Women Who Inspire Us: Karin Forseke, CBE
Karin Forseke was awarded a CBE by the Queen for services to the UK financial services industry. She is known for building sustainable, successful organisations in the financial, public and non-profit sectors and is a regular speaker on values-based leadership and the role of women in business and society. We admire her for the work she has done and continues to do to empower women in the workplace.
What would you describe as pivotal moments in your career to date?
There are many moments and they continue to develop. Life is a journey full of opportunities if we keep our eyes open and take the opportunities.
The most important moments have been the ones when I have dared to stand up for my values even when it has been against the easiest option or prevailing “mood in the room”. That is when I have felt the best and gained most in confidence and self-respect.
Shop Karin's Hampstead jacket here
What advice would you give to a young woman in the workplace today?
Believe in yourself, you have much more to give than you think. Trust your intuition, a friend of mine said: ”You can cheat on your intuition but your intuition never cheats on you” which I found to be so true.
Make sure you pick your boss and partner at work and at home; who value you and will support you.
Take your space, for example in meetings, (especially with new people around the table) speak up early, even if you don’t have anything to add, make sure your voice is put on the table early on. Maybe just asking something about the agenda or time allocated to meeting. Just place your voice on the table. Secure your own personal financials; at work; make sure you get paid equally and at home; make sure you have your own accounts, pensions etc.
Questions to answer:
- Who are your role models?
- Who are your mentors?
- Where are you looking to anticipate the next change professionally and personally?
- What is the diversity of your network?
- Are you brave enough to break out of established practices?
If there was one thing that you could wish for if you had a magic wand, what would it be?
A world in which women have equal standing in all aspects of society.
In what ways are you committed to making the world a better place? What are your ways of giving back to the planet?
As my fundamental belief that we will not have a better world, all around, until the day women have an equal standing in all aspects of life, therefore I focus all my efforts on supporting women to gain self-confidence, eradicate violence against women, end child marriage and bring transparency to gender equality in business. I do this by mentoring women (and some men) and the following board work; Equileap, Girls not Brides and Storasyster (BigSister, a Swedish organization supporting victims of sexual violence).
What do you love most about your culthread piece?
It is a very nice looking and comfortable jacket that I can wear with pride as it is a product with a purpose. I love the fact that it comes from recycled materials. It proves the point! I am telling everyone about this fabulous jacket and company – made by women for women!