Pitch strongly believes that a diverse workplace, with equal opportunity for everyone, is a better workplace. Tech in general and defense, in particular, are industries that have a long history of being heavily male dominated. However, as is the trend in many other areas of modern society, we see more and more women joining the industry day by day. To support this movement of equality, we believe it’s essential to use our platforms to highlight the frontrunners paving the way for others.
In honor of International Women’s Day, we sat down with Susanne Larsson, who recently joined Pitch as an Accounting Assistant. In this interview, you’ll get a chance to get to know Susanne better and hear her thoughts on being a woman in a male-dominated industry, what companies can do to support women’s career advancement, and her message to other women on this special day.
First of all, a warm welcome to Pitch, Susanne!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I’m so glad to have become part of the crew at Pitch. I have been warmly received from everyone in the company.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Sure! I was born in the northern part of Sweden in a small village called Överkalix and lived there until seventh grade. I then moved to the Norwegian west coast for some years before heading back to the north of Sweden. After that, I moved to Fuengirola, Spain and finally to Linköping, where I’ve now started working at Pitch. I have two grown children, a son born in 2001 and a daughter born in 2007.
As a professional, I’m originally trained in Commerce, but I got sick and was away from working for a few years. When I got better, I decided to start my own company in administration and finance while studying to become a finance and accounting assistant. I am also a board member in some organizations.
People usually describe me as wise, caring, calm, ambitious, and a bit quiet sometimes. I enjoy challenges and always have goals I am striving for. Outside of the office, I enjoy traveling, gardening, cooking, animals, and nature.
How did you become interested in working in the tech industry and especially within defense?
I didn’t apply for this job specifically because it has to do with the tech industry; I applied because Pitch as a company seemed exciting, ambitious, and productive. There seemed to be a lot of intelligence within the company, and I like that. When I saw the ad, I was eager to apply since it felt like a place where I would fit in and learn a lot.
Unfortunately, I have had some bad workplace experiences in the past, so I was naturally a bit worried about how it would feel going into a company within an industry with a lot of men. But during the interviews, that worry quickly vanished as I felt seen, respected, and heard by everyone I interacted with. This positive feeling has stayed with me as I’ve started working, and it really feels like it’s a core part of the workplace culture here at Pitch.
How does it feel to be joining a male-dominated industry, particularly on International Women’s Day?
If you stop and think about it, it’s a very big deal. It’s not that long ago women were even allowed to start entering these male-dominated industries. It feels great not only for me but for all women. When you are received in such a way as I have been, you really wish it would look the same for everyone, that everyone has equal value regardless of gender. It should be one’s actions that count more.
What do you think is the most important thing that companies can do to support women’s career development and advancement in the workplace?
Understanding that women are just as talented and intelligent as men.
I’m fortunate to live in a country where women have a lot of support and employers, by law, are required to ensure that everyone is treated with equal respect, both when it comes to bringing a lawsuit, wages, pensions, and advocating that fathers are also at home with the children.
But one area that is lagging is the fact that women’s wages are still often much lower even though they do the same job. Companies should not see any difference between men or women when setting salaries, but rather on the individual’s competence. It’s important for Swedish companies to step up even more and dare to become a role model for other countries, for a more equal world.
What message would you like to share with other women on International Women’s Day?
You can’t make a big change alone, so we need to become a united front. Women need to come together and make themselves heard. We need to refuse to let others control us, collectively refuse to allow ourselves to receive lower wages, worse working conditions, not be allowed to control our own money, or not be allowed to work at all.
If it weren’t for women, we would never be where we are today. But it requires a great deal of cooperation, commitment, and mutual support to continue the fight for equality. Alone, you can try to influence the people closest to you, but together we can have a greater influence. And we, who have come further, must help those who have not come as far to achieve greater equality, both closer to home and abroad.
As my life motto says: “Nothing is impossible, the impossible just takes a little bit longer.”