Sara Holmberg is Head of HR at Winningtemp.
Winningtemp is an AI powered employee engagement platform that enables you to visualise employee development and gain insights to help enhance engagement and mental wellbeing while minimising stress and staff turnover.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I’m currently the head of Human Resources and a member of the executive management team at Winningtemp. I have more than 20 years of experience from working within different areas of HR, stretching from areas like employee taxation and global mobility to employee engagement and leadership development. I have had the opportunity to work with both big multinational companies as well as small and medium sized organisations, during my career. I live and work in Gothenburg, Sweden and I enjoy the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. I’m also a board member at the Gothenburg Rescue Mission (Räddningsmissionen), a charity organisation working for social rights ensuring everyone has access to a dignified life.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I studied business law at the university, and I don’t think I ever thought I would work as an HR Director when I graduated back in year 2000. But when I started my first job after my studies, I joined EY and a department called Global Employment Solutions, focusing on employment consultancy services for companies with a global work force. One thing led to another, and I later also worked within the same area for PwC for a number of years. My main contacts at our customers when I was a consultant at EY and PwC were the HR Directors, and I’m thankful for the learnings I got from working with so many different companies and sectors during these years. So, no, I have never sat down and made a strategic career plan. But I have always had a strong desire to continue to learn and grow and to deliver value where I’m currently at. This has led me to take on new challenges when the timing has been right.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Yes, many. But I have never felt that I have been on my own in the challenges I have faced. I have always been blessed to work with great people. The most challenging situations in my work life have been related to crisis management in some way or form. But also, the most challenging aspects of life can become a great learning.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I think it must be that I’m still happily married to my husband! We’ve been together for 26 years and that’s a fantastic achievement I think!
Workwise, I’m proud to look back at having made an impact and been true to myself throughout the different jobs I’ve had. The network I have with great people I’ve worked with is also something I’m very proud of.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
Mentoring is something I think we should do more of. I have several people in my network whom I regard as my mentors. We don’t have a formal set-up, but I see them regularly. It’s a beautiful thing to reflect together with someone who does not have the details of the actual situation and don’t know the people involved. It helps me see things from different angles. I also offer my help and time to younger women in my network, where I believe we learn from each other when we share.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for gender parity, what would it be?
Globally – giving every single girl her right to education and her right to freedom. On a company level – making sure to set gender parity targets, measure, take action and follow up.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Be kind to yourself and cherish your friends.
What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I believe businesses will put even more focus on employee wellbeing and purpose in the future, where HR-tech will play an important role. I’m looking forward to learning and growing together with Winningtemp and hoping to see further international expansion of our business. The future looks bright!