Role models: Catharina Johansson Söderström

Demonstrating your achievements

I joined in 1984, when I graduated. The firm was then called Öhrlings, which was part of Coopers & Lybrand. I moved around various towns in northern Sweden and moved to the Stockholm area of Sollentuna in 1987. I worked as an auditor, having studied accounting at university. I’ve always worked in the line of service known in Sweden as ‘Local Business’, which provides a range of accounting services to small and medium sized Swedish businesses. I became a Director in 1995, and a Partner in 1999.

Thinking about partnership as an option

I continually kept re-assessing my career and I committed to staying as long as I continued to enjoy the work. In about 1997, I had a conversation with a senior PwC leader and he asked me to start thinking about partnership as a goal – he told me that it was possible. Because my roles had always also involved people work and general management rather than straight forward client service work, I had never thought that this was an option for me, but he helped me to see that it was a possibility – and two years later, I joined the partnership.

Demonstrating your achievements

My advice to other women is to always ensure that you can substantiate your work and your achievements. Otherwise, it can be a huge challenge to try to prove this at a later date. Make sure you measure and document your work in order to reflect your potential. It makes it so much easier to make the business case for promotion.

And be aware of the rules of the game: show and tell people that you’re great at your job. Don’t feel that you have to become like a man, but do be aware of the differences in styles. Let the people who have the power and who make decisions know about you and your skills.