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The female leaders at Meltwater share what leadership is to them

We asked a few female leaders at Meltwater Finland to share with us about their career at Meltwater and what leadership means to them.

 

Emilia Eräste, Account Executive (former Team Leader)

Johanna Kivilahti, Key Account Team Leader | Client Success

Elina Westerlund, GE Director

Katariina Hämäläinen, Managing Director | Client Acquisition

Miia Hämäläinen, Managing Director | Social Media

 

Did you always know you wanted to build a career in leadership?

 

Miia – Both yes and no. Ever since I was young, I’ve always practiced a lot of team sports, so it’s been quite clear to me that I want to work with people. Though, it wasn’t until later that it became obvious to me that a career in leadership would be a natural choice for me.

 

Elina – I never really thought about building a career in leadership but through my sports background I’ve developed a sense of carrying responsibility and working with other people to achieve a common goal. I’ve always felt it’s been interesting to me to help others achieve goals and see them succeed.

 

Katariina – It hasn’t really been clear to me. Especially when I was younger, I had lots of different career dreams that had nothing to do with business or leadership. It wasn’t actually until I started working at Meltwater, that I became aware that I really have those skills needed to lead people and that I enjoy it.

 

What has been most challenging in leading people so far?

 

Emilia – That a team often is made up of so many different personalities and they all require slightly different types of leadership. How to adapt to everyone’s needs is challenging, in the end of the day, I’m only human too.

 

Elina – Time management for sure, that you manage to pay attention to all your team members. And second, to recognize that everyone has different life situations, and everyone feels different every day and to take this into account in your leadership, is challenging.

 

Johanna – The fact that everyone is so different. You have to be like a chameleon and change according to each person and each day. You need to know how to communicate with each person, with some you need to be very direct and with others very empathetic and soft. At the same time, you learn heaps – you learn to communicate things in different ways to different people.

 

What’s the best thing in leadership to you?

 

Katariina – All the emotions you get to experience, whether it is the successes or the failures, they are all experiences that you get to go through when you work with and lead people. It makes leadership so interesting.  

 

Miia – The fact that you get to work with other people and at best, when you see other people develop their skills and their career.

 

What advice do you have for young people who dream of a career in leadership?

 

Emilia – Don’t get stuck with one idea too much. Dare to try different things, even if it is not exactly what you imagined you would be doing in that specific moment.

 

Johanna – You just need to be super brave, open your mouth, be honest about what you want to do, don’t wait for someone to come and pick you up. Bring forth your direction and where you’re heading. Make sure you have a clear next step, don’t just float around.

 

Katariina – Things related to leadership can be practiced in many different life-areas. You can test if leadership is something you enjoy before starting your professional career. You can do it through your hobbies, or sports, or in any setting where you engage with people. You can already explore if working with people is your thing.

 

Elina – I feel that at times, especially women and girls are too critical on themselves. Where men and boys are confident they can do something and they will succeed, women think twice if they will succeed. So my advice would be to have a cheery self-confidence, positive attitude and self-belief that you can do something and that you will succeed. And then to bring your confidence forth and also demand the space you have earned.

 

Watch the video in Finnish here:

 

 

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