Female Leaders: Adele Szabo
Share this article

Adele Szabo
Working with Volvo Car Austria since July 2021
Fleet & Financial Services Manager

Hi Adele, it’s great to have you here with us, could you please tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Adele Szabo; I am responsible for Fleet & Financial Services at Volvo Car Austria and I have been a passionate e-mobilist for many years. My goal, together with Volvo, is to drive the shift to sustainable and fully electric mobility. Volvo Cars was one of the first car manufacturers to commit to the goal of selling only fully electric vehicles from 2030. At Volvo Car Austria, I support and advise major business clients, not only on the appropriate models for their fleet, but also on any issues for a successful transition to electric mobility.

What made you decide to start a career in the mobility industry?

The mobility industry is still a male domain with unfortunately only a very small percentage of women. That's why I've always found it all the more challenging to gain a foothold in this industry, and what's more, it's also important for women to achieve greater visibility in the mobility industry. Starting with a balanced share of women in management positions, but also creating opportunities for female speakers at trade conventions and participation in panel discussions.

Currently, the mobility industry is undergoing a major upheaval, making it all the more exciting to be part of the change. New topics such as electric mobility and autonomous driving are bringing in new players and reshuffling the cards. In order to successfully master the challenges, creative approaches are needed, and here in particular, women and a certain diversity in the team are indispensable.

What do you value most in your job today?

At the time, I made a conscious decision to work for Volvo Car Austria and I really appreciate the fact that the company has almost 50% women in management positions. In addition, Volvo supports parents who work part-time in order to fulfill child care obligations alongside their work - the company offers very flexible working hours and models here. Another aspect is the long tradition in the field of sustainability - few people know that Volvo Cars' commitment to sustainability goes back to the 1940s and is stronger today than ever.

Which female personality inspires you when it comes to the topic of 'female leadership'?

I like to be motivated and inspired by female personalities I work with in my direct environment. The team at Volvo Car Austria has many inspiring leaders. In my opinion, Anita Elöpataki deserves special mention. She possesses qualities such as visionary thinking, empathy and decisiveness, and with her role model function not only manages to intrinsically motivate her team members, but also motivates them to pursue and achieve their goals. Committing oneself to the success of the team members and spurring them on to top performance is a sign of true greatness, and in my opinion these are important characteristics of female leadership. Unfortunately, far too few women still have the confidence to take on a leadership position.

Which car do you currently drive?

A Volvo C40.

Longest drive in an electric vehicle?

My longest drive with an electric car was from Vienna in Austria to Bad Salzungen in Germany with about 725 km.

Who would you like to have by your side for a longer electric car ride?

A drive with Greta Thunberg would certainly be fun, but also certainly interesting.

Bicycle or e-bike?

Since I like to be sporty on the road - bike.

Your message for a sustainable and smart future in mobility:

Less is more. There are numerous ways to use existing vehicles more efficiently and to build new vehicles in a more resource-conserving way. Accurate planning is important everywhere, especially when switching to e-mobility. More flexible services and networking with other environmentally friendly alternatives such as innovative sharing services, also in combination with public transport, bicycles or, for example, rental scooters, will play an increasingly important role in the future in order to meet increasingly individual requirements in the future.

Michael Brecht from MOTION Magazine talked to these amazing women in the past weeks. It is impressive to get an insight into their career paths and to understand what motivates them personally. Women have a key role in helping us make the change needed in industries such as mobility, logistics and energy. Research demonstrates the impact of women in leadership roles goes beyond profits as they focus on diversity, belonging and equity. And Iwecan tell you from our own conviction that we will only succeed in the global transformation in sustainable mobility issues if we listen to the voices of these female doers. Thus we are very happy to provide a stage for female leaders that are making an impact.  Read more about the other participating female leaders and Michael’s introduction for our MOTION Magazine Edition III, now available online in German language (only).

Illustrations courtesy of Jörn Kaspuhl for MOTION Magazine.