International Women’s Day: Keeping critical infrastructure running

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we caught up with Nadja Haakansson, VP of Industrial Applications at Siemens Energy in Africa and the Managing Director of the company’s business in Morocco, Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Always keen to challenge herself and others and to discover new and more efficient ways of working, Nadja is a role model for female engineers. Read her thoughts on pursuing a path in engineering as a woman:


1)     What does the International Women’s Day slogan, #ChooseToChallenge mean for you in your work life?


Nadja Haakansson: #ChooseToChallenge is to fearlessly and passionately make an impact and drive change for a greater cause. This also means challenging yourself and others to boldly go where we have not gone before. Only when you take the leap of imagination, will you step into a world of endless possibilities.


2)     What’s the most exciting part of your daily work and current responsibilities?    


Nadja Haakansson: I would say, interacting with so many different people; the mix of operational and the here-and-now topics, setting strategic direction for our business, and more importantly empowering people to grow and pursue their ambitions, while fulfilling our commitment to customers. Looking beyond my daily work, I’m passionate about realizing the energy transition in the world and Africa in particular, while making a difference and real contribution for people and societies. 

1)  What has been your most career-defining moment that you are proud of? 


Nadja Haakansson: Many moments stand out for me, but I would say when I took up new responsibilities within the company in Thailand. This phase had a big impact on my career progress. I am proud of what I accomplished with together with my team there, in developing our local capabilities and customer relationship.



2)  Who is your modern-day hero?


Nadja Haakansson: All great parents out there, who are doing their very best, day in and day out, to be good, supportive parents, while at the same time working hard to advance their careers and progress further.



3)  What makes you a superwoman”?


Nadja Haakansson: My ability to create a vision and inspire others to find their roles in creating this future. I believe my love for life fuels me with the energy needed to do what I do!



4)  Is there one piece of advice you wish to give all young girls thinking of starting a career in engineering?


Nadja Haakansson: Engineering gives you a platform on which you can easily build on. You don’t necessarily need to become a specialist just because you chose the engineering path. If you have a passion for it, you will find yourself with endless of possibilities to realize your dreams.