For the third year in a row, Metro’s Chief Digital Officer, Lotta Karlsson is being honored as one of 75 of Sweden’s “Future Female Leaders.” It’s an honor akin to the Forbes’ 30 under 30, but specifically for Swedish women under the age of 35.
“I’m leaving (Monday night) at 10 o’clock, and I’m flying back on Wednesday around noon. So I’ll be home for 24 hours,” said a Sweden-bound Karlsson, who first earned the honor when she was the CEO of the international online marketing company, Relevant Traffic.
“It’s such a great networking event to meet other women in the same positions. We discuss challenges we face in our markets — Not just challenges between men and women, but also how we can be better leaders,” she explained with excitement.
The women at the event are a smorgasbord of success. Ledarna (translates as “The Leaders”), the organization that judges contenders and compiles the annual ranking explain on their website that they “want to turn upside down the notion of leadership as a male arena.” The women on the list, at least for Ledarana, represent “not only role models for other young women but for all who sit in a leading position.”
Karlsson describes herself as someone who has never turned down a challenge. She claims that before accepting any position she’s held, she has always ensured that she was a little in over her head for the position.
“I’ve always had to convince prospective employers to bet on me even though I don’t have all the necessary experience or qualifications,” Karlsson explained. “I’ve always been terrified before my first day, but I also get an adrenaline kick from doing that. I think that’s the reason why I’ve been able to advance to the level that I am.”
Karlsson, who joined Metro in 2014 to help transition the newspaper into the digital landscape, believes what sets her apart and helped earn her a place on the list is her not only the results she delivers, but the amount of attention she pays to those she manages.
“I do spend a lot of time with my employees. I really try to think of everyone as an individual and see what kind of potential they have — and treat and train them accordingly,” Karlsson said, her hand pointing to invisible individuals. “That’s something all managers should do, but I don’t think they necessarily do it.”