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Volvo Cars races ahead at Women in Tech Sweden

10th annual Women in Tech Sweden explored the questions of progress, gender, diversity and the pressure to be perfect for women in tech spaces.

As a key sponsor of Women in Tech, we hosted a panel discussion featuring three women at Volvo Cars.

Imagine a “perfect” piece of software. A one-size-fits all problem solver that everyone would understand, enjoy working with and never fail to deliver.

Of course, this idea is all too good to be true. We know perfection doesn’t exist, even in machines. However, when we set out to find a topic that would resonate for the 10th annual Women in Tech Sweden 2023 conference it was this pressure to be “perfect” that came up again and again from women in Volvo Cars’ tech spaces, especially by women of colour and young women.

As a key sponsor of Women in Tech, we hosted a panel discussion featuring three women at Volvo Cars from different generations, backgrounds and career stages to discuss progress over perfection in the tech space, in gender and diversity, and in their own career journeys. By sharing their stories, we hoped to unpack this stress and remove some of the pressure from other women in the tech industry.

“Volvo Cars is committed to a culture of gender equality and equity, and by partnering with Women in Tech we have a chance to connect with diverse women who are motivated by the same values as us!”

Annika Albertsson, a group product lead with over 30 years of experience in the digital, business and leadership spaces, was one of our panelists and encouraged young women to work together towards a more inclusive future.

“History has not always been kind to women, but that is past tense. What counts now is how we address our present and create our future.”

The topic resonated with so many attendees at the event that the queue to the discussion room snaked around the lobby twice, and just as many people as were let in had to be turned away to watch the livestream instead.

During the panel, Cecilia Johansson, a product manager at Volvo Cars, spoke on why hiring a diverse workforce is the only way to ensure safe, innovative and future-proof products.

“The more perspectives we get in, the better understanding we have of potential users, and the better and more innovative products we make,” said Cecilia. “As a tech and car company, we have a responsibility to consider many user behaviours and cultures when we make products. What better way of gaining that understanding than inviting those perspectives to build good products?”

After a long day of inspiring presentations, networking, and lots and lots of laughter, Malabika Ray, a senior engineering manager at Volvo Cars, was hopeful for the future of women in tech.

“I hope they understood that they are not alone in their struggle through biases and prejudices. Perhaps they would be a little more encouraged to share their experiences and challenge the stereotypes. That, I think, is the quintessential hope.”

Outside of the panel, Volvo Cars had a lot to offer participants attending Women in Tech. Our fantastic colleagues went all out, bringing a deconstructed Volvo car to our booth for event participants to check out, and even creating a bespoke racing game where players could drive their favourite Volvo car around a track… safely, of course!

“This is the second year in a row we have partnered with Women in Tech, and for good reason,” said Noopur Thatte, one of our talent attraction specialists.

“Volvo Cars is committed to a culture of gender equality and equity, and by partnering with Women in Tech we have a chance to connect with diverse women who are motivated by the same values as us!”

If you’d like to see more from the event, head to LinkedIn and search the tags #LifeAtVolvoCars, #WITswe2023 and #WomenInTech, or just follow Volvo Cars on LinkedIn.