Karin - top-listed business woman
The Swedish business weekly Veckans Affärer has named Karin Lepasoon, Executive Vice President, Skanska, one of the most powerful women in Swedish business. Karin is number 12 on the Top 30 list of female business Presidents.
Karin has been a member of Skanska Senior Executive Team (SET) since 2008 with a bagful of heavy duties. Within SET she is responsible for the development of the company's long-term strategy as well as a number of Group staff units and Support units including Communications, Investor Relations, IT as well as Sustainability, Green Support and Green Business.
What is top of your agenda right now?
"There are lots going on all the time. Early April we have the Annual Shareholders' Meeting and all through the year we in SET are taking part in the Management Meetings in all our home markets. These are important meetings where we sum up the past year and plan the way forward."
"Our Business Plan for Profitable Growth 2011-2015 is nearing its completion and preparation work for the next Business Plan is starting up. The world is changing and how will that affect the needs of our societies and our customers. Of course, we always follow our clients but going forward we must be prepared to serve them better and make the most of our capacity. This is a thorough process which involves a great number of people including representatives from Business Units as well as the members of SET and Board of Directors."
Within your other areas where do you see the highest potential for improvements?
"Of course we have to develop and advance in all areas. We are continually making progress in most fields, for example our work site accident rate is coming down for the seventh consecutive year. Still we must not rest on our laurels."
"We cannot be satisfied until all our employees can return home safe and sound after work. We in SET and a great number of colleagues have made a pledge to always act if we notice unsafe behavior. Safety is a prioritized task at all levels. And we continually develop tools, systems and procedures aiming at enhanced safety. But we must also remember that it starts with me. We all have a personal responsibility for our own safety and our co-workers safety."
"Equally crucial is our ethical behavior. To remain a trustful and successful company we are decided to be recognized as a role model and a leader also within ethics. This includes a goal of zero ethical breaches as one of our 'Five Zeros'."
You have a background in law, communications and life sciences. All very different from where you are now. What makes an industry like construction and project development attractive to you?
"First of all it's about the people. There is so much knowledge and a variety of massive expertise and experience within Skanska. And as a global player you meet with so many different cultures. I find this very rewarding."
"Then you must agree with the person who said 'I am not laying bricks, I am building a cathedral.' It is both exciting and pleasing to be part of the development of our societies – building schools, homes, hospitals and other facilities that will help improve people's lives. And to do all this in a sustainable way, that's thrilling," Karin concludes.