“Gender balance does not happen by itself”

“Gender balance does not happen by itself”

Sara Hermansson, Head of electric and hybrid powertrain projects, will be one of the speakers at Women in Tech, an event focusing on women in the field of technology.

Sara, you’ve been selected to speak about ongoing development and research in e-mobility, your area of expertise. How did you become involved in this field?

I’ve always been interested in cutting-edge technology and finding more sustainable means of transport. I was previously involved in developing the first fuel system for liquefied gas, which is now an available technology offered to Scania’s customers. Electrification in different forms, from partial hybridisation to full-battery electric power, will continue to gather momentum in the coming years. Hydrogen gas propulsion is another exciting emerging technology. We’re conducting several promising trials within e-mobility within my group and, what can I say, interest could not be higher from all areas of society.

Sara Hermansson, Head of electric and hybrid powertrain projects

Sara Hermansson, Head of electric and hybrid powertrain projectsStephanie Weiger 2016

You’re appearing at the “Women in Tech” event on International Women’s Day. How can we get more women interested in working in technical fields?

In my opinion, role models are of high importance. It doesn’t matter how much we are trying to tell young girls how fun tech is. If they don’t see that it’s possible for women to become a Chief Technical Officer or expert engineer, the driven women will choose businesses where their odds of being successful are better.

Industry therefore has a real responsibility to promote opportunities for women in technical professions, outlining the many attractive challenges. Finally, it’s a dual responsibility: as a women in tech I need to ensure that I don’t hold myself back due to being a minority and at the same time as a manager I have a responsibility to put diversity on the agenda and ensure that we at Scania strive for a better gender balance in teams at all levels inside the company. It will not happen by itself.

What’s your advice to young women that are considering going into technical professions?

If you want to have an impact on the future, engineer is the best career you can choose. And for those who have already started walking on this awesome road filled with challenges: keep up the good work and don’t hold yourself back. The next generation female engineers will need you to become their role model!