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Navigating change in tech

Meet Marion Løken, an Engineering and Product Manager at Schibsted who passionately works towards a more inclusive tech industry.

Marion’s career in tech began with promise and potential in France, armed with a knowledge base rooted in engineering and a PhD in Applied Mathematics. However, her path was not without obstacles. “Early in my career, I faced challenges as a woman in tech, including demeaning comments and stereotypes about women’s emotional stability and commitment,” Marion shares, reflecting on her early years.

The move to Norway marked a pivotal turn in her journey, not just geographically but in her professional mindset. “Moving to Norway expanded my professional horizons and introduced me to the Nordic philosophy of work-life balance, which I am a fan of,” she shares. Marion has now lived in Norway for 15 years and spent the last decade in various leadership roles.

Building an inclusive environment
In her role at Schibsted, Marion has focused on making the mobility marketplace more accessible and user-friendly, paying particular attention to ensuring that the experience is equitable for all users, especially women. “My goal is to lead my team in a way that empowers our users, helping them to make informed decisions,” she states, emphasising her passion for technology and its potential to effect positive change.

For Marion, inclusion and equity are fundamental principles she lives by. “To me, inclusion and equity mean adopting a mindful approach to decision-making, ensuring that my actions and decisions are fair and without prejudice,” she explains. It’s about creating a space where everyone, regardless of background or identity, feels they belong and can contribute.

Insights from experience
Reflecting on her journey, Marion highlights the lessons she learned along the way. “Leadership used to mean fitting into a specific mould, often characterised by a certain type of assertiveness seen in charismatic men. But the landscape is evolving.” Marion appreciates the changing dynamics that now value authenticity and empathy alongside vision in leadership. “Being genuine and showing empathy, traits once undervalued, are now recognised as central to effective leadership. I’ve learned that embracing my true self is not only liberating but also amplifies my ability to lead.”

Discussing the importance of diversity and inclusion, Marion shares: “Diverse teams are vital for innovation, offering a range of perspectives and solutions. However, diversity alone isn’t enough.” She emphasises that true success comes from inclusivity – making every team member feel valued and heard. “I’ve seen diversity initiatives fail when inclusivity isn’t part of the equation, leading to a quick turnover of the very diversity we sought to achieve. Real inclusion means actively removing biases and creating a supportive environment where everyone can thrive.”

A vision for the future
As International Women’s Day approaches, Marion’s experiences remind us of both the strides we’ve made towards equality and the distance we still have to cover. Her journey illustrates the ongoing fight for a more inclusive and equitable professional world.

Looking forward, Marion envisions a workplace and a world where diversity and inclusion are not just aspirations but realities. “The future I see is one where diversity is the standard,” she hopes. Her story, characterised by perseverance, thoughtful leadership and a commitment to inclusivity, serves as an inspiration, both within and outside the tech industry.