Scania recently hosted a visit from young engineers with leadership ambitions. They were part of the Female Leader Engineer initiative, an award for female engineering students in cooperation with six Swedish industrial companies.
Of 120 applicants, twenty have moved on to the next stage of Female Leader Engineer, with a visit to partner Scania among the items on the agenda. The winner will be announced at the end of November.
For one of the visitors, Fanny Sjöqvist, Scania is a familiar environment. She is currently participating in the Scania Student Intro programme while she continues studying at the Institute of Technology at Linköping University. She applied to the Female Leader Engineer programme because she saw it as a unique opportunity to meet interesting companies and people, and because she wants to develop as a leader.
“I have experience of coaching children as a tennis and sailing instructor, and I have been a student president and been responsible for major events and projects.”
The winner of Female Leader Engineer receives a tailor-made traineeship at Scania and elsewhere. Fanny has always looked for leadership challenges, and sees how these have contributed to her development:
“My ability to find a balance within the group in which everyone feels secure and involved has really developed. I am now also better able to deal with stress and can handle unforeseen situations differently than before.”
The visit to Scania is part of an intensive period for the finalists, who, in addition to visiting the other partner companies, will undergo interviews and personality tests and be asked to solve various case studies, all to provide an insight into their potential roles at the companies.
Madeleine Norrman works at Scania Academy and acts as Scania’s project manager for Female Leader Engineer.
“Scania participates in Female Leader Engineer because we are keen to recruit young, competent people with an interest in leadership. We also see the value of a gender balance in senior positions. Employees with a sense of participation and development opportunities contribute to greater efficiency and quality. One element in achieving this is more young, inspirational women in senior positions in business.”
For Fanny Sjöqvist, Female Leader Engineer provides an excellent forum for continuing to develop as a leader.
“I look forward to taking on a leadership role in the future. As a person, I am organised and straightforward, and I can easily see the complete picture, which is something I will bring with me in my leadership roles.”
She has also gained insight into the challenges ahead of her.
“I also respect the difficulties inherent in successful leadership.”
The aim of Female Leader Engineer, in cooperation with Swedish industrial companies, is to increase the proportion of women in senior positions in business by building a base of young engineers with potential for future leadership roles, among other measures.