Female Leader

Anita Krohn Traaseth

Anita Krohn Traaseth ist Norwegerin und CEO von unserem neuen Partner Innovation Norway. Sie sagt: Norwegen hat weit mehr zu bieten als wunderschöne Natur, Fisch und das teure Oslo. Seit 2014 ist sie an der Spitze von Innovation Norway, davor leitete Anita bei Hewlett-Packard das Norwegengeschäft.

Innovation Norway ist eine staatliche Organisation, die für die gesamte Wirtschaftsentwicklung und -förderung zuständig ist. Unter anderem betreuen die mehr als 700 Mitarbeiter in 29 Ländern etablierte Unternehmen als auch taufrische Startups bei der Erschließung neuer Märkte.

Denn Norwegen ist im Wandel: Vor dem Hintergrund der Erdölkrise befindet sich das Land in einem umfassenden Prozess strategischen Nation Brandings. Die Fokussierung auf nachhaltige Energien und die Förderung innovativer Startups bilden die Basis für eine Neupositionierung des Landes in der internationalen Wahrnehmung. 


Of everything you've done in recent years to drive Innovation Norway forward, what was a really essential step? 

Building the leadership team.


You learn from your mistakes. But which ones would you rather have left out? 

Start smoking at a young age, that was a big mistake.


What is the maximum time you can wait during the day without checking your emails or reports? 

It depends on the agenda and meetings of the day, but during a normal workday it’s probably maximum 1,5 hours (I normally check my mobile in every break for messages and mails).


Which of your characteristics helps you most to run a company? And which one stands in your way the most? 

Courage and persistence. The same things stand in my way.


Can you describe your favorite product/service without using your company's marketing language? 

Our company is a tool for the Norwegian government to increase innovation and growth in Norwegian enterprises and industry, that itself is a “favourite product/service”.


What did you want to be when you were little? 

The non-existence profession “dance-lawyer”, which combined the two things I loved to do when I was young - dancing and stand up for injustice at the playground.


In what professional situation have you been inspired by a role model and acted accordingly? 

Watching former CEO and President Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard when she led the company through a massive change around 2013, how she openly guided the stock exchange, set forward direction and path for all countries. I was the Managing Director at HP Norway at that time and learned a lot about mobilizing for change and transformation by Meg Whitman’s leadership.


What was the biggest benefit you've received so far from one of your networks? 

A broader and diversified perspective and network of competencies.


What must change most urgently in our society so that women and men have equal rights in the world of work? 

From a global perspective: ensure education for all girls and women, and then, every country must create their own playbook on how to improve their status and efforts on ensuring equal rights.


What can you do so that you and other women are respected for the performance? 

In Norway, and in many other well-developed countries for diversity, the best way is to actually pursue the top leadership roles and responsibilities, take on operative leadership roles that involves P&L, deliver results, ensure diversity in the company you are leading, and actively support the societal campaigns for increasing equal rights and promoting women into arenas of business, leadership and investments.


 What is innovation to you? 

Progress, change, destruction, disruption, fear, future.


What would you recommend to other women who want to build a career? 

Create your own path as there’s no recipe; don’t give up when it’s challenging; actively seek advice and constructive criticism!


What´s the best thing about your job? 

Our very reason for being - to support companies to innovate, grow and develop. This is the fundament of Innovation Norway.


Are you always sure you have chosen the right way? 

Not at all, but I’m always sure that there will be learning, even though it takes time to appreciate it.


How do you deal with stress and pressure? 

I write, make sure I sleep and rest, spend time with my family, and involve colleagues, mentors and friends for advice and help to solve it.


What’s the best thing about Norway?

Must be the sum of it all, one of the best democracies in the world, a small, equal, safe and modern high tech nation with access to spectacular nature and silence, and Norwegians - highly educated people working to ensure high quality of life and a sustainable future.