2012 - Klaudyna Augler
The 12th winner of Female Economist of the Year 2012 - Klaudyna Augler.
Klaudyna's speech at the Gala Ceremony
Thank you. Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, BBBs, family and friends, it is hard for me to express how grateful and honored I feel to be here tonight and receive this award. Let me try by saying that it is truly a dream come true.
The Female Economist of the Year scholarship is unique in many ways. Not only does it distinguish itself by giving the laureate all the necessary tools to initiate a successful business career – it also represents an important and concrete action for change. The top positions in Swedish business industry are still very much dominated by males. Whilst the company boards have seen a certain increase in women representatives over the years, the amount of women in executive positions has practically remained the same: and currently only 4 % of the Swedish listed companies’ CEOs are women. Perhaps this proves what Gloria Steinem once pointed out: “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn”.
Indeed, the structural composition for executives within the Swedish industry has evolved very slowly and traditional formulas for recruiting still seem to prevail. So how can we proceed in the process of unlearning? Should we be aiming for total amnesia? No, in my opinion a total amnesia would not allow us to look back on important progress. I do not have the answer for how an absolute and successful unlearning process should be conducted, but what I do know is that the creation of platforms such as the FEOY scholarship and Barbro’s unique networks are important parts of this process. Creating links between ambitious young women and giving their dreams a solid ground by including Swedish business leaders and decision makers in the process, is certainly an act that moves us one step further in the revolution of women empowerment.
Let us cherish these valuable efforts as well as your participation in this process but let this evening also be a reminder of that much still needs to be done!
There are many people that I would like to thank here tonight.
First of all, thank you Barbro for having created this scholarship and now, 12 years from its inception it still provides a base for mutual inspiration. I don’t think there are many people who have such an ability to transmit so much energy. There is place for everyone in Barbro's heart and visions. Whether you are a talented female aspiring leader, an established business person or a miniature dog named Lalla, everyone gets their fair share of caring, support and decisive directions. Barbro is a colorful person in many aspects and a perfect role model. Thank you for that.
To principal Lars Bergman and the SSE team, I am truly grateful for the high standards of the education provided at SSE. I am very proud of being a SSE graduate and I thank you for supporting this scholarship throughout your presidency.
To Thomas Jensen and Helena Fogelmarck at BCG: I know that BCG has taken several measures to encourage females in their careers. Thank you for your important support and for having faith in me. BCG, who works with the top management of the largest firms around the world can play an important role in the “unlearning process” - by showing what women can achieve if given the opportunity. The day I step into the office at BCG I know that I will embark on a journey of learning, creating and sharing which will be a great milestone in my ambition to make an impact in international business – I am really looking forward to that!
I would also like to thank the rest of the selection committee for your important work.
Throughout the process, and even before I applied, I have experienced the most sincere support from former Female Economists, BBBs, family and friends. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all. Especially, Sol-Britt Ericsson, Helena Edrén, Claudia Olsson and Sana Alajmovic. You have all been most encouraging. A final thank you to my family, especially my mother – who has always believed in me and encouraged me to aim high.
Now before this turns into an Oscar award speech I conclude.
The foundation for this scholarship is based on the united willingness to act for change and we women must continue to show that we can play an equal role within top management. As the Female Economist of the Year and BBB member I have been given great opportunities and tools to contribute to the positive act for change. It is my greatest aspiration to prove myself helpful to other young women – and to give back what has been given me. Let the journey begin! Thank you.