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Bodil Sonesson

Trying harder and the right employees

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The stories in our newswire this week are part of our annual Women in Security special report. When I interviewed Bodil Sonesson, VP global sales for Axis Communications, we were talking about her work outside of Axis, as a member of the board of directors of a public company based in Norway. I was interested to learn that public companies in Norway are required to have a certain percentage of women on their corporate boards. 

Sonesson said that she was recruited for the board. It wasn't easy, the headhunter told Sonesson, to find a woman with extensive experience with global sales and marketing and an advanced business degree. To find a woman who met that profile the headhunter told Sonesson, he just needed to "try harder." 

"I wouldn't be on the board if it wasn't for that quota," she said. "Once they found me, I had a chance. It was up to me to do a good job," she said.

The story reminded me of a joke we have at my house. When they were younger, my kids would open the refrigerator and without looking inside they'd say, "Mum, where's the butter?" I would remind them, that just because the butter, or whatever they're looking for, did not fall into their outstretched hand, it does not mean there's no butter in the fridge. Sometimes you need to take a few extra minutes and look around.

Sonesson, who oversees a global sales team that's grown eightfold under her leadership, said she believes diversity in the workplace is important, and advises recruiters she works with to "try harder" to find the right candidates for jobs.  

Today there are more women than men on the corporate board where Sonesson is a director. And, yes, it's a profitable company that's doing well.

Trying harder to increase diversity of all kinds—gender, race, age, ethnicity, experience—makes good business sense. Think about it. Your shareholders may thank you.

This year we've profiled four leaders in our industry, Bodil Sonesson, Axis Communications VP global sales; Jill Lloyd, owner of Lloyd Security; Bethany Taylor, Dakota Security director of operations; Judy Randle, president of Central Montoring. Our Five Questions this month features Cassie Weaver, operations coordinator for Dakota Security. We also have a general news story about how security companies use social media which features three women: Rebecca Matson Purtz of director of business development for Matson Alarm; Alison Shiver, residential sales and marketing manager; and Kristin Milner, ADS director of marketing.    

Axis VP’s global role evolves with firm’s big growth

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SAN ANTONIO—After doing some consulting work for Axis Communications in the mid-90s, Bodil Sonesson was recruited by Axis in 1996, the year it introduced the first network camera.