Let’s explore the Arctic, girls
The inspiration is tough and wise women who have written polar history before us. They have been pioneers and set non-traditional tracks that have shaped the Svalbard society. The female management group in Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen encourages more girls to choose arctic adventures – in work life or on an expedition.
Brita Knutsen Dahl, Birgitte Tautra Vegsund and Renate Pedersen are part of the female manager team at Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen.
There are some pioneering women who throughout history have distinguished themselves in the field of hunting, research and expeditions in the Arctic. In our management team, we have a stated goal of daring to do things that are different, but always with respect for the environment we operate in. On International Women’s Day, it is worth paying tribute to the ladies who have gone to the front, while at the same time we are happy that some of Norway’s strongest tourism products are led by women, says Brita Knutsen Dahl, co-owner and working chairman of Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen AS.
Traditionally, most men have operated in the Arctic landscape. Now the women are definitely well represented, also as guests on expeditions to the outposts in the north. But they can be more. Close experiences in raw and powerful Arctic nature provide large portions of mastery and important knowledge about polar history, climate and innovation.
Brita Knutsen Dahl is co-owner and working chairman at Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen.
Only women in management
– Safe and solid management is about the ability to handle challenges and changes. And there are many of them in the travel industry, says Brita Knutsen Dahl. Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen has only women in the management team, sane ladies who stand as rock-solid on high heels as they do with a rifle on their back.
– Neither high heels nor rifles are required to get a place in our management group, but both spice up the working day, says the chairman.
– We offer experiences in a rough but vulnerable climate, and a sustainable tourism business on Svalbard must first and foremost focus on looking after people and the environment. The rifle is required for polar bear safety, and when we’re done with another great season it’s on to high heels.
A touch of madness
Brita Knutsen Dahl has had Svalbard as a work arena since 2003. The general manager, Renate Pedersen, has worked in Basecamp Explorer since 2008. Experience, in combination with innovative thinking, has shaped the company, which in January this year was named Norway’s best organizer of experiences by the tourism industry.
– We have two very special outdoor stations in the wilderness, where guests are close to the arctic natural elements. It has been somewhat crazy to establish Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel and Nordenskiöld Lodge, and it is ongoing hard work to operate with a quality and standard that surprises the guests. Far outside established infrastructure. It requires a pioneering spirit and wise operation, believes a unanimous management group.
For the past five years, the management team in Basecamp Explorer has consisted of women, with Siw Bergheim as finance manager and Birgitte Tautra Vegsund in the position of sales manager, in addition to Brita and Renate. Together with an organization with room for diversity, the management group’s stated mission is to deliver a respectful and enthusiastic presentation of the Arctic.