Visma is excited and proud to announce that our talented Director, Berit Braut, is named one of Norway’s 50 most prominent tech women in 2019. For the third consecutive year, the NHO Association Abelia and ODA-network highlighted leading women in the tech industry on the International Women’s Day.
– The women on the list are great role models – both for women and men -, managing director in Abelia, Håkon Haugli, says.
The purpose of the announcement is to accentuate talented female managers, entrepreneurs and professionals in the technology industry, to inspire and influence more women to choose technology and leadership.
Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, opened the event by stating that in order to solve the global challenges we are facing today, that especially the youth generation is genuinely concerned with, we must do so through technology.
Enthusiastic about tech
– It is very inspiring to work within an industry that truly is shaping the future through technology for so many people. Having the opportunity to take part in this technological development, and not only consume technology, really drives me, Berit says.
Berit began her career in Visma as a Management Trainee in 2009 and is today a part of the Division Management in Visma Enterprise as Customer Success Director. After ten years in Visma she has developed a strong passion for technology and leadership.
– Being a part of a company like Visma, that simplifies and make a difference in everyday life for students, employees and citizens across all over Northern Europe and Latin America, make me very humble and proud, Berit says.
Diversity is vital in a developing society
In a time where technology offers an abundance of opportunities to solve challenges faced today and in the future, diversity is imperative for the development of our society.
“Most of us are consumers of technology, and I strongly believe that we as consumers will get better products if those who drive the technological development also represent the whole consumer base, and not just parts of it.”
– To stay competitive in today’s marketplace we must know and identify complex customers needs. As Visma’s customers represent a mix of men and women, an improved gender balance is therefore essential to achieve market knowledge in order to deliver best in class products, services and experiences. However, it is important to stress that diversity and equality are not all about gender, Berit says.
Berit explains that since Visma has truly become an international company, our power is naturally distributed outside of the Visma HQ in Norway. Hence, focusing on giving opportunities to talents across all our markets is essential to ensure diversity also on an international level.
Tech is so much more than writing code
– Not only do I find technology exciting and fun, but being a part of this industry gives a unique opportunity to take part in shaping the future for so many people, which is truly inspiring. Today, new technology refers to all parts of society and industries, both in private and business life, Berit says.
“Regardless of whether you work within tech or not, you need to relate to new technology one way or the other.”
Berit is the second woman from Visma to be highlighted as a prominent woman within the tech industry, together with Liza Collin who was on the list in 2017. They both think it is important to emphasize that tech is so much more than being able to write code.
As technology is integrated into all parts of society, Berit believes it is important to be curious and willing to learn, and also have the courage to enter the tech industry without being afraid of lacking the right background or experience. Neither Berit or Liza holds an educational background within IT and technology; Berit holds a business degree, while Liza has a degree in law.
– Many of those working in the tech industry contribute in various other ways. Of course, we need talented programmers, but we also need people who understand how to apply the technology and what it means for the market and society as a whole. That is also technology, Liza explain.
– Almost all of us have a passion for something, and whether your passion is related to health, food, children or construction, you have a unique opportunity to embrace the revolution tech can lead to within your specific area of expertise, Berit says.
Female role models matter – especially in tech!
For both Berit and Liza, having female role models to look up to has been important over the course of their career in the tech industry.
Liza points out that to be able to impact the strategy and development, you need to dare to speak up and be heard. Having role models who have gone before you means you know it can be done.
“You can’t be what you can’t see.”
– Without role models in tech, it can be difficult for young women to picture themselves in the tech industry. Female role models can lead to a change of perceptions, as the tech industry in many ways still is identified with male leadership. For me, entering tech at the age of 23, it was truly inspiring to see that Visma had women in many of the strategic positions in top management, Berit says.
Norway’s 50 most prominent women in tech this year.
Treat diversity and equality as KPI’s
Berit believes that in order to succeed with diversity and gender equality in business, it needs to be treated as a priority in the top management.
In Visma, both CEO, Øystein Moan, and Deputy CEO, Merete Hverven, are truly committed to initiatives and actions related to increasing diversity within Visma. This means having a systematic approach to diversity initiatives, which is essential to ensure that the focus on diversity and gender equality is adopted throughout the whole organisation.
– We have several activities to attract new talent and support our female employees. In example, we have networks and mentor programs specifically targeting females. In addition, we have several activities in conjunction with our sponsorships SHE conference, #SheGotThis and Women in Tech, Merete Hverven says.
– In the tech industry, the people within the organisation are the most valuable asset, and attracting and retaining talents is crucial to develop our business. I strongly believe that we increase our chances of finding the right talent if we are searching amongst the whole talent pool rather than just looking in parts of it, Berit ends.