Name: Louise Skott Kristensen
Title: Senior Manager, Project Support Europe
Company: Nature Energy
Degree: MSc in Chemical Engineering
- Introduce yourself, and share a fun fact that makes you unique!
My name is Louise Skott Kristensen. I am 39, and I hold a Master of Science Chemical Engineering.
- What does a day in your life look like as a Senior Manager, Project Support Europe at Nature Energy?
I have office space at our headquarter in Odense. Five of my employees work here and when I am not working from here it is usually from either the France office, where I have two employees, or Utrecht, The Netherlands, where my last employee is based. The work involves support for the maturation of new projects for the establishment of new biogas plants nationally and internationally, modification of existing plants or other major coordination tasks as well as follow-up on projects in the construction phase. My working day is therefore very diverse. I follow up with the employees on their projects, participate in coordination, prioritization, and decision-making meetings, am around the facilities in operation and at various meetings with the authorities involved in our projects.
- What motivates and excites you the most about your career path and the leadership position you hold?
My career path has led me up through organizations, from being the practical executor of tasks, to team leader, to department manager. This path gives me a solid understanding of the tasks that are solved in the department, and I am motivated by using this knowledge to have the opportunity in my current role to roll out strategies, systems, and work processes where I use this knowledge.
- Share with us the biggest lessons you learned on your journey to where you are today.
One of my learnings from my journey is that as an employee you have a greater degree of influence than you might think. When I started at Nature Energy, we were quite a small organization and many work processes had not yet been established. By being persistent and sharing good ideas, seeing greater opportunities, and making these visible, I myself was able to help establish this structure and thus define my work tasks. Good ideas will never be ignored in organizations. So, when you show your potential, it must also be seen and recognized.
- If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, or to other young female students today, what would it be?
It can be unmanageable to find the answer to “where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years…” Take one step at a time, find a role that suits you well, exploit potential and use this as a steppingstone for the next.
- How do you see STEM education shaping the future?
I hope that STEM education has the potential to shape education and society, so that we make the best use of the great potential in the Danish education system.
- Why is it important for you to promote diversity and inclusion within STEM?
I believe that we can release greater potential by utilizing diversity for better solutions, this is achieved through inclusion.
- What steps has your company taken to promote a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and which one has been the most effective?
In our recruitment process, we use personality profiles to set teams and we are trained to understand these tools thoroughly as managers, to see diversity within personality profiles as opportunities rather than barriers. We are trained in cultural intelligence for a better understanding of cultural differences and potentially in our international cooperation. The latter in particular has been enormously instructive, and especially interesting when our foreign employees have been on the same course and been given words and pictures about “my” culture (… they now always arrive on time for meetings).