Linda Widigsson about leadership and career choices
Linda Widigsson is one of few female CFOs in the history of Kanthal and for the past months she has been the acting President of the company. She is also on this year’s prestigious mining and steel industry list ”40 over 40”. The achievements are results of a career based on taking on fun and interesting roles.
Why did you choose a career in Finance?
I grew up in a family where my parents had a farm in addition to their work. In many ways this is like running a small business. Economy was a subject always present, and something we talked about at home. This made me curious about the subject. I am also interested in languages so when I went to university, I studied International Business and Economics in Linköping.
I have never had any specific plans for my career. After university, I joined an accounting firm, thinking it would give me experiences from multiple companies and industries. Since then, I have looked for jobs that I have found interesting, and that have allowed me to continue developing. I like what I do for a living, and I spend a lot of time at work, so these are important aspects.
How would you describe your leadership?
What I like most is to see my colleagues succeed and grow in their roles. I try to be present and available, and to provide support when they need it. I believe a lot in my team; they are independent and drive their own work. My role is to give them the prerequisites to perform at their best.
Any topic that makes you extra engaged?
Diversity and Inclusion is important to me, especially how we can attract more women to our male-dominated industry. But also, more men to professions where the women are in majority, such as Accounting and HR. Then we have all the other aspects of D&I, apart from gender, which are equally important. I believe that we, as a company, gain from diversity in the long-term since it gives us different perspectives and ideas.
How do you picture your future career?
My career advice to others is to follow what they find interesting and exciting.
I would like to continue developing, both professionally and personally. Where that will take me, I don’t know yet but for me it is important what kind of company I work for. I am proud of what Kanthal does in terms of sustainability, and of our products for the medical industry. It gives a sense of contributing to a higher purpose; it is more than just a job.
My career advice to others is to follow what they find interesting and exciting. When you enjoy what you do, you will have better chances to do a good job and be successful.
What does a nomination to a list like “40 over 40” mean?
Of course, I’m honored. It also feels good to represent Kanthal and Alleima and that my field, which is Finance and IT, is recognized.
These are the most powerful women in the Swedish mining and steel industry (in Swedish only):
Här är gruv- och stålindustrins mäktigaste kvinnor! - Jernkontoret