Each week we will present readers with a Q&A session with the mentees from our SHE Leads program. We will hear about their experience with SHE Leads, how their mentorships are progressing, and about their ambitions as leaders.
This week we spoke with Cecilie Kjeldsberg, Founder of Better Living Projects, a company dedicated to creating jobs for women in India by purchasing products like t-shirts, aprons, and tote-bags.
What are your ambitions as a future leader?
I have a deep passion for gender equality, and I hope to contribute towards a world where every woman and man have equal worth.
What would be your goals as a leader?
My goals as a leader are always linked with my passion for equality. In the near future, I will continue to scale my business, Better Living Projects, so that we can continue to create more job opportunities for women and minorities in India. In this way, we will be part of shifting the textile industry towards a more sustainable and socially inclusive one.
What are the three words that your employees would say about you as a leader?
My colleagues would say that I am persistent, passionate, and goal-oriented.
Who is your role model?
I am very inspired by all the freedom fighters across the globe, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Gro Harlem Brundtland. They moved mountains over a few decades by changing systems and cultural norms. As Emma Watson said, “If not me, who?”
What are the lessons in your professional career that you have learned the most from?
One of the most important lessons from being an entrepreneur is how mistakes are a part of the journey. And for every mistake, you are just one step closer to success. One of my alarm clock quotes is, “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”
So always make sure to celebrate your mistakes as well as your successes!
Why did you join SHE Leads? What did you hope to learn from the mentors?
I joined SHE Leads to get an insight of what top management consists of and develop tools to prepare for a possible top management role in the future.
What do you think would be your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?
My strengths could also be weaknesses without awareness. I have stamina and endurance, but this could also make me stay in an unhealthy situation for too long.
What are the key takeaways from SHE Leads?
Women are powerful! Bringing women into leadership will change the world.
Why would you recommend future leaders to join SHE Leads?
Attendees learn tools that you did not know you needed. And you get to know incredibly inspiring and brave women, which gives you the support to take the next step both personally and professionally. •
Read more about Better Living Projects here.