Karolina Rose


“Do not make assumptions – ask; communication is a key to success.”

Name: Karolina Rose
Title: Head of Supplier Quality Management
Company: Coloplast
Degree: MSc Engineering, Pharmaceutical Design

Introduce yourself, and share a fun fact that makes you unique!
My name is Karolina Rose, I am 31, and I hold a MSc Eng. in Pharmaceutical Design and Engineering. A fun fact about me: I call(ed) 5 countries home: Poland, Germany, United Kingdom, Maharashtra (India) and Denmark.

What does a day in your life look like at Coloplast?
Besides learning every day from the obstacles presented to me and my team, and from the mistakes I make in the attempts to overcome them. In my current role as Head of Supplier Quality Management I am managing a team of fantastic Supplier Quality Managers both in Denmark and Hungary. My team works with proactive supplier involvement, supplier control establishment and maintenance and compliance to Coloplast requirements at suppliers. We collaborate with a variety of internal and external stakeholders worldwide on a daily basis to support a seamless supply of our products to our users by ensuring quality of incoming materials and/or products at Coloplast sites. Besides that, we are involved in many internal projects, operational and business tasks where suppliers are in scope.

What motivates and excites you the most about your career path and the leadership position you hold?
Keeping up with my values: integrity, respect and purpose are the main part of my motivation to my career path. Coloplast is a great workplace; its mission, working environment and serving our users resonates with me. Additionally, Coloplast’s history, its global growth and organizational development in the past years has been very exciting, therefore I decided to take on a leadership position, as I felt I could contribute to it with my skills and knowledge in this environment.

Share with us the biggest lessons you learned on your journey to where you are today.
Learn from people who you meet in your personal and private life in spite of age, gender, religion, profession and/or experience in relation to you. The more diverse groups, the more we can learn from each other. Do not make assumptions – ask; communication is a key to success.
Seek to understand the perspective, drivers/motivation of your stakeholders, it is easier to avoid conflicts and find solutions quickly. Seek and provide feedback to grow professionally and privately.

Tell us about a (female) role model who inspired you to become the leader you are today, and how (s)he impacted you personally or professionally.
I met many female role models among my family members, teachers and mentors who contributed to my development as a person and inspired me to take the role of a leader. It would be unfair to name one, as all of them influenced who I am today. All of them have been successful (in my eyes) either professionally or privately and expressed very similar attributes; they were clear about their values and priorities, set clear boundaries and goals, had fun while being out of their comfort zone, and were proud of their story/who they are. Moreover, they recognised that every person has their own story and struggles, and they ingrained it in me to be understanding, nice and supportive towards others, despite negative attitudes or challenges.  

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, or to other young female students today, what would it be?
My advice is to take opportunities to set yourself out of your comfort zone, and enjoy the process of gaining experience and development. Do not be afraid of making mistakes and asking about help – lessons learned and teamwork bring knowledge and success.

How do you see STEM education shaping the future?
Emerging technologies transform our daily lives continuously. There are plenty of new possibilities to innovate and work with existing solutions for a variety of global challenges. These are often misunderstood, or sound scary to a majority of the population. I believe that the knowledge and skill set we receive through STEM education improves science understanding, provides a stronger foundation to not only build but also educate and work with innovation by data driven decisions, optimising systems and processes, and supporting global growth smartly and safely. STEM education allows for gaining a solid knowledge base, increases science understanding, and through work with data analysis, interpretation and evaluation of data, improves critical thinking and self-reflection.

Why is it important for you to promote diversity and inclusion within STEM?
First of all, any education should be available and accessible to anyone.  
Secondly, to build a better future, we need diversity in all its forms. The more diverse and inclusive groups understanding and working with STEM there are, the more we can learn from each other, represent and understand different needs and perspectives, and contribute to building a better future together for everyone.

What steps do you see that your company has taken to promote a more diverse and inclusive workplace?
Since I have joined Coloplast I have seen tremendous growth and global direction taken by the company. From focus on gender-age diversity among employees on different organizational levels, through introducing English as a company language, a variety of internal initiatives focused on education about diversity and inclusion, and many more.