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"Leadership is about creating team spirit"

Petra Barkeby

Petra Barkeby is a leader who loves trading and technology and who likes to be inspired by the world of sport. Today she is Head of Trading Area within Technology and has completed five eventful years at SEB.

The Technology Trading business area is responsible for further development, maintenance and operation of the IT solutions used for all types of financial trading. This can include shares, currencies, fixed-income products and commodities as well as developing business intelligence solutions for these products.

“The IT solutions are used both for SEB’s own trading with these products and by our customers within the Large Corporates and Financial Institutions segment. We are also responsible for the bank’s regulatory reporting,” says Petra Barkeby.

Petra Barkeby has an M.Sc. in engineering and is a technician at heart and worked for many years as a developer of financial trading systems which is an advantage today when she heads a business area that develops IT solutions for similar systems.

Her business area uses agile processes and she finds it attractive that she cannot plan her working day in detail. She likes challenges which she sees as clear advantage for working within trading.

“Things move fast within our area and we must always be out in front in order to keep up the same pace as our competitors. I get a kick out of this intensity!”

Leadership inspiration from the world of sport

Petra Barkeby has a past as a football player and coach for children and draws a lot of inspiration from the world of sport when she now leads her management team.

“In sport, you win and lose together. But you also learn a lot from your losses and work to create safety within the team. I think making your team feel safe is an important key to good leadership.  

At SEB there is a genuine interest in the soft issues within leadership and very good tools with which managers can create a safe and stimulating working environment,” she says.

Trust allows employees to test new approaches

Petra Barkeby believes that a safe working environment makes a positive contribution to a company’s business development.

“Within leadership today there is a lot of talk about psychological safety – that every team member should feel safe enough to dare to say what they think.”

Why is trust important?

“Trust creates an atmosphere in which failure doesn’t feel so dangerous – and this means employees dare to take risks and try new approaches.

“We as a group must help to develop our business areas. We need to be out ahead and on our toes to meet competition in the market. In order to be innovative, we need to continually improve. One key task for me as a manager is therefore to strengthen and inspire my colleagues to accept new challenges.”

Petra Barkeby believes that much of her career was influenced by former managers who inspired, pushed and supported her.

“Being a manager was not really on my career agenda but one day some ten years ago, an opportunity arose by chance to obtain a minor managerial position. I took that chance, largely thanks to the support from my manager at the time who believed in me.”

What’s your advice to those who want to became a manager?

“Start by taking on an informal leadership role to try it out, as a scrum master or team lead for example.”.

Personally, she has never regretted taking that step to become a manager. Being involved and helping people to grow and develop, influencing the business and finding a solution to a challenge together with her colleagues are aspects that both inspire and motivate her.

“There is such a strength in our business area and I am challenged and energised by my fantastic employees every day.”