In recognition of International Women's Day on 8 March, News from Vattenfall is highlighting the work of Vattenfall women all week long.
Today we're in Kolding to meet Mette Korsager. She is Head of Onshore Development Denmark at BA Wind and in charge of nine people. The team is responsible for the development of all onshore wind farms in Denmark; they're involved in everything from choosing a location, site agreements, purchasing land, permits from public authorities, EIA* approvals etc.
Once the final investment decision has been made, the responsibility transfers to Engineering/Construction, but her team is involved right up to the point when the wind farm is ready for operation.
Mette Korsager has worked for Vattenfall for three years and says she has never felt discriminated against, unfairly treated or the opposite because she's a woman. She emphasises that Vattenfall offers excellent working conditions and shows tolerance and respect for the individual. This creates a culture which money can't buy. That's how Vattenfall should portray itself to the outside world if it wants to attract more women, she says.
“We should show people what we do – that's enough,” she says.
Mette Korsager is ambitious and has an impressive CV. She expects her team to deliver to the best of their abilities, but she also highlights the importance of looking after your staff and meeting their needs.
“One of the most important things for me with my team – apart from clear targets – is that they enjoy coming into work. They must be happy to come to work. If they're not, then I've failed. Clearly, they'll have bad days or periods when they struggle with personal challenges, that's life, but overall they should be happy to be here. Our work must make a difference, and I don't mean in a Mother Teresa sort of a way, but we must do things that add value for the business, that have a purpose.”
If the healthy culture in the department and in the business as a whole is to be maintained, managers must take the lead. For example, she says she is very conscious of when she sends emails to her team.
“I'm well aware that many people feel they have to reply to their manager immediately, so if I'm going away and the evening before I send out a load of emails, for example, I often include in the subject line: 'Wait until tomorrow'.”
Do you consider how many women you have in your team when you're recruiting?
“No, to be quite honest I don't. When I'm recruiting I look for the 'missing link'. There are lots of people out there who have the right skills, so I want that little bit more – and that can vary. I think personality is more important than gender.”
Mette Korsager estimates there are about 10% women employed in the Kolding office and acknowledges that she would prefer this figure to be higher. But she doesn't necessarily think that it's exclusively Vattenfall's job to increase this figure. To a large extent, it's up to women themselves.
“Prioritising is key. Women often put obstacles in their own way. I see lots of exciting opportunities for women at Vattenfall. They just have to dare to go after them.”
*EIA stands for Environmental Impact Assessment.
Articles on women in energy
“Mikaela develops both technology and people”
“Vattenfall should focus on attracting exceptional people”
“We still lack female role models in leading positions”
Zoe Roberts oceanographer and storm chaser