Inclusion & Diversity
Inclusive and diverse teams with deep sector knowledge
The world is complex, and we need to see the bigger picture when we make decisions. If we want to improve how we do things, examining one aspect of society will not be enough. Our times call for expertise, an inclusive and diverse team, and, last but not least, brave leadership.
AFRY x Gapminder: Gender Equality
Do you know how many of the world's companies have a woman as a top manager or CEO - 2%, 10%, or 18%?
In a recent survey undertaken by Gapminder, results show that 9 out of 10 answers to this question were incorrect. As the world of business is still so embarrassingly male-dominated, people tend to underestimate the number of women who actually make it to the top.
This misconception must be battled as it slows down the speed of change. Young girls might not aim high enough because they get an outdated worldview from their parents and teachers, who underestimate their actual chances of becoming business leaders. And young boys continue to assume that men are better leaders.
AFRY has partnered with the Gapminder foundation to share knowledge and promote a more fact-based worldview. In our collaboration, we want to spread knowledge about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is about Gender Equality (SDG 5). Upgrade your worldview on gender equality and find out the right answer - take the test!
Gapminder Gender Equality Test
Gender equality at AFRY
One of our objectives is to increase inclusion and diversity of background, culture and gender, having 40 percent female leaders by 2030.
AFRY actively pursues the promotion of diversity and inclusion to develop our procedures to attract and recruit new managers and employees, to ensure fair and gender-neutral pay and to educate and train managers in inclusive leadership. This work involves preparing concrete action plans for greater diversity and AFRY conducts several different projects to improve the gender balance.
During 2020 AFRY received recognition for gender balance in the group management team. In Allbright's annual review of gender equality in Sweden's listed companies, AFRY was placed on Allbright's green list for having a gender balance of 40:60 in the management group.
Inclusion and diversity as a business strategy
For us, it is self-evident that all people have the same value and the right to enjoy the same opportunities. An inclusive and diverse workplace is also commercially and financially advantageous: it is quite simply more profitable.
Research demonstrates that companies that embrace ethnic diversity have a 30% greater probability of achieving financial returns that are above average for their industry.
Diversity matters, but inclusion matters even more
Diversity is about having a mix of the talents, similarities and differences that make people unique. Diversity is much more than being just about gender or race – it's also about background and mindset.
Inclusion, on the other hand, is about getting the mix of people and backgrounds to work together. An inclusive work environment is one in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully towards an organisation’s success.
Diversity is to be asked to join the party, whereas inclusion is to dance together.
Immigrated Competence Programme
In 2015, AFRY started a recruiting project to attract and recruit more foreign-born and recently immigrated engineers. Since then, over 300 trainees have been brought in through the programme, almost all of them have been employed by AFRY to date after concluding their trainee period. Amir Nazari was designated as a diversity coach in 2016 and the Immigrated Competence Programme has been further developed under his leadership.
“There is a shortage of engineers with experience and the substantial need for recruiting was a major factor for starting the project,” says Amir Nazari. “It is an absolute necessity to look beyond Sweden’s borders and bring in people and expertise from other countries.”
In addition to the need for expertise, the development of the company is also an important part of the project. Getting people with other perspectives is important. People from the programme often bring new creative ideas and dynamics to the workplace. They open new ways of discussing and solving problems.
“Diversity creates engagement, creates harmony, creates dynamics,” says Amir Nazari. “The working environment becomes much better, with more energy and a greater sense of joy.”
Find out more in this interview with Amir Nazari.
We want to attract more people into our organization with different backgrounds and perspectives. Diversity is positive in many ways for AFRY. We know that it drives creativity and innovation.
Our Inclusion and Diversity Managers regularly hold Talent Acquisition and Inclusion workshops to ensure our recruiters and managers conduct our recruitment in an inclusive manner. The workshops address how issues of unconscious bias and discrimination can be prevented and counteracted.
Inclusion & Diversity Week
We work on a daily basis to maintain and increase our inclusion and diversity, but once a year we pay even more attention to the subject through our Inclusion & Diversity Week.
During this week, we cherish our multitude of unique team players, and celebrate our differences by organising events to get inspired and learn more.
Previous weeks have have included events considering 'Multicultural workplace', 'Introduction to LGBTQ and norm criticism' and 'Inclusion and diversity in the tech industry'.
We are Brave Team Players
The AFRY values are our foundation, the glue of our culture. They help us make the right decisions, act wisely and treat each other with care and respect.
At AFRY the core is our culture. We are Team players. At AFRY we have always strived to creating an inclusive and diverse culture. Our people are our greatest asset.