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Women’s Day 2024: Meet Emma & Vania

To celebrate Women’s Day 2024, we’re putting the spotlight on women working at Swappie. In this series of interviews, you’ll get to know female figures from across Swappie’s business and find out how their work contributes to our goals – and what working in sustainable tech means for them.

Swappie Spotlights:  Meet Emma Lehikoinen

To celebrate Women’s Day 2024, we’re putting the spotlight on women working at Swappie. In this series of interviews, you’ll get to know female figures from across Swappie’s business and find out how their work contributes to our goals – and what working in sustainable tech means for them.

Guiding a business like Swappie takes a dynamic and inspirational leader. Swappie’s COO Emma Lehikoinen makes crucial decisions regarding the company’s direction every day, and ensures it remains on course to achieve it’s main objective: to make refurbished electronics mainstream. Read on to hear about what makes Emma tick:”

Hi! Could you briefly introduce yourself and tell readers a little bit about what you do at Swappie on a day-to-day basis? 

I’m Emma, COO at Swappie. My job is to make refurbishment mainstream. I lead the business and own the global P/L at Swappie.

As we all know, Swappie is on a mission to make refurbished electronics mainstream. How does your work contribute to this objective?

Every day I work with questions like how can we get more people to choose refurbished over new, how can we get more people to sell their old smartphones and how can we run an efficient company to make refurbished affordable & accessible to as many people as possible.

Stats say the ratio of men to women is roughly 3:1 in tech. With this in mind, what drove you to pursue a career in the industry?

I got introduced to the world of startups & technology when I volunteered at Slush (a student-led startup conference in Helsinki) roughly 10 years ago. I’m passionate about startups & technology because they are ways to drive change fast and solve meaningful problems at scale. I can’t think of an industry that is more exciting. 

What does being a woman working at a sustainable tech company like Swappie mean to you?

We need a lot more women in leadership roles in the technology industry to solve the hardest problems like fighting climate change. At the moment, women hold only 26.5% of executive, senior-level, and management positions in S&P 500 companies (source). For me it’s clear that to meaningfully shift consumer behavior globally, our employees and leadership need to look like our customers and the world around us – and this includes women.

How do you stay inspired in your work at Swappie? Any top tips for overcoming the everyday workplace challenges we all know and love?

For me the mission of Swappie is the inspiration – working on something that will reduce the CO2 emission and e-waste of the global smartphone industry feels extremely meaningful. I love learning something every day and that keeps me motivated. 

Outside of Swappie, we’d love to know what gets you up in the morning! Whether you’re relaxing or getting energized, how do you spend your downtime?

I love hiking, running, and eating a nice dinner with my loved ones. 

And finally – could you name a woman who’s been a particular inspiration in your own life?

My spouse brings so much joy in my life and is my biggest supporter.

Swappie Spotlights: Meet Vania Amelia

Ensuring visitors to Swappie’s website enjoy a smooth experience is absolutely essential to our business, and finding the right way to guide people to the product that works for them is as much art as it is science. Luckily, Swappie has talent like Vania Amelia to ensure customers travel safely and smoothly throughout our website. Read on to find out about her career path, and what Product Designer’s do on their days off…

Hi! Could you briefly introduce yourself and tell readers a little bit about what you do at Swappie on a day-to-day basis? 

Hi, I’m Vania. I’m a Product Designer at Demand Product Team at Swappie. I’m working mostly on the design of Swappie’s website, mainly the buying journey.

As we all know, Swappie is on a mission to make refurbished electronics mainstream. How does your work contribute to this objective? 

My work is to improve the customer experience on the website and make it easier for customers to find and buy the phone that they like. This contributes to the objective so that more customers will buy refurbished phones and enjoy the process along the way.

Stats say the ratio of men to women is roughly 3:1 in tech. With this in mind, what drove you to pursue a career in the industry?

Design has always been my passion, but I started out as a Graphic Designer. Along my professional journey, I realised I was more into product design and there were still a lot more to learn in the industry. I felt like I could grow more as a designer in tech, so I switched up my career.

What does being a woman working at a sustainable tech company like Swappie mean to you?

I’m from Indonesia where there are very little companies who focus on sustainability and my dream has always been to work at such company. Working at Swappie as a woman in tech and as someone who’s not from the EU means a lot to me. I wish to inspire my friends and connections to also start looking for opportunities outside of their comfort zones.

How do you stay inspired in your work at Swappie? Any top tips for overcoming the everyday workplace challenges we all know and love?

When I’m faced with low motivation, I usually created a list of little tasks that I need to do each day, this helps me keep my focus. Put on my favourite music in the background and just do them. Most of the times, I realise that the big tasks that I initially hated and wanted to avoid, turn out to be a simple one and little by little, the job is done.

Outside of Swappie, we’d love to know what gets you up in the morning! Whether you’re relaxing or getting energized, how do you spend your downtime?

“I love to paint and create handmade stuff, most of this activities are very relaxing especially when you put an instrumental music on while doing it. I’ve been learning to do a lot of new things such as making clay earrings and crocheting. Now I’m looking to learn pottery but still waiting for my queue.”

And finally – could you name a woman who’s been a particular inspiration in your own life?

My inspiration is my mother. She always supports me in whatever things I want to do. Even when I needed to leave Indonesia for a job at Swappie, she never questioned my decision.

International Women’s Day is a global event dedicated to honoring the achievements and contributions of women throughout history. It also serves as a call-to-action for gender equality and women’s rights, as another opportunity to raise awareness about issues women face worldwide and to celebrate their accomplishments.

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