Stories of Electrolux – Defying expectations in the engineering world

As a department head working in connectivity and technology, Natalia Emelyanova strives to help create a team of both men and women, but in the engineering world that’s not always an easy task. This is the ninth in a series of stories where we spotlight employees who have been nominated by their co-workers as role models in how to shape living for the better.

Maybe because of this, she has thrived on taking on new challenges in her six years at Electrolux in St. Petersburg, Russia. Natalia Emelyanova is the Site Administration Leader of Global Connectivity and Technology. She is an engineer who takes singing lessons, has worked as a model and loves fashion and design.

Natalia is known as a powerful leader who is a good listener. She has built a strong team thanks to a combination of strategic hiring decisions, finding fast solutions to problems and creating a good atmosphere at the office. Here’s her story.

What does shape living for the better mean to you?

As an administrative manager, I feel it is very important to build an atmosphere in the office so people feel happy. If you create a friendly environment where people are satisfied with what they are doing and where they work, they will deliver much better results in projects. This is shape living for the better to me.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I love my job as I never get bored and that’s because I have so many very different responsibilities. Since 2017, our team has grown from 14 people to 31. Growing so fast we had to build a new office. That process was very interesting as I had so many opportunities to learn something new— I had to develop technical documentation and layout skills, choose a design, materials and more to get the job done.

Why are you passionate about your role?

I particularly love when we are hiring new people and I use my social psychology skills in order to get on board the best team members. In my role, it is very important to make sure the department is running smoothly. So it makes me happy to build the best possible team.

What kind of challenges do you face?

I have a variety of challenges and I really like them because they motivate me. For example, since we are engineers working on software development, connectivity, mobile app and web development, artificial intelligence including machine learning and computer vision, and chemical compliance metrics, if the internet is down in the office, we can’t work. It is very important to quickly respond and find a solution. If there is an overload of activities, it motivates me to use time management to solve things. I really enjoy taking responsibility when an emergency is happening in the office.

What do you want to accomplish in your role?

Over the last six years I have accomplished a lot. I am an authentic leader and a good listener. (When I speak with our engineers, I listen 80% of the time and talk only 20.) I would now like to achieve more in a strategic way and think about the future from the beginning. This is very challenging and it doesn’t come in one day—it takes experience and time.