Inspiration - 08.03.2023
Interview with four female front figures on #IWD23
From left; Mauve Croizat CEO of Pernod Ricard Northern Europe, Katarina Leijon-Becht, Marketing Director, Kristine Campopiano, CFO, Pia Christoffersen, HR Director, S&R, Communications and Public Affairs.
Celebrated since 1911, the International Women’s Day aims at raising awareness and push towards an equal world, free from bias and discrimination. We had a conversation with the top four female leaders at Pernod Ricard Northern Europe how to #EmbraceEquity on International Women’s Day 8 March 2023.
Why do you think gender equality is important in the workplace?
Mauve: It is a fact-based statement, organisations leveraging diversity (not only gender!) are more performing… It is a way to properly reflect our consumer base but also build on different perspectives for a better outcome! It needs to be complemented by inclusion to ensure the proper space for these differences to fully add value.
Pia: Of several reasons – one is fairness: Gender equality ensures that all employees are treated fairly and equally – regardless of the gender. This means that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed based on their skills, abilities and performance. Secondly, it has been proven that it will improve performance, as diverse teams bring different perspectives, experiences, and ideas, which can lead to more innovative solutions and better decision-making.
“Gender equality ensures that all employees are treated fairly and equally – regardless of the gender. This means that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed based on their skills, abilities and performance.”
– Pia Christoffersen, HR Director, S&R, Communications and Public Affairs
Katarina: Diversity is key for any successful business. Different perspectives are needed to have healthy discussions, to generate new ideas, and bring change that result in better business decisions. There is plenty of research confirming that companies with gender and ethnic diversity perform much better.
Kristine: Companies & Teams perform better when there is diversity of thought – different mindsets, thought processes, perspectives, and problem-solving skills. A diverse (beyond gender) and inclusive workplace is the single best way to bring thought diversity to everything we do. How boring of a workplace would it be if we all looked and thought alike?
What barriers have you encountered as a female leader?
Mauve: To be honest, it has been more of an opportunity than a barrier! I have been lucky enough to be in a company actively promoting females as leaders and in countries where I have never felt being female was an issue, even the opposite! If I must identify one barrier, it would probably be that my successes would not be because I am a female but just because I am me!
Pia: Being a mother, I have sometimes had a bad conscience being so dedicated to my work, and not always being able to pick up my children early. Luckily my children have turned out to become two healthy grown-ups – and they tell me that they have not “suffered” from being brought up by two ambitious parents but have rather been inspired by this.
Katarina: I have created my own barriers and limitations and from conversions with other female leaders, I realise that we are ‘better’ at creating our own limitations. Being aware of this and working actively to overcome my perceived limits has helped me a lot.
Kristine: I think I have been extremely lucky to have not had many barriers as a female. Already at University, the Business School was 51% female, and I have always felt the opportunities and successes that led from there have been earned based on merit and competency.
How is Pernod Ricard contributing to a more equal world?
Mauve: It is an active part of who we are… It is engrained in everything that we do. From our brand DNA, all with a high sense of responsibility and inclusivity. But also from our footprint, promoting conviviality across the globe! The same way there is no conviviality with excess, there is no conviviality without inclusivity! Believing in the value of coming together with our differences is core to our culture and purpose.
“The same way there is no conviviality with excess, there is no conviviality without inclusivity!”
– Mauve Croizat, CEO
Pia: There can be no conviviality without diversity and inclusion – by being a truly international company and a citizen in the world, I believe that we, by working together across many borders will widen perspectives and thereby reduce biases.
Katarina: At Pernod Ricard, Diversity & Inclusion is a priority and there are several initiatives in the pipeline. One concrete example is the D&I council for the region. Another excellent example is Absolut where inclusion is deeply rooted in the DNA. Absolut has supported the LGBTQ community since the 80’s – way before any other brand!
To encourage minority groups to pursue their dreams, what lessons can you share as a female leader?
Mauve: Let’s not constrain ourselves as leaders… I do believe that females come with different styles that are not always part of the typical stereotype of leadership. So let’s break the misconceptions, be yourself and trust it is far from enough!
“You have to be clear on what you want and be vocal about it.”
– Katarina Leijon-Becht, Marketing Director
Katarina: Independent of gender, I believe it is important to reflect who you are and what values you want to work by. This has helped me to define what colleague and leader I want to be – and gives me confidence. An equally important advice is to own your career. You have to be clear on what you want and be vocal about it. For a long time I was expecting to be asked, but I learnt that it will not happen unless I drive it.
Which female figure has inspired you the most?
Mauve: I spend a lot of times with my daughters to read on inspiring female stories! There are tons! I am particularly inspired by unknown ‘rebels’ who had to fight to make their contribution… In the past, female heroes usually had to be twice as great! I often look at scientists as I am always impressed on how they had to break the rules to make the world progress and don’t look for recognition as their main driver, think about Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale and many more!
Pia: Right now, I am quite inspired by the former Danish first Prime minister, Helle Thorning. I like the way she now uses her fame, influence, and voice for a greater purpose, and to ally minority groups, and support young female artists and politicians. I also like the way she is challenging the boomer generation – being a boomer herself – to be more open, curious in understanding the new generations.
“Of recent, I’ve become even more inspired by Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Not only was she a pioneer for Women’s Rights, she was fierce and strategic – bringing people along in her mission but not afraid to dissent!”
– Kristine Campopiano, CFO
Katarina: It is often a certain characteristic that I find inspiring. One female leader I find fascinating is Christina Stenbeck who at the age of 24 took over the responsibility of Kinnevik, a Swedish investment company, when her father passed away. Kinnevik was at time very conservative, and diversity was non-existent. Christina completely changed that, focusing on gender equality and S&R. It would have been easy to follow the current path, but she had the guts to change it. Twenty years later – despite a lot of criticism – she decided to leave Kinnevik to follow her own path.
Kristine: Of recent, I’ve become even more inspired by Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Not only was she a pioneer for Women’s Rights, she was fierce and strategic – bringing people along in her mission but not afraid to dissent!
People are at the heart of everything we do at Pernod Ricard and the foundation of our collective spirit as Créateurs de Convivialité. Learn more:
Valuing People | Pernod Ricard (pernod-ricard.com)