Happy International Women’s Day 2021 from all of us here at Steelo! In line with the 2021 theme of women in leadership, I had the pleasure to talk to our General Manager, Magdalena Rajkowska, about leadership in the construction and manufacturing industries.
What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?
I would say that the most important attribute to have is a passion for being a leader. I also do my best to lead my team by example, whilst listening to their comments and learning from them. I think this helps to structure really good team working. Demonstrating passion, commitment, respect, loyalty and optimism are incredibly important as a leader.
What are your current goals?
My current goals are to find and train people with the potential to become General Managers. However, I always am focusing on the bigger picture; continuously working on my weaknesses, improving procedures within the business, working on strategies that will increase sales, participating in training that will help me to become a director in the future. Amongst that all is to ensure I feel satisfied with my work and to ensure that I am enjoying my role.
What are some strategies you’ve learnt that can aid women to achieve a more prominent role in their organisation?
I believe that finding the right organisation that will help you to understand and learn your own strengths are more important than any strategy. People only grow and achieve their goals when they enjoy what they do, whilst finding their strengths in their role. I graduated with an MSc in Civil Engineering, however soon realised that the organisational management and people management skills I possessed were crucial to the role of a General Manager. If it weren’t for the fact that I was able to progress at an organisation that’s values aligned with my own, however, I wouldn’t have been able to progress. It’s important that an employer is eager to support career growth and on-going employee learning and development.
Who inspires you and why?
The biggest inspiration in my life is my husband. He gives me the balance between work and our private life, he is always ready to support me and he always stops me if I need to take a breath to consider what decision will be the best.
What is some advice you would share with young women who want to enter a male-dominated industry? For example, the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
As an engineer and a woman in a male-dominated industry, I’ve learnt that I don’t need to know and understand everything, but I do need to know how to find the answers and that crucial is to build a team that will be able to progress with new ideas.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Always follow your intuition and have respect for others. Prove to your team that you are the one who supports them, from time to time take on their duties to share the workload and to have a better understanding of their roles. Ensure your team receives information in a clear way, give deadlines and remain in the loop regarding ongoing tasks and strategic activities. Be conscientious in what you do and what you want to achieve. Enjoy your time spent at work.