Name: Marian Kaagh
Date of Birth: 1969
Title: Vice President
Company: Energinet Eltransmission A/S
Degree: Cand.geom (landinspektør), Aalborg Universitet
Fun fact: No matter how busy my work life is, I prioritize volunteering because it gives me a lot of energy. One of the most important rewards is becoming part of new social constellations and networks. I am a dedicated volunteer in Denmark’s largest volleyball club, DHV Odense, and I consider it a huge gift that pays off tenfold. My involvement as a volunteer gives me new aspects in terms of management, recruitment and talent development.
What do you find most interesting about your career and your leadership position?
It is important for me to work with issues and topics which I find challenging. And my heart beats heavily for the green transition agenda. The energy sector is currently undergoing huge changes as a consequence of the ambitions of creating a climate neutral world by 2050 as well as of the many ambitious subsidiary goals on the way. The extent and speed of the changes are epic and require a lot from our organisational culture as well as our ways of working and from our collective competencies, perspectives, experience, and methods of working which we must master by excellence. This is absolutely necessary for our ability to develop new solutions towards a 100 % green energy system, and it calls for committed, transformational and motivational leadership.
What has been crucial to get you to where you are today?
I have never had a fixed plan and have always chosen my path guided by my interest and seized the opportunities along the way. During my career, I have always been true to my values and over the years I have deliberately turned down career opportunities. My experience shows me that new and better opportunities will occur.
I always make sure to prioritize teamwork. I strongly believe that teamwork beats individual performance, and even the strongest leader needs loyal and committed employees and management teams to create big results.
My husband has been fully supportive of my career choices, and our partnership has made it possible for us to balance our family life and work life and prioritize time for each other and our children.
Tell us about a female role model and the impact they had on you – either personally or professionally?
I do not have one particular female role model. However, I have several highly skilled and inspiring women in my business and private networks. I seek inspiration from both women and men, and I apply this to a form of leadership that matches my values.
I find diversity in personalities important and interesting, and with the ongoing transition of the energy sector, it is crucial for our success that we can create a more diverse organisation in which different perspectives thrive and can be employed. I would like to be a role model for others when it comes to inclusion and diversity. As a leader I make sure to bring different professional and personal competences into my teams for solving our tasks and meeting our challenges.
What advice would you give to young female students today?
Follow your dreams and choose the study you find the most interesting. It is important that you do not let your choice be influenced by the opinions of friends and families. It is important to do things that you find interesting, and which makes you happy. Be true to yourself and remember that your talent and potential do not disappear if you turn down opportunities along the way – new and more opportunities will arise. Remember to challenge yourself and utilize the opportunities that present themselves, including the ones that may not be “standard”.
Looking into the future, what role do you think STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education will have?
I believe that STEM Education is fundamental to our ability of driving the climate and sustainability agendas. We face a lot of exciting challenges with many inherent paradoxes. And to solve these challenges, we need to be innovative to find new technological solutions that motivate people to change their behaviour.