“The most important thing is competence, not gender.”

Kamila Gudzowska-Krzyzak runs our Siewierz factory in Poland. At 38, she’s one of the youngest plant managers in Europe. In this interview, we find out more about her career journey, her advice for other women looking to pursue a career in manufacturing and her belief that competence – not gender – matters the most when shaping your career.

You’re no stranger to the factory floor having worked at three of our five Polish factories. Can you tell us about your journey at Electrolux?

I joined Electrolux in 2011 and was Head of Controlling in Zarow. Then I became Supply Chain Manager – where I managed a team of 120 people – for six years from 2013 to 2019. I was Acting Plant Manager at Zarow in 2018 and this gave me a quick view of the role and responsibilities of a plant manager.

Most recently, I’ve been in charge of a team of 135 at the Swidnica factory, managing the pre-assembly and gluing area. So, all these experiences gave me a great overview of different parts of the production and logistics chain at different factories. Working daily in the production area gives you both technical and management experience.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge in your new role?

Working with a new team is always challenging but at Siewierz we have a very experienced management team. The most important thing is to get to know each other quickly and use the potential of my team and myself.

What does your management team at Siewierz look like from a gender diversity perspective?

Including me, we are six women and six men making it a perfect 50:50 ratio. This is quite a good balance, I think!

As a working woman, how do you see Electrolux as an employer?

Electrolux is a very good company that supports employee engagement and gives plenty of development opportunities. I haven’t seen a plan which develops employees for plant manager roles in any other company. This definitely distinguishes Electrolux from other employers.

How would you encourage other young women to follow their career dreams?

You have to believe in yourself. The most important thing is to be noticed. With career planning and consistent pursuit of your goals, you have a good chance to make your dreams come true and be successful.

What advice would you give to other women looking toward a senior management position in manufacturing?

Remember that the most important thing is competence, not gender. There are so many opportunities to grow in manufacturing but you have to be confident in your knowledge and skills. Being a good team player is also key.

What are you most proud of?

I’m currently one of the few female plant managers in Europe – and the first in the Electrolux factories in Poland – that makes me proud!

About Kamila Gudzowska-Krzyzak

Nationality: Polish

Background: Studied International Economic Relations at the Wroclaw University of Economics and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business Management Program. Joined Electrolux in 2011.