We are excited to present to you another amazing woman in the Technology Industry: Minttu Viitanen, Country Lead for Health and Public Services (Managing Director), Accenture Finland
I have a master’s degree in business and economics and started out by working in financial accounting for a manufacturing company. At the time, back in 2005, there was an ERP system implementation boom in the company, and the people working in these projects traveled around the world for this work. I wanted more of the same. I then realized that the set-up that would serve me best would be to carry out similar projects for a variety of companies and this led me to join Accenture. On this path, I gradually moved away from financial accounting to work with technology implementations in general. So, I guess you could say I ended up in tech partly deliberately partly accidentally.
I get really excited about the long-term opportunities technology can brings to a certain industry and how it helps to take it concretely to the next level — and consequently the customer and citizen experience for us all. I have been focusing on visioning what is the next phase for digital justice, for example. I love the conversations with the clients and partners in this kind of foresight work.
I have learned that though there may be variances in what different genders value, these are not that defining. If you want to attract great women, the things you will do will attract fabulous men as well.
I believe people want to work for organizations that are true to their values, want to use technology for the good of people and the environment, and hold themselves accountable for doing their part in this world. On a practical level, all work-life balance arrangements that make it possible and easier to pursue a successful career and be present for loved ones are appreciated. I have for example found our company-provided nanny service for sick kids and support to keep fit and energized really valuable.
Accenture conducts an annual “Getting to Equal” research to elaborate on the different aspects of inclusion and diversity. I found one of the key findings from this year’s research particularly inspiring:
Culture makers are the leaders that are able to engage people and drive higher business growth. I want to become a culture maker.
I have to name here Sheryl Sandberg. Reading her book ‘Lean In’ really helped me to draw healthier boundaries for myself and got me thinking on what kind of behavior will help me forward in my career, allowing me to stay true to myself at the same time.
“My advice would be that at least do not get hung up on the concern of having a 100% matching degree or being tech-oriented enough as a person and so on.”
The technology industry needs people with a diverse set of skills and backgrounds. At the end of the day, technology is used to amplify us, humans. Therefore, the industry also is and needs to even more in the future, leading the way as an inclusive place to work and thrive. Just in my team alone, there are people with backgrounds such as jazz musicians, nurses, Ph.D. in war academics, and professional athletes.
For me, the biggest learning in my career has been that it is important to use moments of failure and shortcomings for learning. They offer you insights that you cannot access in a moment of high or while winning.