capitalize on a mentor program like SACCNY’s, be active and get leverage from the wealth of contacts. Stay curious, share and collaborate. Most importantly, be open about your ambitions so you can find the right support.” —Katja Severin Danielsson, Partner at PwC
“Women’s networks are greatly invaluable. To anybody who has the power to help, I would say seize the chance. Channel your experience, distinguished position and connections into empowering one another. We need more women in leadership positions—take the lead and make it happen.” —Lisa Laskaridis, Board member and former President of SWEA New York
When Women Rise, We All Rise How to Create a Culture of Equality
Cathinka Wahlström—Accenture’s Senior Managing Director of Financial Services for North America—dishes on how a culture of equality can do more than empower women. It drives commercial success. If there is anybody who fully understands the bottom line, it would be Cathinka Wahlström—Accenture’s Senior Managing Director of Financial Services for North America—who has more than 25 years’ global financial experience under her belt. One of her greatest passions is the promotion of gender diversity, since an equal culture for women is evidently linked to more innovation and success. “At Accenture, our goal is to become the world’s most inclusive and diverse company,” said Wahlström. “Believing that our diversity can only make us stronger, we embrace it as a source of innovation and competitive advantage.”
The company’s goal is for women to account for at least 40 percent of its U.S. workforce by 2020 and 50 percent of its global workforce by 2025. To that end, Accenture has been conducting annual research on female empowerment since 2007. In 2018, after surveying more than 22,000 working women and men in 34 countries, the management consulting firm discovers that a culture of equality can both make women thrive and help all employees realize their potential. “As a matter of fact, companies that value women’s advancement often see male employees performing well too. In
effect, we rise together,” said Wahlström. Report indicates that in such companies, women are 42 percent more likely to advance to managerial level or above, while men are 20 percent more likely to achieve the same feat. On a larger scale, should companies from around the world follow suit, each woman’s pay could increase by more than 50 percent (or up to $30K) per year. Wahlström has research-backed advice for changing your company’s culture to make it more equitable—and more successful.
an Insider’s Guide “Creating a culture of equality is no easy feat. But if company leaders can achieve these three tasks, the reward will surely exeed the sum of its parts.”
be a bold leader
Take Comprehensive Action
build an Empowering culture
“Culture is set from the top, so if women were to advance, gender equality must be a strategic priority for the C-suite,” said Wahlström. If employers only casually mention the subject like it is low in priority, others would naturally follow suit and treat it as such. Therefore, it is key to become bold leaders and make it known that gender diversity is extremely important. Collect data, set diversity targets and goals, plus encourage employees to strive toward these goals. Embody the change and set an example by aligning words with action.
“There is no silver bullet, and oneoff initiatives do not work,” noted the financial consulting expert. Instead, there must be strategies in place across the entire organization to support women. Companies must quickly change tactics if they are not getting results. “If there is a problem, we fix it. And we continue to pursue relentlessly to achieve our goals,” she added. Comprehensive action includes making policies to attract, retain and move women up the ladder; building women’s networks; and encouraging men to take parental leave—which evens the playing field.
“It is critical that companies create an environment where people can be successful both professionally and personally—where they can be who they are and feel they belong, every day,” said Wahlström. These are environments where employees are not asked to change their appearance, have the freedom to be creative, and can work flexibly by taking advantage of technology. “Both men and women want flexibility. And it is not just the ability to go to a parent-teacher meeting; it could be to train for a bike race in the morning and pick up work later.”
New Business Members Advokatbyrå Prima AB Bridging Swedish and American Legal Matters
0600 LLC Your Expansion Partner in Apparel and Retail
Advokatbyrå Prima AB is a renowned law firm known for its specialty in Swedish and international commercial law, plus an extensive immigration law practice.
0600 LLC is a strategic advisory services and business development company, focusing primarily on the apparel and retail sector in the U.S.
This dual expertise in Swedish and American law can be attributed to the unique experience of Owner and Founder Barney Fyman. Following his admission to both the Swedish Bar Association and New York State Bar Association, he worked at leading law firms in Sweden and in the U.S.
The key services provided by the company include: market entry strategies (planning and execution); brand development; marketing and sales strategy; financial analysis and reporting; operational improvement; commercial due diligence services; special situations and more.
Established in 2010, Advokatbyrå Prima AB provides legal services in the areas of corporate law, contract drafting, litigation and real estate law as well as immigration and family law. The firm’s main office is in Borås, Sweden, with satellite offices in Göteborg, Sweden and New York City.
At the helm of 0600 LLC is founder and principal, Erik Ulin, who has been active in the U.S. fashion industry since 2011— first as President of J.Lindeberg USA; and subsequently as Head of Menswear at trade show company UBM, whose impressive portfolio includes Project, MRket, and MAGIC Las Vegas. Complementing his work in the fashion industry, Ulin has about 10 years’ experience as a management consultant and restructuring advisor.
0600 LLC Contact: Barney Fyman, Advokat email@example.com www.primalaw.se
Contact: Erik Ulin, Founder firstname.lastname@example.org
Edsbyn Senab Group
Employee Benefits Made Easy
Creator of Unique Interior Solutions and Tomorrow’s Meetings Places
Whether you are a new start-up or your business is in need of restructuring its employee benefits programs, ARLO Group—an independently-owned, employee benefits broker/consulting firm headquartered in Queens, NY—can help you. With more than 20 years’ industry experience, ARLO’s Benefits Consultants know what small- to mid-sized companies need to design the perfect benefits program for you and your valued employees. Representing a wide range of insurance carriers’ products —medical, dental, vision, short-and long-term disability, and many more—one of ARLO’s strongest suits is working in partnership with you to deliver client-specific results. We listen, question, and understand what’s important to you and apply our knowledge to the problem. Getting started is easy. Reach out for your free consultation today.
Contact: email@example.com www.arlobenefits.com 929-666-7050
Edsbyn Senab Group is one of Scandinavia’s leading companies in interior design and services for public spaces. With clients all over the world, the Group specializes in offices, hotels, restaurants and shops. As a representative of many of the major furniture, design and interior decorating brands in the industry, the Group has been executing its own production and product design in Sweden since 1899. Currently, Edsbyn Senab Group Inc. has offices in Sweden, Norway, Shanghai, plus a sales office in New York since 2017. In total, the Group has approximately 500 employees. And as of 2017, the total turnover was USD 171 million. Given its extensive knowledge, Edsbyn Senab Group is the obvious choice for companies and organizations driven to create more attractive workplaces and tomorrow’s meeting places. To help others build space for creativity and room for big ideas, the Group’s ultimate goal is to create rooms that free the mind.
Contact: Julia Cranz, Senior Project Manager firstname.lastname@example.org www.edsbyn.com www.senab.com
Conquer The Odds Make Your Voice Heard
Lena Apler “Exercise the best of Swedish work ethic, add some Finnish ’sisu’ and Norwegian confidence and seek funding from U.S. firms to realize your dreams”
In an extremely competitive economic environment, it takes more than a brilliant idea to succeed. Lena Apler—renowned banker and SACCNY’s new Board Member—shares what you really need to beat the competition. As a new SACCNY Board Member, one of six women that increased the female participation rate by 100%, I often cherry pick the best organizations to get involved. For more than four decades, my biggest pet-peeve has been long, drawn-out meetings with numerous participants. Since they often come part-and-parcel with established associations, my answer is often no to almost any board positions. However, when the offer came from Anna Throne-Holst, SACCNY’s inspiring President, who both manages a full Board of 70 efficiently and arrives brimming with amazing plans to make SACCNY better, I knew I had to say yes. Obviously, this is not the full story. Another reason I said yes is because of my passion in supporting the startup scene in Sweden, where I witnessed many companies dreaming of expanding into the U.S.
Through interacting with entrepreneurs over the years, I understand how a terrific idea alone can rarely help you achieve success. Other contributing factors—connections, tools, networking space—are often required to fully launch a business into a new market. More importantly, entrepreneurs must possess unwavering conviction. Take Jarno Vanhatapio, a former construction worker- turned e-Commerce legend as an example. He went from selling female underwear at his mother’s apartment in Borås, Sweden to becoming one of the first online sellers that founded Nelly. com and NAKD in approximately ten years. Beyond a solid marketing tactic, Vanhatapio is a man who is not afraid of pushing his agenda even when others expected him to fail. At a time when everybody, including myself as one of his company’s early Angel investors, was satisfied with his progress, Vanhatapio wanted to solicit new (and primarily
U.S.) investors. Nobody thought he could succeed, but he went for it anyway. After enduring many complex questionnaires and lack of sleep, Jarno secured offers from three U.S. investors. Through Vanhatapio’s example, I want to urge all of you to exercise the best of Swedish work ethic, add some Finnish “sisu” and Norwegian confidence and seek funding from U.S. firms to realize your dreams. Do not be shy. Sometimes, the competition is so tough that you must scream to be heard. Vanhatapio’s story also reminds me how rewarding it is to support Swedish professionals. This is why I am proud to join SACCNY, an organization I could firmly vouch for its effectiveness in connecting executives with the right people and facilitating cross-border deals. Under the determined hands of Anna and her team, I look forward to many exciting business developments ahead between Sweden and the U.S.
Networking For Women
a departure from the ordinary
Three Must-Join Professional Groups
HER Established in 2016, HER USA is a distinguished community consisting of the finest female leaders, entrepreneurs and change makers who are united by the desire to support one another. With the guiding principle of thriving and celebrating vulnerability as a point of connection, the network hosts monthly dinners, educational panels and larger themed events. Currently, HER USA operates in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.
Siv’s Travel Division of Tzell Travel Group
BBB Founded by Barbro C. Ehnbom in 2001, BBB (also known as Barbro’s Best & Brightest) is a professional women’s network with more than 200 ambitious and talented members primarily in Sweden and New York City. Excelling in fields from finance and medicine to diplomacy and stage performance, the network also boasts a strong group of associated partners who are dedicated to mentoring and promoting members’ careers. Barbro Ehnbom is excited for BBB to expand in New York through Gateway!
17 Nätverket 17-Nätverket, which stands for “The 17-Network” in Swedish, is a professional community that inspires female entrepreneurs to dream big, build larger companies and have fun. While the benchmark is high—applicants are required to start, own and operate companies with an annual turnover of at least 50M SEK (approximately $5.6M) just to be considered—the organization’s solid roster of events and dedicated mentors are certainly well worth it.
www.travelbysiv.com +1 212 944 2121 * 2417 25 * 2417 + 1 800 304 4699
One- On- One
Up Close with Swedbank’s CEO From Birgitte Bonnesen’s Point of View
Birgitte Bonnesen ”Technology is revolutionizing the world. With greater efficiency and more new possibilities, customers’ needs and behavior are rapidly changing as well. As a result, this makes my days interesting like never before.”
Birgitte Bonnesen, President and CEO of Swedbank and President of the Swedish Banker’s Association shares her view on banking in the future, for gender equality, and how to become successful in the banking industry. Danish-born Birgitte Bonnesen is one of the most influential persons in the banking industry today. Beyond her role as President and CEO at Swedbank, one of the leading banks in Sweden, she is also President of the Swedish Banker’s Association—a position she took over from SEB’s former CEO Annika Falkengren in 2017. After 30 years of working at Swedbank, she has found her company’s core values,
and its culture have largely merged with her own. Swedbank is an inclusive bank with 7,4 million private customers and 622 000 corporate and institutional customers, it makes Swedbank the bank for the many and Sweden’s largest bank seen to the number of customers. Swedbank has a long history of strategic work devoted to gender equality, and the results of the effort are clear. Since 2013, Swedbank has gone from having
29% women in top executive positions to achieving an equal distribution of men and women in 2017. SACCNY got the chance to interview the changemaker Bonnesen, and discuss the top priorities for Swedbank and for the Swedish Bankers’ Association; how technology will influence the future of banking, how to achieve gender equality; and many more.
State of Banking As compared to your 30-plus years’ experience in the banking industry, what do you think of the state of the industry today? Honestly, I must say that there has never been a more exciting time to be in the banking industry than today. Granted, my journey in the banking industry has been amazing so far. Before I was appointed President and CEO of Swedbank in 2016, I took on several key positions within the institution such as Head of Swedish Banking; Head of Baltic Banking; Chief Audit Executive; Head of Internal Audit; and Head of Global Financial Institutions and Trade Finance. However, technology is revolutionizing the world. With greater efficiency and more new possibilities, customers’ needs and behavior are rapidly changing as well. As a result, this makes for some interesting days for me like never before.
The Future How do you think technology will impact the future workforce and what will Swedbank do to keep up? Since we are right in the middle of this major shift, where digitization is quickly influencing customer behavior and needs within our industry and society at large, there are already some notable impacts on the workplace. For instance, with the help of AI, we can help our customers with simpler cases more efficiently, which we currently do through our chat bot ”Nina”. This effectively frees up more time for customer meetings. Although no one knows how AI and other technologies will fully develop in the long run, we know it will play a big part. Needless to say, technology is and always will be a great tool.
Gender Equality How did you lead Swedbank to winning the prize for gender equality last year by Finansförbundet and BAO? I believe long-term vision and persistence are keys to our success. Our results come from long-term strategic work that started long before I was appointed President and CEO, but it is true that we continued with the questions and never let go. To me, the concept of equality matters. Therefore, one of the things our bank does consistently is to educate managers on all levels. Also, we always keep an eye out for unfair pay differentials in Sweden, and conduct strategic reviews accordingly. “We are the bank for the many and that must obviously be reflected in a clear way.”
Succeed in Banking For someone looking to start a career in banking, can you share what makes him or her successful according to Swedbank’s values? Speaking on behalf of Swedbank, we welcome young people with different backgrounds and nationalities. In terms of skills, it is great if you specialize in service design, robotics, behavioral science and computer science. But at the heart of Swedbank, we want people who are open, simple and caring. Last but definitely not least—at the end of the day, a successful employee at Swedbank always makes the customer feel special, and meet every customer at their specific needs. We must always keep in mind that our core business is to satisfy and take care of our customers through different needs during a life cycle.
Top Agenda Since your appointment as President of the Swedish Banker’s Association in 2017, what is the priority agenda for you and the rest of the board? There is a lot on the plate for the Swedish Bankers’ Association but trust is always a top priority. Given the entire society needs to trust those who deal with savings, loans and payments, we at the Swedish Banker’s Association understand that our work within the profitable, sound and sustainable banking sector comes with many responsibilities. To build that trust, we need to be transparent in the way we act and communicate, plus acting in consent with everybody—the sector, the authorities, politicians—who could shape opinion to safeguard the trust and financial stability of our system.
Birgitte Commitments President and CEO of Swedbank, President for the Swedish Banker’s Association,
Question Closest to Heart Equal opportunities regardless of sex, origin, age, religion etc. I am proud to represent the bank for the many households and the many companies!
Recipe for Success Passion and hard work
The executive women’s luncheon 2018 Women as Agents for Change
“If we can achieve a 75% global inclusion rate of women in the workforce by 2025, we could raise our total earnings to approximately $12 Trillion. That is equivalent to 11 percent of global GDP.” –Caroline Leksell Cooke 1.
Women are good for business
1. Jessica Löfström, ExpanderaMera, Susanne Najafi, BackingMinds, Lena Apler,
The importance and benefits of including more women in the workforce was widely discussed. As pointed out by our distinguished speakers, gender equality is not just a matter of morality, but also an economic necessity that generates greater opportunities.
Collector AB & Maria Mattson Mähl, AlphaCE
2. Caroline Leksell Cooke, Elekta AB
3. Anna ThroneHolst, SACCNY
4. Pia Anderberg, Axel Johnson
5. Elisabet Lundgren, Linklaters
6. Jennifer Florido, PwC
female business networks
1. Anna-Clara Af Ekenstam, PwC, Elisabet Lundgren Linklaters, Jennifer Florido, PwC
2. Madeleine Barck
Professional female networks are considered vital to women in business. It provides a platform for executives to offer motivation and support, serving as mentors while challenging one another in a meaningful yet inspiring way.
Grand Hôtel, Pia Djupmark, Grand Hôtel, Pia Rylander, Grand Hôtel
3. Nina Ekelund, Haga Initiative, with friend
4. Annika Rembe, The Swedish Institute
Thank you to all participants 2.
”Together we can use our platforms, our entrepreneurships, our minds and our networks to make a change!” –Anna Ryott
Social entrepreneurship It is time to view global problems as opportunities, as saving the world and making money go hand-in-hand. Speakers agreed that women can lead this transformation, shifting our moneydriven society to focusing on improving the future.
1. 1. Marie Wall, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation & Anna Ryott, Norrsken Foundation
2. Nadja Abbas, Stockholm School of Economics & Anneli Sundström, Citibank
3. Anna Breman,
Thanks to our ewc partners 29
Check out what the Chamber has been up to recently the future of retail Apr 19
the Executive womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s luncheon May 3
We congratulate Yvonne ThunellMentor Award Recipient
Breakfast seminar with peter strandell, Nasdaq May 11
lunch seminar with alf karlsson
SACCNYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mentor Program 10 Year Anniversary Celebration May 10
GDPR with mannheimer swartling 30
At this interactive breakfast seminar with Peter Strandell, Senior Vice President and Group Treasurer for Nasdaq, we discussed the current state of the market and key developments to follow in 2018.
EACC SPRING NETWORKING Reception
An inspiring panel of speakers from Fjällräven, J. Lindeberg USA and the Lexington Company convened at Fjällräven’s popular SoHo store, and
discussed the future of retail, including its challenges and ways to overcome them.
Visit www.saccny.org/events to see our upcoming Events
SACCNY’s Mentor Program 10 Year Anniversary gathered previous program participants to mingle and celebrate ten years of meaningful connections and share successful mentoring experiences.
During this year’s EWC luncheon (reported on page 28), Yvonne Thunell—Founder of Thunell & Partners and Chairman of Mentor Foundation—was named winner of the Mentor Award for her tireless support of women in international business.
During the breakfast seminar with law firm Mannheimer Swartling, we learned more about EU’s new policy General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how to comply.
In collaboration with SEB, we discussed the topics digitization, housing and the future of smart cities in an exclusive lunch seminar with keynote speaker—State Secretary Alf Karlsson.
Over 400 representatives from various member Chambers of the EuropeanAmerican Chamber of Commerce gathered for the annual spring networking event
Young Professionals: Tour at Our/New York Distillery
at the renowned scenic Central Park Boathouse.
In an interactive innovation session with thought leader and author, Magnus Penker and his company Innovation360, we discussed ways to prepare for a future of constant change.
innovation circle with innovation360
SACCNY’s Young Professionals were invited for a tour at Our/New York, the first legal distillery in Manhattan since the prohibition.
We’ll make sure you will never be the same again. The true impact of the changes caused by digitalisation and globalisation is mind boggling. Disruption is now perceived by many as the new normal and the competition is fiercer than ever. At PwC we realise that in order to change others, we have to change ourselves. We are now transforming and reshaping our core identity by offering new services. Globally, we are joining forces with specialists who offer unique insights within transformation, brand innovation, consumer behaviour and digitalisation.
Your industry is changing forever. With us, you can too.
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