We recently sat down with Susanne Moll, one of the wonderful ladies behind Digital Chameleon, an owner-managed consultancy agency for Digital Transformation within HealthCare. Part of the team currently joined OneCoWork Plaça Catalunya. Susi told us about the business's birth, some of her struggles as a woman in tech, and what she thinks is the future for women looking to start something great.
Hey, Digital Chameleon! Tell us a little bit about the story of your business and mission?
Digital Chameleon is a consulting agency for Digital Transformation within the healthcare sector. We help our clients to digitalize their processes. We were founded on International Women's Day of 2019 by our CEO Tanja Rohark, and today our headquarter is based in Switzerland, with offices in Spain and Germany.
Our core business is quality management in the healthcare industry, but everything made with the agile mindset and way of working. It's a really wide spectrum. We advise, build, manage, integrate, analyze, audit, and coach our clients. We provide them with Digital Health Solutions, like Digital Health Platforms, Apps, Software as a Medical device, etc.
When you think of a quality manager, the picture that comes to mind is an angry, inflexible man coming to your company and telling you what you're doing wrong. We want to change this by being a diverse and disruptive team with and open-minded and modern approach. We show our clients how to digitalize their old processes.
It looks like you're doing great so far, how did your slogan come about?
After 20 years of working in big companies in this industry, our CEO Tanja decided to build her startup because she hated old-fashioned structures and their ways of thinking. She decided that there had to be a change, so our slogan is "Quality Revolution with Swiss Excellence."
So Susi, can you share a little bit about yourself and your career background?
My background is mixed. I studied Law then switched to Marketing. I've been working remotely for the last year for an e-commerce company, mainly with digital marketing and social media.
I found this opportunity with Digital Chameleon by networking with one of the consultants because they needed someone to put everything together. Sometimes, when you have a diverse CV like mine, it fits well for positions like this one. For me, the healthcare sector was also something new, but it's really exciting and challenging.
And what's a typical day for you with Digital Chameleon?
There are no typical days. Three of the consultants live in Germany, two in Barcelona and one in Switzerland. We all have our own coworking spaces, and everybody works flexibly. For us, it's really important that all employees can decide when, where, and how they work—always having the clients as the focus.
It's amazing to see that Digital Chameleon is a company formed basically by women in a world where technology is a male-dominated field. Is this somehow a part of the company's values?
When building the company, Tanja searched for the most open-minded quality managers she knew, and they happened to be all women. The most important thing is having a hands-on mentality, being confident with who you are, and saying what you think.
We don't exclude anyone, but the best we could find first were all female professionals. At the moment, we are five female consultants and me as a Business Operations Manager. This week we'll be welcoming our first male colleague; we're curious to see how it will be having a man joining the team.
Love that! What steps do you think we can take to attract more women to tech?
I believe the first step is starting where the future is in education. When I think back in school time, it was like I had no option. I thought it was boring and super stereotypical because I followed what people told me to do. I think we should start with that, educating and showing women what all the possibilities are how they can start and where to go next, show that we have many options. Show them that tech is not only a men's field and that even if it often sounds boring, but it's also not. The more women study those techy subjects; the more girls will feel encouraged to do the same.
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in business, and specifically in the digital transformation industry?
Surprising people. When we go to clients, our CEO encourages us to wear bright colors, modern clothes, optional makeup, whatever we feel like- just be different and comfortable with who we are.
It's also important that we don't try to work in the shadow of men; we emphasize our look, our style, and our personality. We must be also disruptive in the way we look and don't feel embarrassed that we're a minority in this sector.
Power to you! What would you consider as your main struggles? What challenges have you experienced as a woman in business during your career so far?
Especially as a young woman, I feel like people can look at you and think you have no experience and no idea what you're doing. If you're too nice or softly spoken, people mistake it for naivety.
Just because we address things in a more empathetic way doesn't mean that we don't have the expertise. A big struggle I see is that we need to convince and prove to our clients that we are confident and able to do things even better than the consultant they had before, male or not.
We had a team call a few days ago and talked about lessons learned. A colleague said this is the first job she's ever had where she didn't feel judged by her religion or origin.
Plus, if we ever feel that one of our clients is not kind or respectful to one of our employees, we wouldn't work with that client anymore. We have zero-tolerance for this sort of thing. I was really happy to hear that our colleague feels she's working in a safe space and that her expertise is what's important.
This is so great to hear, which brings us to our next question. Do you have any role models for women in business?
There are so many at the moment. I really appreciate social media and the whole feminism movement. Even if there is a female tech influencer that is not that famous worldwide, you have the chance to find them via Instagram or Linkedin.
Some of the women who inspired me, business-wise, areLea-Sophie Cramer (Founder of Amorelie), Delia Lachance (Founder of Westing AG), andVerena Pausder. Several German women changed how women are seen as CEOs and business leaders. I love seeing how they combine feminism, career, and family life all in one.
What do you think companies can do to encourage more women to choose careers in the tech industry?
I think companies should give women more opportunities for education. In Digital Chameleon, we periodically discuss our goals with the CEO, and the company decides how they can push you and invest in you.
For example, if you want to develop some specific field, we'll look where the next congress or course is. If they have kids, we make sure to give free childcare at the office, flexible working hours, and take mom's problems seriously. We offer the best workspace around so they feel comfortable and can give their best in the office. I often feel that when women come back from parental leave and have any issues with their children, everybody rolls their eyes and doesn't take them seriously, it's a huge problem that new mothers have in the workplace.
What do you see is the future for women in tech? What trends have you seen emerge, and how do you expect them to evolve?
One of the biggest trends is that women in tech are finding and connecting, building alliances. There are many groups of women in tech, lots of panel talks, clubs, congresses, lunches, and events. Everything that men did before we are doing now with a wealth of support around it.
I wouldn't say it's a trend; it's a movement.
We also look at both sides, where we can also support other women in areas we need help. Our lawyer is a woman, for example. If you want to call yourself a female-led company, you also need to apply this when choosing your suppliers, partners, etc.
We believe that coworking spaces like OneCoWork attract people with the same kind of ethos, they're a great opportunity to connect.
Regarding digitalization, I think women will take a huge part in the health care, app development industry. We tend to be more empathetic and user-focused, and that's what the industry needs.
Do you know of any educational platforms or services that champion women in business?
I can share two pages that I like to follow.
My favorite Instagram account for sisterhood isThese Girls; it empowers women to be unapologetic about themselves. And alsoGlobal Digital Women, an international network of female digital pioneers.
Instagram: These Girls
What one piece of advice would you give any aspiring female business leaders reading this?
The most important thing is being passionate about what you do. You don't have to be scared if somebody is better applying for the same position because there's always somebody out there who has a better CV or expertise than you.
I feel that your passion and how you treat and talk to people is what decides your future. People have always been telling us, "you have to have this and this degree to move forward," but for me, it's all about understanding people and being open to new challenges.
This new job for me was something challenging, but I am learning so much every day. My open-mindedness makes it easier for me to adapt. If you're always stuck in the same routines and then forced to change, it makes the change much more difficult.
Amazing, Susanne. Our talk was truly inspiring, and we are so proud to have a company with the mindset of Digital Chameleon growing inside our spaces. Thank you so much.