Role models: Catarina Ericsson

Thinking strategically

I joined the Swedish firm in 1989 as an auditor. I worked mainly in financial services and also in the IT audit group. In July 2007, I was appointed Assurance leader for PwC Sweden. Before that, I was Financial services leader for a number of years. I have always been interested in leadership, and leading at group level within IT and in Financial services were key roles that helped get me where I am today.

Considering a wide range of people for key roles

I think it’s important to have women in key roles on client teams and as lead partners. When we put forward teams, create proposals and rotate people on and off accounts, we should look at lists of all our people so that we consider everyone equally. We need to force the people who make these decisions to consider a wider range of people, and to particularly look at the younger generation. People in their mid twenties are not going to be prepared to wait for 30 years in order to get a chance to lead.

Thinking strategically

If you enjoy your work, it helps enormously. My advice to other women is to accept that every aspect of your job will help you learn and progress, even the less enjoyable parts.

I would also advise women to try and think strategically. I’ve noticed that men tend to look further ahead and consider if something is good for them and their career; women can be more task focused. Men also often talk up their own successes. I think women should try and plan their careers more. Sit down and think about your career: what would you like to do, how will you get there, what’s possible? Discuss it with a coach and mentor.

Finally, always have an open dialogue with your immediate boss; find ways to make what you want possible. Build up trust. And communicate your plans and ideas.