Camilla Dewoon communicates more than sustainability
10 MARCH 2022
A true team player with zero connection to the transport industry to start with, and that has appreciated the not-so-great managers just as much as the good ones. For our Head of Communications and Sustainability Camilla Dewoon, the key is to understand and partner with the customer, and deliver.
Nearly 25 years at Scania wasn’t the plan for Camilla Dewoon when she first came here. When she was nearly done with her Business studies in Uppsala, she fulfilled a dream of hers by writing her thesis at a large, global industrial company. “I wanted to know what it would be like to join. Why did it appeal to people to be a part of something that big? To me, it was a mystery to be solved.” That company was Scania.
Core values appealed
Camilla appreciated the openness, and how easy it was to share her opinions. The respect for the individual made her really like the place. And just like that, she applied for a job. But it could’ve ended there. She was told it was not likely she would turn out as the market coordinator for countries south of Sahara. “I didn’t have anything working for me. I was young, a woman, with a degree in Business and my parents didn’t work at Scania nor was Södertälje my home town. A bit of an uphill climb, to say the least.” But somehow the stars aligned, and she ended up being offered the job.
At Scania, many employees stay for a very long time, sometimes their whole careers. “I was young, and a bit worried that I would be stuck. So after five years I thought I’d call it a day.” That decision wasn’t well-received. “Instead of leaving, I got an opportunity to be a project manager for the launch of PGR-trucks. A once-in-a-decade-chance, so I couldn’t miss out.”
The years went on, and after twenty years at Scania, it was finally time for a change. She’d done sales, product marketing, product planning, processes all over the world. So, Camilla decided to have a go at a job outside Scania. “I have trouble accepting a job just for the sake of it. I need it to hit a nerve, to be passionate about it.” Anyhow, she started working with search for an American company focusing on finding the right person for Executive teams and Supervisory Boards for international companies. Then, the current Head of Communications at Scania had just left. You can probably see where this is going.
With her knowledge of the company, and a job that was interesting, she was back in the game. And when the position was taken to Executive Board, with sustainability added to it, Camilla was hooked. “I enjoy to have the whole perspective, to analyse target groups and see to everybody’s interests. My drive is to deliver. Many times we need to ask ourselves: who is our customer? Who needs something from us, and what can we do for that person?”
Now, when she was exactly where the decisions were made, she appreciates our non-hierarchic leadership even more. During her career, Camilla has encountered all kinds of managers: “The hard ones are the managers that I have learnt most from. The ones I found annoying. Because they forced me to challenge myself, and find out things about me and appreciate different kind of leadership. On the other hand, the lovely ones are equally valuable, so the mixture has proven to be useful.”
Something she realised early on was that she was a team player. “I think everyone has got a story, and that if you share things, challenge, show your opinions, that is something that will benefit all.”
That is why she really urges everyone to interact with each other and other brands in the group: “There is so much competence and knowledge!” That is probably also a clue to why she feels watching someone grow can actually give her the shivers: “To see something really happen, we need that. The dream is a culture of openness and transparency, where we can allow and help each other grow.”
All work, but also play
Camilla wants to learn, whether it’s at work or in her spare time. “I want to be out and about, but can also enjoy to be lazy and read a magazine. To spend time with my family in our summer cottage is true relaxation.“
The curiosity comes back when she describes how Scania will remain a successful company: “We need to be open and curios and realise that sometimes, we don’t have all the answers. It is good that we have a path to follow, but we have to embrace competence from outside our company, and listen to other opinions. I think it would also pay off to be a bit braver.”
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