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“Consider all people as equal and focus on working together rather than against each other”

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In our Diversity@NORMA series, we present the diversity of employees who work for NORMA Group. In 2021, the focus of the series is on female employees at NORMA Group. Female staff members from various departments and countries talk about their professional and personal experiences and provide insights into their wishes for the future.

Rita Orneus is Marketing Service Coordinator at the NORMA Group Office in Stockholm, Sweden. In this interview, she talks about her career, professional challenges and her wishes for the future.

Rita, what woman has had the greatest impact on you in your life and why?

To be honest, my mother. She was a hard-working and passionate woman. Hardly anything was too difficult for her. Even if a task did not fall within her area of responsibility, she always went about her work with joy. She was always held in high esteem by her colleagues for her exceptionally strong commitment and was thus always a great role model for me in my professional life.

How important is your job to you?

I started working for NORMA Group at the beginning of October 2011 and - after nine and a half years - I'm still very happy. Through my job in marketing, I have contact with people from different areas and hierarchical levels every day, and that, all over the globe. My colleagues are always very open-minded and helpful. This enriches my day-to-day work immensely. I have also continuously experienced a feeling of freedom in performing my tasks. It is precisely this way of working, the different cultures, backgrounds and jobs that define diversity for me and make my job at NORMA Group so exciting every day anew.

Why are you where you are professionally today? What challenges have shaped your professional career?

I started my professional life working for a bank. My job there was to trade currencies. I then moved to a financial company. In the years that followed, I was employed by an American company in the graphic arts industry. Before finally moving to NORMA Group in Sweden, I also worked for a Swedish wholesale company that sells German accessories for vehicles. The diversity of the different industries had a great impact on me. Therefore, I would say it was definitely the experience over the years of my professional life that paved the way to my current position.

Throughout my time at NORMA Group, I repeatedly found myself in the gratifying situation of being able to take on additional tasks. In addition, completely new areas of responsibility were added as technological development progressed. This gave me the opportunity to grow beyond myself. For example, I have always been interested in law, but unfortunately did not get to study this subject. Through my work at NORMA Group, I now have the pleasure of gaining an insight into this field of specification in the context of the administration of trademarks and web domains. I'm very happy about that, it's a lot of fun, and it's also very exciting.

What has changed socially during your professional career?

Even if it cannot be factual, the world today "feels" like it is spinning faster. Technically speaking, processes run faster. When I started my professional life, business letters and the fax were the communication media of choice. This also meant that a certain amount of time had to be allowed before a reply could even be expected. Nowadays, we send an e-mail and receive a reply just after that. Communication has evolved to be both time and space independent.

From an interpersonal point of view, I haven't noticed much change in the way I work with other people. I spent many years of my professional life working in a male-dominated world and have always worked with people who treated me well and equally. For me, it was a matter of course that I would give this kind of equal treatment to other people as well.

What do you wish for the future?

My wish is that we don't banish face-to-face meetings from our daily professional lives. This wish is particularly present in the current special situation with home office work. For me, the exchange in the context of face-to-face meetings is very valuable. Through personal meetings, we get to know the other person better. This is important for the team spirit and climate in companies, no matter what industry they belong to. Certainly, there may also be a kind of new "today," such as a mix of presence and virtual work. This will perhaps also lead to a general rethinking of office space sizes or room constellations in companies. One idea could be to set up so-called "meeting points": mixed virtual room and work structures that promote exchange and increase collaboration. This could cut down on a large part of the travel time and give our co-workers more productive time together.

Do you have any advice for women in general?

Consider all people as equal and focus on working together rather than against each other. This will make the workday more pleasant. In the case of very obvious injustices, stand up for yourself, address things early on, because communication is the decisive factor. Colleagues should meet on a common ground and work together to find a solution.

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