Women on the Front Line of Icelandic Industry

Coincidence or fate placed me in Iceland just in time to attend the annual Stora Myndin Conference in Reykjavík. Stora Myndin is the largest conference for industry in Iceland.  As I sat in the crowded ballroom of the Hilton Hotel, one of the county’s finest, photographers and news crews could be found at every turn. The pictures below are of the first three speakers, see if you can spot the striking similarity between them…

Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir-Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Innovation


Gudrun Hafsteinsdottir-Chairman of the Federation of Icelandic Industry


Katrin Dora Thorsteinsdottir- Head of Human Resource and Education


If you for some reason missed the similarity…all of the speakers are women!

That’s right, women completely dominated the conference. Women are at the front line of industry, unlike in the United States. It was a nice change of pace, to see strong independent women holding such high positions, as opposed to the typical middle aged male that I have become so accustomed to seeing.

The conference focused on Iceland’s predicted economic growth and the country’s need for approximately 2,000 skilled and unskilled foreigners every year. The discussion then swung from industry to the environment, specifically on Iceland’s strides in sustainability. After the conference finished, I was able to walk around and see some innovative businesses and start ups  (again many of the spokes people for the businesses were woman).

One of the more well known businesses there was Össur, a company that specializes in prosthetics and braces. One of their most famous clients is South African Amputee Olympic Runner, Oscar Pistorius , aka “The Blade Runner.”


One of my personal favorite start ups was BioEffect, a company making age defying cream. Of course I had to take the opportunity to see the “before and after” test that clients do when starting BioEffect. IMG_4991

The results made me realize that with the UV damage discovered on my face,  I better wear more sunscreen this summer! Maybe the free sample of BioEffect I was given will make my nineteen year old self look seventeen again…

Cheers to the major girl power happening in Iceland! Until next time!





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