From building strong supplier relationships to championing ethical and sustainable practices, women in procurement are breaking down barriers, challenging assumptions, and creating fresh solutions. And across the tech and engineering industries, women are embedding a leadership style that emphasizes empathy, emotional intelligence, and collaboration, which fosters a positive work environment, improves team morale, and drives innovation.
In celebration of International Women's Day, we spoke to some of our incredible Keelvar customers, partners, and employees about their chosen career paths, and why women’s contributions to these industries are more critical than ever.
Anna Nesterova - Director, Head of Procurement Excellence & PMO Global Procurement at VELUX
With a background in finance, Anna eventually moved on to management consulting within procurement and supply chain. She joined VELUX to head up Procurement Excellence & PMO to drive the procurement team to the next maturity level and further enhance the value creation of the procurement function.
“It sometimes is more of a man's world, but I trust we, women, have a lot to bring in terms of mindset, breadth of creativity, and diversity.”
Claudia Argentato - Strategic Sourcing Manager & Procurement Operations Support Team Manager at OLIN
Since starting out in the chemical industry as a young adult, Claudia has assumed multiple roles – from customer services, product marketing, and within procurement. In the last 10+ years of her journey, Claudia has managed multiple portfolios within the direct and indirect space and has risen to manage a team of procurement professionals as well as managing the EMEAI Logistics portfolio, which encompasses both national and global properties.
“I personally found my passion within procurement as it offers such an interesting environment to be in. There is so much potential, not just to cut costs but also to drive innovation, quality, sustainability, speed to market, and risk, to mention just a few aspects.
"And if doing all this in a great team, as I have the privilege to be in, what more could I wish for!”
Gwen Burchell - Engineering Manager at Keelvar
Gwen began her engineering career as a 12-year-old writing Pascal in University College Cork at a Saturday morning coding club. From taking part in her first Hello World to more complex technical challenges, Gwen discovered a real passion for finding solutions and working with other engineers. Now, almost 20 years later, Gwen has loved the different opportunities this career has opened up to her and the incredible people she has worked with in each different role.
"Here at Keelvar, we are pushing the boundaries of technology to build a more intelligent, transformative procurement experience. It is a hugely exciting place to work and innovate.”
Maureen Loum Ødegård - VP Partner Sales at Xeneta
Starting out in the IT and software industry, Maureen Loum Ødegård began working in partner business development, first as a program manager and then as a partner manager with Microsoft. In 2019, she joined Cognite to develop and build a partner program and community.
Maureen has since risen to a role as VP of Commercial Partnerships, building a strategy from the ground-up, developing a winning team, and building business partnerships with multinational logistics, procurement, and technology companies.
“Building relationships with people has always been a passion of mine, and my recent experience in the global tech and logistics industry has shown how tech solutions can drive innovation and drastically elevate business success. I am honored to be in a position to make an impact, as I and my team contribute to Xeneta's mission of transforming the shipping and logistics industry by delivering added value from commercial partnerships.
“As a woman in the global technology and logistics industries, I am proud to be part of the movement creating a fast-growing women's network.”
Karina Frahm - Project Lead ‐ Sourcing Excellence, Global Sourcing at KK Wind
Starting out in the industry as a young adult, Karina began working in procurement and has since risen to manage various business excellence projects within the industry. Karina values the dynamism of working with stakeholders in particular, and enjoys the challenges of stakeholder management which she sees as crucial to the success of procurement at KK Wind.
“It is brilliant to be in an industry that previously was very male-dominated but starts to see that women are positively influencing the industry and adding in lots of value to the companies within the industry. The potential in the industry is huge, and the changes needed is calling for rather soft skills in which women play a huge role.”
Jocelyn Hansen - VP of Sales at Searoutes
Jocelyn has spent more than two decades in the supply chain industry working for technology companies dealing with operations, procurement, and sustainability.
“As VP of Sales at Searoutes, it is both exciting and a privilege to help companies drive procurement forward and adopt new approaches to sustainable procurement. In addition, as President of WISTA [Women's International Shipping & Trading Association] Denmark, I believe that women's voices can help to inspire innovation, creativity, and positive change.”
Geraldine Brouste - Customer Success Manager at Keelvar
Geraldine has always been passionate about supporting and helping customers in various roles and industries over the past two decades. Life brought her to Customer Success in the Tech industry 15 years ago and more recently to Keelvar, where she discovered the world of AI and procurement.
"I have always been comfortable with customers, no matter what my role was. This is something that comes naturally to me. I just love building relationships based on trust and mutual respect which helps me navigate through the highs and lows of everyday challenges that come with my role.
"My first and most important job is being a mom of three young kids. Keelvar has been the most supportive company I have worked for in that regard. They allow me to thrive in my role while being the best mum I can be. They empower people. Men and women."