Michael: Karen, you are part of the group of women in our “Empowering Women Today” section here on MOTION. Thank you for your involvement and thank you for your open words. You are working at Microsoft here in Europe, could you kindly explain to our readers your current role, please?
Karen: I advise different stakeholders on their digital strategy and transformation, from Directors to C-level, from the very basic components of digitalisation up to disruptive technologies and new revenue streams. Right now I am focused on manufacturing, government and energy, but I typically work cross-industries. The exposure to different industries also allows you to bring well-established technologies in one industry to other industries in which the maturity is very low.
Michael: Could you briefly introduce us to challenges you were or are still facing in your career - obviously your part in the Magazine covers a much more detailed view on these.
Karen: I faced many challenges – I don’t think I can count them on both hands – but the most interesting one was working on building my self-confidence, attending several different workshops to learn how to speak up, and be heard. Developing leadership skills is an eternal fine-tuning that also changes according to the time.
Michael: Is it difficult to recruit women in the mobility scene?
Karen: Being fully transparent, the team is actively working on recruiting more women into the role of Digital Advisor but we are not that many yet. Consequently, what I like about “being a woman in this role” is that very often you can be the first to do something. If we remove “woman” from the equation, it is overall a great role: working on implementing these strategies often has a visible impact on society, it is always changing and challenging.
Michael: What is your dream for female leadership?
Karen: My dream is that one day female leadership will be just leadership, that we will reach equality, equity, not only amongst women, but amongst minorities as well. There are so many opportunities out there, but there is a lot of work to be done.
Many thanks for this quick introduction here on MOTION. If you’d like to find out more about Karen’s views on female leadership and her recommendations for other women, you’ll find the exclusive insights in our MOTION Magazine Edition One.
Photos courtesy of Karen Pesse.