Name: Katrine Wieck Bundgaard
Title: Manager of Simulation
Degree: MSc in Civil Engineering
- Introduce yourself, and share a fun fact that makes you unique!
My name is Katrine Wieck Bundgaard. I am 37 years (born 1985). I have a degree in Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Aarhus School of Engineering / Aarhus University. My current title is Manager of the Simulation Team in VELUX.
Yoga is my medicine. Whenever my thoughts get too cluttered, I turn upside down on the yoga mat until they calm down.
- What does a day in your life look like as a Manager of the Simulation Team at VELUX?
My work life is very flexible, and to me that is one of the most important parts of my job. Sometimes I get in early and sometimes I take my time to bike with my children to school before work – it’s all about the flexibility to me. My responsibilities are within simulation. I lead the simulation team and the simulation strategy in VELUX. So my day normally consists of meetings, sparring with my team and defining the way for VELUX to go within simulations.
- What motivates and excites you the most about your career path and the leadership position you hold?
It really motivates me that I know I have a chance to actually make a difference. I like using my engineering background to solve the problems that I face and it motivates me to find optimization possibilities. Being part of the product development leadership team also gives me an opportunity to impact the way we drive product development in VELUX and thereby shaping the future of our products.
- Share with us the biggest lessons you learned on your journey to where you are today.
Be the authentic you! You really don’t need to pretend anything. By being yourself you bring your true qualities in play. And then the art is to find your own way to do things, with integrity and being true to yourself.
- 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.
My grandmother has always been a big role model for me. She did things her own way and taught me to look at the bright side of things. She always taught me that there is no need to worry about things you can’t change, and her words of wisdom always stick with me.
But, to be honest, it has been difficult for me to find many female role models professional within my field. I believe it is because historically there simply has just been more men in the leadership positions. However, I’m starting to see a change in this.
Professionally my former manager is a role model for me and a big inspiration. He is always true to himself and shows how to lead with integrity. He saw a potential in me before I did my self and helped me develop into the person I am today. For me, he is a big inspiration.
- If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, or to other young female students today, what would it be?
Be yourself. It sounds too cliché, but it really is true!
And dare to take the mandate, don’t wait for people to give it to you. Don’t overthink things and question whether you are doing it the right way, because there is no right or wrong and many ways can lead to the wanted result and success.
Also, don’t make the typical 5-year plan. Instead, prepare yourself to catch the opportunities that come your way. By catching what gives you energy and excites you, you will shape your own future and your own path.
- How do you see STEM education shaping the future?
I once got a postcard saying “Keep Calm – Engineers will save the world” and I liked it so much that it is now framed. The postcard was meant as a joke, but I do believe that STEM educations are crucial for the future within e.g. sustainability and technologies and the responsibility that I believe is important that we all take.
- Why is it important for you to promote diversity and inclusion within STEM?
Because diversity and inclusion are a part of shaping equal opportunities which I believe should be a basic prerequisite in all companies. But we are not there yet everywhere.
Another important aspect is that diverse perspectives foster innovation and creativity which is a very important part of developing new products, companies, and company cultures. Here diversity and inclusion are a crucial part of that success.
- What steps has your company taken to promote a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and which one has been the most effective?
At this point, we have been laying the foundation and identified and initiated the steps we need to take to improve the important work of DEI in VELUX. We are proud of the initial steps we have taken, and at the same time we are looking forward to the many actions ahead of us that are needed for us to more fully foster DEI.
- Establishing our DEI Policy
- Including DEI as part of global onboarding
- Partnering with Develop Diverse to reduce bias in our job-adds
- Producing guidance for hiring managers to Reduce Bias in Hiring; training recruitment partners and HR business partners
- Mandatory unconscious bias training for all managers in 2023
- DEI integration in our VELUX Leadership Framework
- Inclusion of DEI topics in the Global Employee Survey (enabling employee-informed further steps toward inclusion)
- Connecting executive compensation to progress on our DEI target for women in management
- Expanding gender self-identification options within our HR information system, to include non-binary and prefer not to disclose; and enabling employees to include pronouns on their profile card in Outlook and Teams
- (The 2022 Sustainability Report includes additional information on pages 41-44, including a case exploration of equity in VELUX: Read how we are leading change in our sustainability report (velux.com))
It is difficult to say which one step has been most effective, because all of these steps and more are needed – they build and support each other.
The development of our DEI Policy was an effective foundational step because it establishes our DEI mission, key terms (including the addition of “E” for equity), reiterates our DEI targets, and -critically- assigns accountability for DEI progress with our executive leaders.
In terms of being able to move forward strategically, the inclusion of DEI topics in the Global Employee Survey has been a crucial step because it enables us to implement targeted initiatives and make data-informed decisions. While we are just now moving forward in discussing and sharing results, we foresee effective momentum and ongoing progress forward in part due to this.