Just an ordinary week in DC


You know it’s real when you open your documents and it starts with KATARINA’S DC SCHEDULE – JUNE 13 – JUNE 15. There is both a sense of relief that somebody else has gone to the trouble of organizing your days, but also the anxiety of the fat pack that comes with the brief.

I think I’ve never been more excited over a work week and still, I love going to work. Being a West Wing buff just being able to spend time in Washington DC is pretty special. Considering who we are going to meet and where we are going to visit during the next couple of days is nothing but inspiring.

If not to overwhelmed, I will do short write ups of the three first days of this week. Tom Manatos tells me though, I wont be able to take pics and tell all.



Monday, June 13

9:15 am – Tom arrives at Katarina’s Hotel to go to Capitol

10:00 am – VIP Tour of the US Capitol

11:30 am – Meeting with Senator Gillibrand Staff, Keith Castaldo & Alexandra Lowe-Server to talk about Spotify global parental leave policy, the business case (why, what, roi), Swedish leave policies and expereince. Location: 478 Russell Senate Office Building

1:00 pm – Lunch Kellari Taverna with Tom Manatos, the most connected person in DC

3 pm – Meeting with Ambassador Bjorn Lyrvall & Tour of House of Sweden

Notes: The Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), Goran Lithell, The Minister Counselor Andreas von Uexküll and Head of Public Diplomacy Monica Enqvist will also attend. Tom Siebert, former US Ambassador to Sweden arranged the meeting for us and will attend.

6:00 pm – VIP Reception with Vice President Biden. Location: The Hay-Adams, 800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006


Tuesday, June 14

All day – United State of Women Summit – Washington DC Convention Center

7.30 am – The Spotify HR Team to meet and take picture w/ VP Biden

8:30 am – Opening Session of Summit with speech from Vice President Biden

10:30 am – Transition to breakout sessions

10:50 am – Your (Katarinas keynote panel) breakout begins

10:50 am – 11:00 am – Deborah Gillis, President and CEO, Catalyst & Mark Weinberger, CEO, Ernst & Young frame discussion

11:00 am – 11:50 am – you and other panelists (more in separate briefing)

12:30 pm – Meet w/ President Obama

13.30 pm – Lunch with speech from President Obama 

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm Afternoon breakout sessions

4:10 pm – Afternoon Session Special w/ First Lady Michelle Obama & Oprah

5.10 pm – Other programming

8.10 pm – Chloe x Halle


Wednesday, June 15

8:30 am – Internet Association w/ Congressman David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island)

10:00 am – Arrive at White House w/ staffer Alexandra Veitch

11.00 am – East Wing Reception Room

11:30 am – White House East Wing 

12:30 pm – Lunch


General Schedule of United State of Women Summit with more specific participants/performers below the timed sections.

United State of Women Agenda
8:30 AM – 10:30 AM – VICE PRESIDENT Plenary 1: Health and Violence against Women

Plenary 1 will gather all 5,000 Summit guests to hear innovative solutions in women’s health and violence against women issues.

10: 50 AM – 11:50 AM – YOUR BREAKOUT Solution Seminar Set 1:

12 total Seminar will occur concurrently, each with 150-400 guests.  This will be an opportunity to discuss various topics across the six Summit pillars in depth, and to continue highlighting innovative ideas.

13:15 PM – 2:05 PM – PRESIDENT OBAMA Plenary 2: Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation

Plenary 2 will gather all 5,000 Summit guests to hear innovative solutions in women’s entrepreneurship and economic opportunity.

2:50 PM – 3:50 PM Solution Seminar Set 2:

12 total Seminar will occur concurrently, each with 150-400 guests.  This will be an opportunity to discuss various topics across the six Summit pillars in depth, and to continue highlighting innovative ideas.

4:10 PM – 6:00 PM – FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA Plenary 3: Education, Civic Engagement, Leadership and Visibility

Plenary 3 will gather all 5,000 Summit guests to hear innovative solutions in around education and civic engagement. 





Work Family Balance

Since Work is a big part of Life I strongly dislike Work/LifePL Balance as a notion.

We have all been asked how we are managing work/life balance. Every time someone asks me that I cringe. For me the notion of work/life balance is strange since it differs to all of us in so many different ways and I also happen to think that work is a part of life and a very important part of it too. The fact that some call it work/life balance automatically implies that it is either or that will make you happy or bring balance to your life. It also implies that you don´t have anything to say or do about it yourself.

The concept implies that you have work on the evil side, and life on the other. I think we all know what implications not having a job does to a person or a families life. Having both, but relying on self leadership you don´t necessarily  have the two competing for your attention nor your well being.

Work Family Balance on the other hand might be something slightly different. Family & friends are important and from time to time – something has to give. And for the large part of the community debating this work is a huge part of who they are and they do have choices they can make. The equation just don´t add up, if you want it all or if you think someone else make up the rules and you just have to go along with it.

So, I am not talking about the employees that doesn´t have a choice in the part of the world that is not as fortunate as we who love debating work/life balance. I am obviously only talking about the crowd that can decide for themselves but still are puzzled by the puzzle and not getting the pieces to fit.

I believe that work is the reason why al lot of us get up in the morning. It’s what I love to do. And when I don´t, I find something else to do. Am I privileged in that way, yes I am, but so is most of the people getting the balance thing confused.

Still this is one of many reasons why we introduced our global parental leave policy @Spotify. Employers can and should remove blockers and enable Work Family Balance. This is simply the right thing to do and since science show that both individuals and companies benefit from this way of thinking we should all #LeadOnLeave.

Taking time off to spend important time to recover or special time with your family and friends is invaluable. As is this team, the HR Parental Leave Squad: Tiffany Serra, Michael Kim and Laurie Benson. Tyvm for making Work Family Balance possible @Spotify!

Parental Leave Squad

Katarina Berg, Michael Kim, Tiffany Serra, Laurie Benson

//Katarina Berg

The United State Of Women

GoingThe ripple effect of our Global Parental Leave Policy @Spotify is plain insane. We are just incredible proud and happy that we can help #LeadOnLeave just by driving the Swedishness back home.

Our experience of having both mothers and fathers on leave for more then 20 years with up to 480 paid days gives us a very good understanding on how to manage, what the  gains are and also even be able to                                                                            urge all employees to take their leave.FLOTUS

We are West bound and just thrilled to summon our HR Parental Leave Team in Washington DC. The team and I are so looking forward to get the chance to listen to one of the most crazy line up of speakers we ever seen.


//Katarina Berg, CHRO, Spotify

VIP Reception with Vice President Biden

We are honored and excited to be on our way to this once in a life time VIP Legacy VIP DCreception supporting The United State Of Women. It is just an amazing feeling to have the opportunity for Spotify staff, my LeadOnLeave Team and our Employee Support Group sponsors to attend both the VIP reception next Monday (6/13) and the United State of Women Conference next Tuesday (6/14) in DC.

First off, exciting news for the Parental Leave Squad, Vice President Biden was just confirmed for the Monday night VIP reception. We will also attend the United State of Women Summit that will run from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 14 at the DC Convention Center.  The summit will include speeches from Vice President Biden, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
VIP event with Vice President Biden
Monday Night, June 13th, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Location: Top of the Hay-Adams Hotel
//Katarina, CHRO, Spotify


SIME Consciousness

SCKom en lite annorlunda inbjudan… till Sime Consciousness. En dag som fokuserar på modernt ledarskap, lycka, jag-utveckling och hur vi lever, leker och arbetar i en allt mer komplicerad värld. Sime Consciousness är skapat av Sime tillsammans med Stiftelsen Ekskäret.

Inbjudan kom tillsammans med ett Öppet brev till din hjärna

Världen blir allt mer komplex, teknologi ritar om traditionella sanningar i rekordfart och förändring blir norm i det uppkopplade samhället där vi verkar bli rikare… men olyckligare, friskare… men mer deprimerade… mer uppkopplade… men allt ensammare… Många av de gamla sanningarna verkar inte fungera längre.

AHH Sime C”Vi tror att vi måste tänka nytt och utmana hur vi arbetar, hur vi mäter framgång och hur vi skapar samhällen anpassade för våra framtida utmaningar. Vi är övertygade om att det i denna era av paradoxer krävs en ny typ av ledare och bolag, som inte har som affärsidé att exploatera planeten, utan istället förbättra (eller till och med rädda) den. Vi tror att vägen till framgång, hur vi mår och en bättre gemensam agenda startar med en inre resa”.

BardissimoUngefär här, om inte tidigare brukar jag sluta läsa samt inse att jag har vare sig tid eller möjlighet att skohorna ned ännu en aktivitet i agendan. Av någon anledning så var det just kombinationen av vanan och vardagen som gjorde att jag tänkte att jag just därför borde ta mig denna halv/heldag och gå och lyssna på talaruppställningen som även den med fanns med på inbjudan:

  • Adam Haar Horowitz, MIT, om Powerful patterns.

Mina take aways – neuroscience & mindfulness samt Big data and human behavior. A neutral on/off switch

  • Alexander Bard, producent, artist, filosof, författare, föreläsare mm

Mina take aways – Dividuals vs Individuals. The idea about God was a good one, but we can forget about the Father, the Son.., the Spirit is interesting though. And, again, @bardissimo is always ahead of his time.

  • Stefan Einhorn, läkare, professor, författare, föreläsare

Mina take aways – där tilliten försvinner där eroderar samhället som vi känner det. Dagens storyteller; varm, rolig, klok

  • Ola Ahlvarsson, moderator, vd Sime

Citat: att vara här och nu. inte här och där.


Without passion nothing happens, without compassion the wrong things happen

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nation


Tack för en nyttig dag Ola & Co!

//Katarina Berg

EB DNA style

Inte var söndag man springer ihop med miss EB (Employer Branding) herself! Allra minst i NYC och tillsammans med miss DNA (Det Nya Arbetslivet).

Acing it

A, D, B we have to find a C

Skön frukost på Ace, USA’s bästa kaffe från Stumptown och några HR-frågor rakt över disk. Eller som Dyhre själv skulle uttrycka det; vad trendar inom HR just nu?!

Bra fråga faktiskt. Mycket i) know your numbers aka people analytics ii) årlig medarbetareundersökning vs puls-mätning iii) framtunga och administrativa OKR-processer vs lita till den kontinuerliga dialogen iv) PM vs PD




Why 5 Companies #LeadOnLeave

Just ran my fastest (not in good shape) to catch the Amtrak to NYC w/ Tom Manatos as my perfect wingman. We have spent the afternoon talking why Kat DC#LeadOnLeave is a good business strategy, including impact on talent attraction and employee retention. But more than anything, it is the right thing to do AND as we know proud people perform. And being with your family during a very special time is very important for individuals as well as for company and societies.


5 May 2016 – Washington, D.C. – Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez Katarina Berg, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Spotify

As a leader in this space, Patagonia and Spotify shared our experience and reason why we do this and our value proposition. Very useful to listen to Secretary Perez, Dept of Labor and from other businesses supportive of public policies like FMLI, including those who have employees in states with existing policies.

It is somewhat awkward to discuss things we take for granted in Sweden and has more then 20 years of experience of in a country that doesn´t have one day of payed state leave. Yet. The need for paid family and sick leave is more pressing than ever, and research shows that paid leave is good for both employees and businesses.

DOL amplified the event through digital media, with a live feed of the discussion. 


//Katarina Berg, CHRO, Spotify