Line Bang Riecke Hjardemaal, the Director for EMEA Sales and Tech Operations at Milestone Systems speaks about how diversity creates new opportunities and insights
Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?
I am responsible for EMEA Sales and Tech Operations, which is a department that covers presales, technical and sales support, training, custom development, and professional services, it is about 85 people in total. Our main purpose is to ensure that we cover the needs of our partners and customers and that we serve them with high-quality, seamless, and consistent ways to build long-term relationships so that we can grow together.
A typical day would be full of meetings to ensure stable and efficient operations, working on strategic projects to develop the future. Most of this is done from the home office but otherwise, I would be travelling, meeting up with partners and customers all over EMEA.
Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do? How did you decide on it?
First I worked in the financial sector and then in telecommunications before joining Milestone Systems. I have always had an interest in tech, so when the opportunity came, I was really excited. However, it was Milestone System’s vision of ‘Making the World See’ and its ethical approach to business and technology that motivated me and made it the perfect match.
What first got you interested in tech?
I strongly believe in continuous development and for me, tech is precisely that.
Would our world be different if more women were working in STEM?
Diversity creates new opportunities and insights and I truly believe that it is a key driver for continuous development. Therefore, utilizing the potential we gain from mixing gender, age, backgrounds, etc. is a need for all companies who aspire to grow and develop. To say no is to miss out and I would regard it as a business risk.
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
Focus, determination, and hard work are needed to succeed in any job and also required when working in tech. The support of my family has been key for my success, as they have had to accept and support my late hours and business travels.
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
I feel privileged to be able to inspire young talented women who are interested in a career within tech as it is an industry that has so much to offer. In this industry, there is so much innovation, talented people, and endless possibilities, so as a woman and a person, I am proud to be part of it.
Do you notice a lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
There are fewer women than men in the tech industry for sure and I think the reason lies in traditions and habits. There simply has not been a tradition for women to aspire for a career in tech, but I do believe that it is changing and I expect to see many more women joining our industry in the nearby future.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?
Do it! Be focused and do your best, you will not regret it.
What do you do to unwind after work?
I spend time with my two children and I really enjoy running half marathons, it helps to clear my mind, regain and build my energy.