We are proud to announce the winner of FEOY 2008 - Lina Rörby. The new Female Economist of the Year is an ambitious woman with an impressive resume. She holds both a Master of Science in Economics and Business from the Stockholm School of Economics; and a Bachelor degree in Social Science from Stockholm University.
During her time at the SSE she spent an exchange term studying health marketing at Duke University, as well as volunteered in many organisations. Her work experience is comprehensive including Procter & Gamble in Sweden and Aquavit in New York. Lina is described as a humble but highly energetic woman with a large interest in the healthcare industry – a great future businesswoman and leader.
The Female Economist of the Year Award Ceremony 2008
The ceremony of 2008 Female Economist of the Year Award and Scholarship was, as in the past seven years, held in the royal theatre Confidencen outside Stockholm. The scholarship founder, Barbro Ehnbom, Barbro’s Friends, members of the female network BBB, together with 170 guests were all there to celebrate Lina Rörby, the 2008 recipient of the scholarship.
Barbro Ehnbom and the scholarship had again succeeded in gathering an interesting crowd, representing the very finest of business representatives, cultural personalities, and current, as well as future, female leaders. The mild June sun shone over prominent guests such as Dr. Peggy Bruzelius and husband Jan, Ambassador Charles Heimbold with wife Monica, Director General Olle Wästberg with wife Inger, former SSE student, famous comedian Stefan Grudin, Christer Cederroth of Cederroths fame, antique expert Peder Lamm, KTH Chair Cecilia Scheide- Seidegård, U.S. based BBB Friends Fred Bissetand Steve Trygg, Sven von Essen and entertainment guru Vicky van der Lancken.
Following the champagne reception in the leafy garden outside Confidencen, the festive entertainment commenced inside the beautiful rococo theatre, conducted by ceremony mistress Alexandra Charles. An impressive and humoristic music piece, composed and performed by the piano legend Ivan Renliden was followed by a male a capella group from SSE singing their praise to the recipient of the Female Economist of the Year. They were followed by a breath-taking piece performed by the much talented clarinetist Marcus Forss. The musical tribute was concluded by a powerful duet staged by Sweden’s next big tenor,Daniel Johansson and Calle Lindén.
After these highly appreciated musical performances, Barbro Ehnbom took the stage and instigated the award ceremony. Barbro Ehnbom’s personal perspective on female leaders was followed by Lars Bergman, Dean of the Stockholm School of Economics, and Niklas Prager, CEO of Pfizer AB, both talking of the scholarship’s meaning for their respective institutions. Jan Carlzon held the 2008 “Inspirational Speech” in an impressive and rememberable way. After this, Lina Rörby and Gunnar Andersson, recipient of the Best Male Support prize, received their Orrefors Female Economist of the Year Statuettes, designed by renowned glass artist Erika Lagerbielke. The ceremony was brought to an end by Lina Rörby,giving a touching speech about the impact of role models, describing her great grandmother, a career woman struggling with prejudices in the beginning of the 20th century.
The evening continued with delicious food and wines,carefully chosen by famous Swedish connoisseur Carl-Jan Granqvist. Throughout the dinner, the guests were entertained by pianist Magnus Mårtensson of New York City. The luxurious feeling was further enhanced by goodie bags, generously provided by Oriflame and Alexander af Jochnick.
The celebration of the Female Economist of the Year 2008 was truly an enchanting event among Friends, BBBs and guests, and an evening to be remembered.
The date for next year’s Gala has already been set for June 1, 2009 - mark your calender!
Your excellences, ladies and gentlemen, BBBs, friends,
I would like to start by telling you a story. 1904, when highest fashion among young women was to stitch, play the piano and learn French, there was this young woman called Ester. Instead of sewing, she wanted to learn how to calculate, write and run a business. She applied for Påhlman’s Institute of Business to learn these things. Many people, including Ester’s parents, questioned her decision. Graduating from Påhlman’s, Ester joined a Stockholm dairy firm. After been refused a raise after one year with the company, she decided to leave. Instead of working for someone else, she started up her own business, another dairy firm that gradually turned out to be a competitor to her old employer. Through work, Ester met her future husband, Ernst. They got married, and had four children. Although Ester became a mother, she did not leave her company. In a time when women were expected to stay at home as housewives, Ester was quite revolutionary because she let nannies take care of her kids. In a time when it was rare that women had higher education and often were dependent on their husbands, Ester was very different with her successful company. Probably, most people thought that she was not a good mother, or that she was un-womanly, because she took the conventional male position in society. But, some people may have viewed it differently, and found Ester an inspiring woman, acting as a role model for young women who were interested in other things than stitching, playing the piano, and learn French.
I believe that you all now wonder: why is she telling us this story? Let me tell you: Ester was my great grandmother. I have reflected a lot upon her situation and the world she lived in. I think that she was a really brave woman who deserves respect for not caring about conventions of that time. The reality for young businesswomen today is not as harsh as the one Ester encountered, however, women are still underrepresented at senior management levels in companies. I believe in the importance of role models. Ester might have inspired some young women, and if I through this scholarship could do as Ester, and inspire and motivate as little as 1 woman in her career choices, I will be more than happy.
Becoming the FEOY has been my dream ever since I started at SSE, I would now like to say a couple of thank yous to some people who helped me making this dream come true. First of all, thanks to Barbro. I want to give you Barbro a general thank you for showing such a passion in helping young career women by founding this scholarship. I also want to give you a personal thank you for all the support you have given me so far. It is amazing to see that even though you have had a busy schedule, you have always found time to help me if needed.
To Niklas Prager and Pfizer – for arranging this possibility for young women to start a career in the fascinating pharmaceutical industry.
To Lars Bergman and SSE – for giving me the very best of educations, plus the necessary self-confidence to apply for this scholarship.
To former FEOYs Sanna Francke, Anna Levander, and Blenda Kangas, for giving me support and for welcoming me to the FEOY group. Also, I am looking forward to getting to know the other FEOYs, as well as the BBB girls.
To Cecilia, Helena and Hedvig at the office for your great work.
Lastly, thanks to my family; my dad Anders, my mom Kerstin and my brother Jakob, for love and support. I could not have done this without you.
Thank you, all.