Diverse team AFRY employees on roof at sunrise

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 Young girls might not aim high enough because they get an outdated worldview from their parents and teachers, who underestimate their actual chances of becoming business leaders.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!

Woman standing in front of green bushes with wind blowing

Gapminder Gender Equality Test

Gapminder has launched a test to address misconceptions about UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality.

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.

Man with glasses and woman
LGBTQI+ pride flag with AFRY logo

AFRY´s commitment to the LGBTQI+ community

At AFRY, we are committed to ensuring an inclusive environment for all employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

AFRY is nothing without its people. We have colleagues all over the world and we will always encourage them to be themselves and support them in loving whoever they want. Our employees are our most important asset.

At AFRY, you can be yourself. We respect each other and work together to ensure an inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. I am proud to hoist the rainbow flag outside our office, to honor and support the LGBTQI+ community and the right to be who you are.

Jonas Gustavsson, CEO at AFRY

Jonas Gustavsson, CEO AFRY, and Amir Nazari, Inclusion & Diversity Manager, hoisting the rainbow flag on Pride Day 2021 at the AFRY Headquarters in Stockholm
Jonas Gustavsson, CEO AFRY, and Amir Nazari, Inclusion & Diversity Manager, hoisting the rainbow flag on Pride Day 2021 at the AFRY Headquarters in Stockholm

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.



Picture of one of our employees Zain Nadra

Meet Zain

Zain Nadra was the first female participant in our Immigrated Competence Programme. Zain, a mechanical engineer from Syria, came to Sweden in 2015. After a job placement at AFRY in Stockholm, she became a full-time employee.

Inclusive recruitment

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.

Our Inclusion & Diversity Managers

Sofia Klingberg

Having often experienced exclusion in high school for not meeting society’s expectations, Sofia’s desire is for everyone to be included on the same terms.

With a background in social science, Sofia’s vision is for everyone working at AFRY to become the best version of themselves.

Working with strategic and long-term developments is key to her, so Sofia’s passion is to equip brave leaders to show the way by standing up for inclusion and diversity.

Amir Nazari

Originally from Iran, Amir immigrated to Sweden in 1986. He had almost graduated as a chemical engineer, but Amir had to restart his studies from the beginning when he moved to Sweden because, at the time, many qualifications from the rest of the world were not recognised.

From his own experience, Amir knows that much has changed since then, but also knows there is still much to be achieved. Amir's ambition is for AFRY to be the most diverse, inclusive and welcoming workplace for everyone.

Three AFRY brave women looking at the camera

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.