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Sanna Anderson is a visionary sales leader with passion for driving growth and delivering customer experience excellence. She helps customers to digitalise their business processes and adopt innovative technologies to transform how they do business today and tomorrow. Sanna thrives in a dynamic and challenging environment where tough targets are achieved through empowered people, inclusive company culture and continuous learning.
She has been a part of our community for a reasonable number of years, hence we reached out to interact with her to get to know her a little bit more:
Why did you join the Women Automotive Network?
I love networking, sharing of ideas and constant learning so while working in automotive sector I was keen to become part of a community which is actively providing networking opportunities, influencing industry, empowering women and driving diversity in action.
Why is DE&I important to you?
I'm passioned about every individual being able to have the same opportunities, regardless of gender, race, age, etc – to me it's basic human rights. Already since early 2000, I've been fortuned to work for companies who believed in empowering women and actively worked on making sure all levels in the organisation understood the impact of unconscious biases as well as the potential when all employees were included. Despite a lot has improved over the years in many industry sectors, the work isn't over yet. We cannot afford as businesses not to include everyone, and we need to make sure that we're intentional in bringing people with diverse backgrounds together. I firmly believe that the only way to innovate, grow and be relevant in the future is through diverse talents – we need everyone's contribution to thrive and make a difference. Even though it's not all about the gender, automotive sector still represents one of the most male dominant industries and we need to keep on educating, sharing, and showcasing concrete examples how and why it benefits the businesses to enable women to have equal opportunities in each level of the organisations.
What is the number one automotive trend you are keeping up with currently?
I'm closely following ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiatives for the industry and how manufacturers and other industry players are deploying both end-to-end solutions as well as meaningful measurements to drive more sustainable future for us all.
What are your predictions for the automotive industry in 2023?
We'll continue to see focus on EVs which results in increased R&D budgets by the manufacturers whilst we're also living in VUCA world and try to adapt to the climate of uncertainty and shortage in many fronts.
Who is your inspirational woman?
There are many women I could mention, great role models, mentors and colleagues who have supported me to constantly learn and grow. However, if I must choose one, that would be a former French rally driver Michèle Mouton. You see, I'm a huge motorsport fan, especially rally and F1 fan. I grew up in Finland in a region where we've had FIA´s WRC rallies since before I was born. My father used to take me with him to the rally events and I fell in love with those amazing cars with great sound, the speed, and especially very talented drivers. Back in 1980s Michèle competed in the world rally championship for Audi factory team taking victories in several countries and finishing as a runner-up in the drivers´ world championship. Still today she remains the first and only woman winning WRC rallies. Ever since I have been following Michèle's career closely and I'm very inspired by her example not to ever give up or stop believing in yourself even if no one else has done it before, you can do it! Michèle's example was instrumental for me and proved that anything is possible if you've got determination, focus and resilience. Well needless to say, I never became a rally driver – which was though my first ever dream job – yet I've been passioned about fast cars and automotive industry. Still today the profound example Michèle set by being the first one in her field inspires me to believe that if you can dream it, you can do it. Nowadays in her 70s Michèle continues to be a great role model and inspiration for us all as she's heading FIA´s Women in Motorsport Commission, being also a member of FIA´s safety delegation and driving rally stages prior the race to inspect the safety of the race. I only wish I could meet her in person one day – perhaps in this year's rally event in Finland.
What is your proudest career moment?
Those moments when I've been able to support and coach someone else to reach their goals and reach their full potential. I believe in constant learning, teamwork and challenging one another to think bigger, reach higher and go beyond any individual could go alone. That is also the reason why I love contributing to Women Automotive Network mentoring program, where I'm just about to embark for the 3rd time as mentor for high potential female leaders.
What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome?
I've found in a hard way that one must find the right culture fit to be able to contribute, thrive and be your authentic self at work. While working many years in male dominant industries it hasn't always been easy to “be the only women in the table” but I've learned a lot and always believed in integrity and fairness with everything I did, and I can say that it paid off. It's important to know your values and understand what you're not willing to sacrifice under any circumstances. And the truth is that probably the hardest experiences make the most difference in our lifelong journey to grow and reach our fullest potential.
What was your first car?
Red Opel Kadett-E 1.3 Hatchback
What advice would you offer to those considering starting a career within the automotive industry?
Automotive industry needs diverse talents and offers great variety of different roles when going through the current transformation and I'm confident that it provides great opportunities from entry level to C-level for anyone passioned about making a difference.
In one word, what is the opportunity for women in automotive currently?
Connect with Sanna on LinkedIn
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