At Kindred, we are passionate about Diversity and are committed to building a diverse team with an Inclusive and Equitable experience for all. We spoke to Charlotta Shelbourg who heads up our Player Verification team about her career at Kindred, equality and how she Dares To Challenge.
Tell us about your career at Kindred?
I’d been in the industry for several years, so when my husband and I moved from Malta to Stockholm, I wanted to find a company where I could see myself staying for a long time. Thanks to the great reputation within the industry, Kindred was at the top of my list, so I was very happy to join as Product Owner for the Verification team. I really enjoyed it, and after some time as Experience Owner of Be in Control, I moved to Player Sustainability as Head of Player Verification, which has been my role for the past year.
My incredible team and I set the strategy for customer verification, an area where so much innovation is currently happening. One of our key priorities is making sure that there is trust from the customers for the solutions we choose and the flows we introduce, we’ve come far but there are always improvements to be made. The best part of my job is that it’s never truly finished.
Tell us about yourself, what do you like to do when you are not working?
Many of my favourite pastimes are currently restricted or impossible; going to nice restaurants, travelling and hanging out with friends. I’ve tried to make the best of the situation by developing my cooking - I’ve been trying out new recipes and challenging myself in the kitchen.
With travelling abroad being completely off the table, last summer we actually bought an old car and drove around Sweden, stretching our restless legs. It’s amazing how much there is to experience close to home, that you normally never would’ve given a chance.
I also started playing golf, which is a great way to add some more outdoors time and to meet interesting people. And I rediscovered video games, which is great for the bad weather season when sitting inside is the only option.
What is the biggest challenge you have overcome in your career so far?
By nature, I’m a generalist, so my biggest challenge has been to understand what I want out of my career and what milestones are needed to get me there. Having clear goals helps me develop the right abilities and strengths needed to achieve them.
To figure out what I really wanted, took a lot of work and the courage to try new things and over time I’ve managed to find my path. I can’t say my whole future is planned out but I’m very happy with where I’m at now and I’ve still got a few glass ceilings that I want to break, but all in good time.
One of our values is Dare To Challenge. What does that mean to you?
Dare to Challenge is a great invitation to everyone at Kindred - get involved and bring your own unique perspective! For me, it means informing yourself, getting on top of the issue and reaching out for more knowledge. With more people being knowledgeable about the topic, our ability to find the best solutions is limitless.
When I first dared to challenge, it made me realise that people will not feel attacked just because your ideas are different, they actually appreciate it. Now I’m used to questioning and challenging, and it is something I actively encourage in my team. Being challenged can sometimes be difficult but it always leads to better results.
What do you think needs to improve to get more women into senior positions in business?
Being transparent on gender distribution within the company, especially in senior roles, is one way to understand the extent of the problem. Having figures on this also helps us measure progress — how can we make sure that our efforts are pushing us in the right direction if we are not measuring it? An even more concrete example is to make sure that speakers in company presentations represent the diversity they are aiming for.
There are other improvements that everyone can make personally, for example, men in senior positions need to look outside of their networks when looking for candidates, and women applying for jobs need to stop underestimating themselves when matching their profiles against job descriptions.
If you could give one piece of advice to other women looking to progress up the career ladder what would it be?
Other people’s journeys have always really inspired me, there’s so much to learn from the paths taken by others. Getting perspectives from senior colleagues on how they’ve managed difficult situations has given me so much knowledge which I still benefit from to this day.
You can acquire this knowledge in so many different ways. I’d suggest finding someone in a suitable role, whose work experience inspires you and ask them to be your mentor. You might get a no, but most people at least have time for a chat over coffee.
Never be scared to let your voice be heard, what’s the worst that could happen?