I am glad you have taken the time to visit my website!

Who am I? I am someone passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and cross-cultural challenges and opportunities. As a child I wondered why girls had to look clean and beautiful and boys could dress in rough clothing and climb trees! Didn’t seem fair to me, I wanted to be dirty too! Later I was fascinated by stories of travel, different languages and different customs.

I am Norwegian, I have lived in Switzerland, Cyprus and USA – and I have been living in France since 2006. I am the owner of “NORSUN Diversity and Cross-Culture Consulting”. Prior to setting up my business I worked in a large oil company for  10 years, as well as 5 years in the recruiting business and 5 years in the tourism industry.

I remember when I lived in Norway I felt “international” due to my travels and studies, in Switzerland I felt “foreign” when people acted differently towards me when they realized that  I was not Swiss, in Cyprus I felt “free”, as people accounted for my odd behavior on the “being a strange foreigner account” anyway, in the US I felt “European” mainly due to the historical differences and in France, I feel very Norwegian!  The latter probably because I want to eat at 17:00 and here they eat the earliest at 20:00 (the first few months I was always starving)!  These experiences have helped me in the international cross-border jobs I have had the last 10 years. If you can ”lean in” a bit to the other culture, show interest and respect, communication gets a lot easier!

The living abroad also makes me reflect on diversity and inclusion, and how differently it is perceived across the world. E.g. as a Scandinavian, I have my egalitarian lenses on. An example here in France is how puzzled I am to be called “Madame my husband’s last name and first name”. It feels like I don’t have an identity! The women I have talked about it with, acknowledge that it is a bit odd, but they are used to it and do not react to it the way I do.

In my recruitment days, I remember being puzzled by customers who did not want an employee if she/he had a foreign (read: to them complicated) name.  I lived in a country with hardly any unemployment, I thought they would be happy! And thrilled to get some new perspectives! But no.. Interesting thing was that when I presented only the background, no names, they accepted the employee, and were indeed happy when they got to know the person. Sometimes a little push is all it takes.

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