Sunday 14 July 2024
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Sofia Svahn, Chief People & Culture Officer at Löfbergs: «Inclusion is our way forward»

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MILAN – A year ago, Löfbergs initiated a program with inclusion ambassadors to improve gender equality and value diversity. Sofia Svahn, Chief People & Culture Officer at Löfbergs explains how the company is working to achieve the aim of equal balance in the share of male and female managers. We believe in inclusion and diversity. In the power of an inclusive culture that makes the most of the power of diversity among co-workers. It helps us to see new perspectives and makes us smarter and more profitable. We start with ourselves, but we are also doing what we can to inspire others to make sure that more of us use our voices to contribute to a more inclusive society.

Ambassadors for increased inclusion at Löfbergs

In 2015, we set a clear target to increase the share of female managers and reach equal balance by 2020. Two years ago, we noticed that things were moving too slow and we were stuck around 30 per cent. We understood that focusing on a percentage was not enough. We need to go deeper; we need to understand and act on what makes it so difficult for us to reach the target. That was the starting shot for a work that is still in progress. The work started with the top management, where we through in-depth interviews, questionnaires and workshops created a picture of norms and structures and how inclusive our culture is today. Just as society at large, we do experience challenges with stereotypical gender roles, jargon and non-inclusive behaviour. That is how it has been, but not how it will continue to be.

A year ago, we initiated at Löfbergs a program with inclusion ambassadors. About 20 co-workers from different markets and parts of the organisation that are passionate about inclusion, culture and diversity.

The ambassadors’ task is simple in theory but may be one of the hardest and most important ones in practice: to support our leaders and co-workers to understand and draw attention to master suppression techniques, structures and behaviour that keep us from building an inclusive culture.

This includes being extra observant in meetings, raising awareness when it comes to the jargon at coffee breaks and drawing attention to situations when we reinforce traditional gender roles. To build knowledge in one’s part of the organisation and to convey insights to the group management is another important task.

Due to Covid-19, many of our co-workers have been working from home this year, but the inclusion work has continued digitally, for example through a meeting with group management where the ambassadors shared their observations and reflections and gave input linked to our goals for inclusion and diversity. A rewarding meeting that made us want to keep working and get even more out of our inclusion ambassadors on our road ahead. Because we are still far from finished.

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