An equal world is an enabled world: Jen and Trine

10 Mar 2020

Celebrating women’s achievement across our business for International Women’s Day (8 March) we are catching up with some of our inspirational women to hear what gender equality means to them. All this week we will be sharing our interviews with them asking them about their career journey, what this year’s theme ‘an equal world is an enabled world’ means to them, and what advice they would give to their 12-year old selves.

Today, meet Jen, our Managing Director - Design based in Leeds, UK  and Trine, our Commercial Director based in Oslo, Norway.

What was your career path? How did you get to where you are today?
I spent the first decade of my career as a lawyer in private practice before moving in-house. I joined another engineering consultancy as their head of legal in 2008 and moved into an operational role leading their environment team in 2015. I joined RPS to be part of a strong leadership team so that I could continue to learn and develop and get exposure to other sectors in our industry.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is ‘an equal world is an enabled world’  – what does that mean to you?
For me an equal world is an enabled world because there is a huge untapped potential in our industry given the low levels of females in our sector overall – especially in senior roles. Engineering resource and talent is in short supply and the evidence is clear that more gender balance leads to better stronger more profitable businesses.

What advice would you give your 12-year old self?
I would try and explain what it means to have what we now know as a growth mind set – always believe in yourself and in your own ability to overcome any obstacles that are put in your way – a ‘can do’ positive, determined attitude, a good brain, a lot of energy and people skills can go a long way! Never be afraid of speaking out for what you believe in and challenging the status quo.

What was your career path? How did you get to where you are today?
I am an experienced commercial director with a demonstrated history of analytical and project management work for the Norwegian Ministry of Finance and later the management consulting industry. I hold two masters degrees from Norway and Belgium and an executive management programme title from INSEAD, France.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is ‘an equal world is an enabled world’ – what does that mean to you?
The theme has always been very important to me: I grew up with strong female role models around me, and now I promote equality in my relationships with family, friends and colleagues. Equality is also to me very much a business and society issue. Gender equality is essential for companies, economies and societies to excel to reach their full potential.

What advice would you give your 12-year old self?
You can be anything you like. Just be good at it and remember to take care of the people surrounding you.

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