In light of International Women’s Day, we’d like to take the opportunity to introduce some of the incredibly inspiring women within ARC, and talk to them about diversity and the importance of role models.


Frida Lundh

Head of People & Culture, ARC

Frida’s passion is to contribute to a type of leadership that makes change happen, without causing people to break. She is the author of the book “Cirkulärt Ledarskap”, which promotes a truly sustainable leadership. She is a highly appreciated colleague, coach and lecturer thanks to her energy, inspiring attitude and heart.

What is the ARC Diversity Manifest?

In short, it’s been a way for us to define and set up goals for our work with equality and diversity. It’s a manifest that all our Managing Directors stand behind and that is communicated in all companies within ARC. We want everyone working at an ARC company to know what the goals are. The Diversity Manifest reminds us to continuously look at our systems and processes, work on our communication and also work proactively with supporting women in our organisation.

What is ARCs ambition and goal when it comes to diversity and equality?

We are going to keep working on being an attractive employer, continue working with interesting clients and projects and maintain a culture where we work actively with our employees. We’re simply hell bent on creating an environment in which everyone wants to stay, grow and develop.

We’ve also set up a goal to be at least 30% women on all seniority levels within all companies at ARC by 2023. We currently have about 45% women in the group, but at the moment we have a larger portion of men on more senior levels. Having female, senior role models within the group is a key factor in our continued growth.

Can you give some examples of how ARC companies comply with the Diversity Manifest?

When it comes to recruitment processes, we ensure that we have at least one woman in every recruitment team. This is crucial during the selection process, but it is also an incredibly important part of the candidate experience.

We spend hundreds of hours every year to ensure that all our employees get adequate feedback to be able to grow within the company. We’re determined to keep being a meritocracy. Our career framework is meant to provide structure and clear expectations for the different levels. You’ll get reviewed and promoted based on competence and performance, regardless of what level you’re on. We also have a transparent pay structure.

Marie Horneman

Senior Manager, Conversionista

With her calm and structured ways, Marie creates great conditions for the accounts and collaborations that she manages. She’s highly appreciated by both colleagues and clients. Marie is a key leader at Conversionista and is involved in driving development forward for the entire company. Marie is simply awesome!


Who inspires you and why?

The first person that comes to mind is Renata Chlumska. She sets nearly impossible goals, and is then very structured – she makes a plan and trains really hard to reach them. She also seems like a very humble and considerate person in general.

Many things need to happen when it comes to equality. Anything in particular that comes to mind?

I think it’s important that we don’t focus only on the minority, but also work with the majority. Inclusion and integration are central. Everyone needs to be involved in, and work consciously, with this issue.

When it comes to recruitment processes it’s essential that we have both women and men involved in the process, as people tend to appreciate people that are similar to them. Representation matters.

Why do you think role models are important?

When people who we feel similar to achieve or do something good, we realize that we can do the same thing. Seeing is believing! I have been inspired by other women in many situations, both privately and in my working life. I think we sometimes underestimate the power of role models.


Margarita Testa

Senior Account Director, Animal

Margarita is a Renaissance woman. It might say “Account Director” in her contract, but according to her colleagues, she is just as much a strategist and creator. Most of all, Margarita is described as a stable, wise and genuinely likeable person. We think all our clients would agree with this. We know that everyone at Animal would.

What does International Women’s Day mean for you?

To me, it is really more of a symbolic day. One day where women and the fight for equality take centre stage and when it can’t be ignored. However, the work towards equality is a year-round, day in day out, effort.

From my end, my goal is to keep on pushing for gender equality and diversity in my own small way. To try and break as many glass ceilings as possible. Or at least to leave some major cracks so that the next woman who tries has a bigger chance to just smash it to smithereens.

Who inspires you? In what way?

My middle-aged friends and my young(er) ones.

Middle-aged has a negative connotation, but I find that the women in my circle of friends of this ‘age’ are at a stage where they are living life on their own terms, unapologetically. I think that after a certain age, we stop caring about what people say, and realize that we can only be who we are, not pretending, not adapting our behaviour, clothes, life choices based on stereotypes or societal expectations. The women in my circle are independent, funny, strong, cute, girly, sassy, raising children with partners or on their own and also choosing to be child-free. Their stories are very different, but what we have in common is a strong feeling of community, acceptance and encouragement.

My younger friends and colleagues are inspiring in a different way. First of all, I think they are way smarter and more aware and informed than I ever was at their age. Through their actions and attitudes, they inspire me to do more, mentor more, and most importantly to learn more from them.

And, my mom, of course. Queen of absolutely everything, independent and outspoken to the bone.

What can employers do to create an environment where women want to stay and grow?

The first one is awareness. Look around you when you’re in a meeting, for example, especially leadership or board meetings. Why? Because we know that these tend to be male-dominated environments, and what happens at the top trickles down the organization. Ask the questions: Does everyone look like me? Is this group of people disproportionately male? If so, how do you approach it? By speaking up. Say these things out loud. Too much of the conversation around gender equality, and/or the lack of it, is led by women. The weight should instead be on our male colleagues to lead these conversations. Finally, listen to female voices. It is not enough to say: we need more women, and then when the women are at the table, they are not given the space to speak. Or, when they do speak, they are not given attention and respect. Look around. Speak up. Take action. And listen. These seem like easy and “common sense” things to do – and that’s because they are.

Susanne Mideklint

Senior Project Manager, Cupole

In many ways, Susanne is a polestar for her colleagues, leading the way to achieve beyond expectations. Tackling the most complex strategic challenges by chewing analysis and logic combined with openness and innovation is just part of the fuel. Doing all of this together with the team, high-fiving each member as a project is successfully delivered, completes the picture.


Who inspires you and why?

I’m inspired by people with the ability to make decisions solely based on a gut feeling – but also by those who let pure logic guide them through life. I’m lucky enough to have role models across the spectrum around me. My sisters, my friends, my husband and my son. Furthermore, in my job I get to work with colleagues and decision-makers that both impress and inspire me. Every day.

Why do you think role models are important?

People make thousands of decisions every day. Most of these decisions are made on the same grounds as they were made yesterday, which means we get the exact same results. Role models are needed to break certain habitual patterns and trains of thought in order to make new decisions. That’s development.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a reminder about what should be an obvious normal state, but still just isn’t. A strange equation that doesn’t make sense logically or emotionally – and which demands active action and change.


Christine Cederstrand

Strategy Director, Kurppa Hosk

Christine Cederstrand is Strategy Director at Kurppa Hosk. With 30 years in the business, there are very few things she doesn’t know about branding. Her colleagues call her the oracle.

You have made a successful career within this business. Have you faced any barriers as a woman and how did you overcome them?

The barriers have a lot to do with being taken seriously, or as seriously as your male colleagues. It was especially apparent when I was younger. It is easy to fall into the ‘duktig flicka’ (good girl) trap, where you work behind the scenes but don’t get any credit or have the impact you want. I’ve had to work against my introverted nature and become more vocal. It helps to focus on results and delivering quality – then you know you have to speak up and make your voice heard when things are going off in the wrong direction.

Who inspires you and why?

I’m inspired by young people who are curious, open-minded and know stuff I don’t.

What are your thoughts on role models?

I don’t really think of role models as individuals – more in terms of what you can learn from someone. Even a person who does something really bad can be a “role model” if you reflect and learn from what you experience.

One reflection is that it is important to not be too sure of yourself. If you see leadership as always being 100% convinced and clear, you will become authoritarian. It’s better to let people in on your insecurities, while also showing that you are willing to take responsibility for finding a way forward. Then people will truly learn to rely on themselves.

Kajsa Skytt

Digital specialist, Keybroker

Kajsa Skytt has a law degree, but decided to change careers to become an expert within SEM and Social Media. She is passionate about solving her clients’ challenges and helping them reach their goals. Kajsa never hesitates to share her knowledge and is always quick to support her colleagues. A fantastic colleague who spreads warm and positive energy around her.


Who inspires you and in what way?

I’m inspired by leaders and role models that see typically female attributes as strengths. Listening to everyone, being concerned with the well-being of all individuals in a group, and taking responsibility for how one’s actions affect others are all fantastic qualities in a leader – and should hardly be considered as signs of weakness.

What can employers do to create an environment where women want to stay and grow?

First of all, I think it’s important to point out that equality is not just a question for women. I view it as a success factor at a company. Working towards equality requires equal responsibility – this is something we all have to work towards.

Of course, there’s the obvious things – the hygiene factors – such as asking men for how long they’re going to be on parental leave, not if they are. But I also think we should dare to think outside of the box. Representation and equal pay are extremely important, of course, but there are other factors to also take into consideration. How do we communicate with each other? Who gets to talk in meetings or in different forums? Are we placing the same demands on our female and male colleagues? It’s important to dare to question macho cultures – and to be acknowledged when you do.

If you could share a piece of advice with other women - what would it be?

Make mistakes and communicate frankly. You don’t have to aim to please and be nice in order to be accepted. I think it’s important that women feel comfortable challenging structures and to question when something feels wrong. Even if it’s scary! If you hear that a male colleague is repeating something that a female colleague has said without giving her cred for it – call him out. Actually, that piece of advice isn’t just for other women.


Andrea Teodorowitz

Advisor, Curamando

Andrea has over 10 years of experience working with marketing and e-com. She is a highly regarded colleague who combines depth and breadth in her skills. She has high energy and a genuine interest in e-commerce and digital sales, which means that she quickly becomes aware of new challenges and solutions to create value for customers and the company.

Who inspires you and in what way?

I’m inspired by the amazing managers I’ve had through the years, both male and female. Managers that believed in me, and saw my potential when I didn’t always see it myself. Their leadership and belief in me as an individual has inspired me and shaped me into the professional I am today.

I’m also inspired by feminine leadership. Finding my strengths and my voice has shaped the way that I lead myself and others. I don’t have to lead based on prevailing masculine norms to be accepted, promoted, or to reach my goals. Instead, I practice to tune in to my feminine core which is softer, more playful – yet so powerful. This gives me energy and drives me forward without draining me. I’d truly encourage all women to explore it.

How do you think diversity benefits companies?

Well, research and statistics all point in the same direction. Diversity benefits both individuals and companies on multiple levels. We all see risks and opportunities differently, and through multiple perspectives, we can drive ourselves and organisations forward.

Having diversity on paper isn’t enough though. I believe that the key is contrasting views, regardless of gender or origin. We should encourage different ways of leading teams, pushing issues and solving problems. If only one type of leadership and problem solving is rewarded, diversity loses its power.

If you could share a piece of advice with other women - what would it be?

Believe in yourself for who you are. Find a friend, a colleague or a mentor to encourage you when you’re hesitant. Making a career doesn’t mean we have to grow into some pre-made template – it means we grow into our own vivid selves.