To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, we are showcasing some of K2’s female managers. These women not only contribute to K2’s continued growth but also help create a positive and dynamic culture.
In this blog in the series, we meet Constanze Gunnarsson, Director of Learning and Development (Europe):
1. What is your professional background?
I began my career by gaining a master’s degree in International Business Administration. I’ve now spent almost 15 years in the recruitment industry.
2. What challenges have you encountered during your career and how did you overcome them?
To name a major one, I moved from Germany to the UK and started working at K2 in September 2008 – literally two weeks before the financial crisis hit the world. It was a tough year to say the least and was a steep learning curve. I had to remain resilient and calm and never stop believing in myself.
3. What achievement are you most proud of in your career?
I was asked to build up the resource team in London from scratch back in 2013.
Why am I proud of it? I made a direct impact on other people’s careers. I managed a lot of K2 employees’ who went on to build successful careers within K2 for themselves. In recognition of this contribution to the company, I was invited to K2’s yearly incentive trip to South Africa, which was pretty amazing!
4. Who is your greatest inspiration or role model?
I don’t have one role model per se. Living in Wimbledon I have taken a liking to tennis, so I find the Williams Sisters, Nadal, Djokovic and Federer pretty amazing. They have been at the top of their game for such a long time and none of them has ever given up.
5. What traits have served you best in your career?
Tenacity. This may even originate from my name, Constanze. It can be translated from Latin into the ‘determined’ one.
6. What are the three main traits that make a manager successful in your opinion?
Vision, transparency, open communication.
7. What do you do to ensure a good work/life balance? How do you unwind?
I spend a lot of time exploring the world and nature with my three-year-old son, which often gives me a whole new perspective on things. It’s a lot of fun and refreshing to see the world through the eyes of a three-year-old! Time permitting, I love to go running and then relax with a good plate of food and a glass of wine, listening to some music.
8. What is the best piece of career advice you have been given?
‘Hinfallen ist keine Schande, aber liegenbleiben’ – my brother and I were brought up with this motto. It can be translated along the lines of‚ ‘there‘s no shame in falling over, only in not getting up‘. This has served me well throughout my career.
9. What’s a fun fact about you?
I was crowned school champion in fast typing twice in a row! However, this isn’t so cool or relevant in the era of AI and robotics anymore…
10. What advice would you give to your younger self
Don’t look back in anger! No honestly, I don’t regret any of my major life decisions. I would do it all over again.
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