Selma Klipic, Production Manager at Sandvik division Rock Tools, believes that great leadership includes recognizing people’s efforts and also challenging and giving them responsibility. This philosophy has brought her to the Female Leader of the Future 2021 top list.
Every year, the Swedish executive trade union Ledarna (Leaders) list women they consider to be Female Leaders of the Future. In May 2021, Selma Klipic, Production Manager at the Västberga site in Sweden, was included on this prominent list.
Congratulations Selma! First off, the classic question: how does it feel?
I am surprised and honored. Throughout the years I have been inspired and motivated by the women on the list of Female Leaders of the Future but also all my wonderful colleagues and the organizations I have worked in. They have challenged, developed and let me thrive and have made this possible.
Can you share your view on leadership, and some things in your personal leadership that make you successful?
I believe that great leaders have an ability to recognize people’s contributions and show them that everyone’s contribution matters for us to achieve a good result. I challenge my team and give them responsibility, but at the same time I am there to support them when needed. I am honest and transparent in my communication and I think that builds trust.
Before joining Sandvik Rock Tools in 2018, you held several manager roles in the Volvo Group – why did you choose a career in engineering and industry from the start?
I am very curious and want to understand how things work and are connected, and engineering is about just that I would say. Also, both engineering and industry are quite broad and offer a lot of development opportunities and possibility to constantly learn new things.
What attracted you to join Sandvik?
I liked the strong focus on advanced research, development and innovation. Also, the fact that the business is driven with sustainability in mind is important for me. I also appreciate that we are such a global company and to be able to work in a multi-cultural environment.
In your view, what are the most important things for attracting female future leaders?
I believe it is important to show that women “belong” in the industry equally natural as men and that we as an organization rethink systems and challenge assumptions. It is crucial to constantly look for unconscious bias in the organization and question how it affects opportunities and motivation for women and to educate people within the organizations to recognize this and work on it.
What advice would you like to share with girls/young females that consider a career as a leader?
Go for it! I think we girls need to train ourselves to apply a “growth mindset”, meaning that you thrive on challenges and don’t see failure as an evidence of not being good enough but rather as a springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. You might not have it all figured out at the moment but that is not the point. What is the fun in that? You will learn and develop along the way!
You are the second person in a row from Sandvik being included in the Female Leaders of the Future, since Nina Åxman, Vice President Global Operations at division Rock Tools, won the award last year. What do you think is the success factor with regards to female leadership and talent?
Diversity and inclusion are rooted in our culture and it is on the agenda in everything we do. It is seen as a success factor and the management has shown commitment and dedication to create a workplace with equal opportunities. Through different incentives all employees are involved and accountable. Our work includes trainings, ambitious roadmaps for diversity and inclusion and recognizing women within the organization. A key success factor is having role models within the organization that you can identify with which shows that diversity and inclusion matters for real.