Name: Line Nørgaard
Degree: MSc Digital Design
- Introduce yourself, and share a fun fact that makes you unique!
My name is Line Nørgaard. I am 30 years old. I have a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in digital design. I don’t have the most common background for working with AI, but I have always been very drawn towards AI, so I found a way to use my skills in that setting.
A fun fact about me is that I like to listen to rap – especially when I’m close to a deadline. My cat’s name is also Maggie Thee Kitten as a reference to Megan Thee Stallion.
- What does a day in your life look like as a Manager at KPMG?
It is very rare that my days are similar, which is something that I really enjoy. Generally, my days are a mix of project management, working on deliveries for clients, client meetings, facilitating workshops, working on sales material, coaching other consultants, or speaking at conferences. As a consultant you get to wear many different hats throughout a week, which ensures a quite dynamic work week.
- What motivates and excites you the most about your career path and the leadership position you hold?
I think it’s incredibly exciting to consult some of the largest Danish organizations in using AI. I’m very much focused on the people side of things, as I truly believe AI is not about tech, but about people. I personally feel the most accomplished when I can get others to succeed with their digitalisation journey and ensure that they are proud of the result we create together.
- Share with us the biggest lessons you learned on your journey to where you are today.
Make your headwind, your tailwind. When I just graduated from university and pursued a career in AI, I felt like an outsider, because I approached AI very differently from my colleagues. With time I found that it is my edge and how I can provide even more value to a solution.
However, when you are a diversifying profile, it can feel like you get a lot of resistance at times and that’s why I like to remind myself that what can feel like a headwind, can also be my tailwind. It’s also something I wrote down on a note when I had my first job interview at KPMG… and that turned out well for me.
- Tell us about a role model who inspired you to become the leader you are today, and how (s)he impacted you personally or professionally.
In terms of my work life, my dad is quite an important role model and someone I go to whenever I want to discuss work. I was also introduced to IT through my dad, as he worked as an IT specialist before he retired. To me he has always been very true to his values and proven it through his actions.
For example, there was a tendency in the team meetings at his work for women to default get assigned the role of taking notes. My dad didn’t like this and during a larger project, he decided to take on the role himself to signal that this was a role that everyone should take part in. Although it’s a very subtle thing to do, I know, as a woman in IT, that this is a very appreciated gesture, as there are still tendencies to pigeonhole women for certain tasks that often aren’t career advancing tasks.
In my leadership I try to ensure that everyone gets heard and to ensure that I can support people, so they can excel the most. I have always made it a point that I’m not above doing certain tasks even if my title says otherwise, and I hope that others will be inspired to do the same. For example, if I can see someone is in a stretch phase, where it becomes difficult for them to have an overview, I support on that part, so they can focus on their development without being stressed. I think it’s key to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and that we work as a team.
- 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 to my younger self would be to enjoy the process. I think there is a tendency to being in a rush to get ahead as fast as possible, which is something that I also felt pressured to at one point. What I found was that I got too focused on the goal instead of being in love with the process, which can be draining. Of course, goals are important, but it’s also important to acknowledge the small, perhaps mundane, victories at work. It’s almost a shift of mindset, if you only focus on the big, long-term goals, there’s a chance you will be dissatisfied most of the time, but if you acknowledge the everyday small victories or moments of growth, you will be more positive.
- How do you see STEM education shaping the future?
It’s hard to pinpoint one area to focus on when talking about how STEM education will shape the future, as most industries will be affected greatly by it. Having a background in digital design, I think an interesting perspective to highlight is the democratization of technology and being a part of making technology more accessible for the masses and ensuring it is done in an ethical manner. Generative AI is a good example, where it’s more about being good at asking the right questions rather than having technical skills.
- Why is it important for you to promote diversity and inclusion within STEM?
It’s important to promote diversity within STEM, because better solutions will be developed. Diversity ensures that a solution is seen from a lot of different angles and in that way address any challenges or issues early on. That is also something that I can recognise from my own work. Whenever a project team is diverse, the whole process is completely different and there is a lot more curiosity at play. In that aspect, I also think that diversity is key for innovation and to stay relevant.
Lastly, research shows that it is good for business, so there shouldn’t be any reason not to work actively with diversity.
- What steps has your company taken to promote a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and which one has been the most effective?
We have a lot of different strategies and initiatives in place. I think one of the most important things is that we are integrating DE&I into how we are consultants. For example, diversity and promoting diversity is a part of the KPI’s that a consultant’s performance gets evaluated on. I think it is a very clear way to communicate our values, what we stand for, but also to ensure incentive that we all take part in ensuring a diverse and inclusive workspace.
Furthermore, I think there is a focus on ensuring that our initiatives don’t become a brief campaign but ensuring that they have a year-long focus. It can be disheartening if you represent a diversifying profile and that your diversity is treated like “oh, it’s that time of the year again”. For example, we celebrate pride, but there are also mails, events and lunches throughout the year, which are planned by our QueerSpace Ally Group. This ensures that everyone is constantly educated and can engage in our diversity agenda.