Towards Meritocracy

18 April 2016

Tommy Högström

Earlier SCC Scholar, Anna Lundin, 27, was recently awarded the honourable prize ‘Female Economist of the Year 2015’ and a position at the music giant Spotify, an opportunity many of her peers would only dream about.

“The award has come with so much more than the title, I also got the job of my dreams. The possibility to stand up for something I believe in is extremely important, it’s a true honour”, Lundin tells The LINK.

After finishing studies at Stockholm School of Economics combined with a career in finance, Lundin was awarded the Anders Wall Scholarship at the age of 24. The Scholarship came with a one year position at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK in London, where she learned valuable networking and project management skills and got the chance to meet many fascinating people and companies.

“The Chamber gave me a taste of marketing and I moved back to Stockholm to pursue a master’s in Marketing and Media Management at Stockholm School of Economics”, Lundin says.

‘Almost finished’ doesn’t cut it

With a great interest in the third world and social, economic and environmental sustainability issues, Lundin was in 2015 awarded the prize ‘Female Economist of The Year’, an award aiming to highlight future female leaders and contribute to strong female role models.

“I believe I got the award because I have dared. Dared to go all in for handball, to apply to university, travel the world, to fail and to have fun. I believe that if you have motivation, a good attitude and energy you can go really far and if you’re doing what you believe in, you have motivation with you at all times. I also try to commit fully to what I undertake as no one is thanking me for something ‘almost finished’. “

The award came with a desirable position at Spotify as a ‘Difference Maker’, working closely with the founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon and attending board meetings. Lundin is now working with Brilliant Minds, an event Ek is hosting together with Swedish artist Aviici’s manager Ash Pournouri in June next year, among other projects.
“I am thrilled to represent a company whose product makes people truly happy in such a dynamic industry,” Lundin says.

Towards a meritocratic society
A topic broadly discussed today is equality, especially within business, and Lundin is very clear with what she thinks; we need to aim for a society that doesn’t judge people by demographics, but on merit only.

“I am hoping that we one day will live in a meritocratic society where gender itself neither benefits nor challenges leadership”

The world IS changing but too slowly, according to Lundin. People need to create frameworks as guidance to speed up the process. We will all benefit from diversified boards, she says, because it will lead to equal expectations on men and women further down in organisations and subsequently in society.

In Lundin’s opinion the so called “club mentality” among men is a problem facing women in management contexts, referring to activities that indirectly excludes women.

“’Club mentality’ is dangerous because it inhibits the benefits of a diverse management and leads to individuals not expressing their opinions in order to avoid being excluded from the homogenous group”.

Another challenge facing women in leading positions, according to Lundin, is the necessity to prove themselves to a higher degree than men by showing themselves strong and tough, attributes traditionally seen as masculine.

Men and women may well possess different attributes, but as long as employees are judged on criteria other than than what they achieve, the full advantage is not being taken of their capabilities. Therefore the best way of utilising these differences might just be to judge employees only by their merits and what they can contribute with, not by their demographics.



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