“Diversity enriches the working environment and strengthens the business”

Anette Willumsen works as Senior Advisor at Intrum at Intrum. She has shared some reflections about diversity and leadership.

Why is diversity important in professional life?

Diversity is an important part of our society, thus also important to be reflected in the professional life. For me, diversity does not only include gender, but also other aspects such as experience, nationality, ethnicity, age etc. It enriches the working environment and strengthens the business.

Do you think women lead differently than men? If yes, how?

I believe that there are some differences. Women tend to include the people dimension to a greater extent in their leadership style. There are many female leaders want to deliver on all parameters 100% and here we can learn from our male peers that we should be happy with “good enough”.

How would you describe your way of leading?

I have two important dimensions in my leadership strategy; our employees and our clients. I strive to have a very open, transparent and direct way of leading so nobody need to wonder about my opinion. My experience is that this gives people confidence and safety. In my leadership I also set clear goals and align with my direct reports and then delegate responsibility, so they can continue develop themselves.

My best tip for young female talents is to say yes to the opportunities that arise, you never know where this will take you
Anette Willumsen, Senior Advisor at Intrum at Intrum.

What is your most important tip for young talents starting their careers?

Be openminded and curious. Make sure to learn and widen your horizon from colleagues working within different parts of the organization, and to understand the commercial side of the business. Say yes to the opportunities that arise, you never know where this will take you.

Have you noticed any differences in challenges between women and men in leadership positions?

To be a bit blunt, I believe that male leaders in general are a bit braver and take risks that most women would not take.

What gives you most pride in your work at Intrum?

The important role Intrum has in the society and our responsibility to lead the way to a sound economy for individuals, our clients and society at large. I’m extra proud when I visit our contact centers (of course pre-covid) and sit together with a call center agent and listen to the conversation he or she has with a customer. I’m very impressed of how my colleagues are handling the difficult financial situations some people find themselves in and how they manage to connect and help this person.