Before writing this article, I had one of those “Blah” days when I felt low and could not put my finger on why. For those who do not know what this is, there is another word for it - languishing. Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness, and if you would like to learn more, I can highly recommend you read Adam Gratton’s article, as posted in the New York Times.
My “Blah” day however, was lifted by a quote that I found by Sonya Renee Taylor:
"We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friend. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all humanity and nature "
I am far from an expert in diversity, equality, and inclusion. Still, I have researched the topic during my years working within the talent and leadership profession. As a result, I am passionate about how we harness differences in our workplaces and create a fair playing field for everyone.
I live in Sweden, ranked 1st in the EU on the Gender Equality Index, yet we are still lagging in gender balance regarding our leadership positions. Research from SCB (2020) shows that 41% of Sweden’s total leaders’ population are women and 59% are men - however, only 17% of Sweden’s CEOs are women.
A recent Di Digital survey reveals the investment distribution to privately-owned technology companies in Sweden. 1% of investments was granted to companies founded by women in 2020. In addition, the share of investment value given to mixed founding teams increased to 11%.
The relationship between diversity and business performance persists and continues to grow, so progress is being made.
Fredrik Hånell, an entrepreneur and investor who currently works as a “business creation director” at EIT Urban Mobility, stated in the Di article, “If entrepreneurs cannot build a gender-equal team, they lack one the most important components for building a successful company. Soon I hope that all start-ups we work with have a female co-founder.”
Gender is only one aspect of equality. As Pride month has come to its end, I reflected on how we, as executive talent consultants and business advisors, can actively support our clients with their diversity, equality, and inclusion agendas.
As a business, you must have an inclusive culture. Research shows that diversity is not just a metric for which to to strive, it is an integral part of a successful revenue-generating business. This does not mean simply having colourful posters throughout your offices stating your values, instead, it is a business strategy and mindset, a commitment and responsibility of all leaders and embraced across the whole organization.
At Friisberg, we:
DE&I matters, and we bring the thought of diversity into our board services assignment or when conducting management audits.
"We are committed to serving our clients by finding diverse leaders and providing an unbiased thought process throughout our consulting process. We have improved our knowledge, by running internal programs such as Reverse Mentoring and Unconscious Bias training." Michael Rooslien, Partner, Sweden.
Social and technological changes will continue to transform the landscape in every industry.
Organizations who don’t embrace DE&I will potentially risk earning potentials and falling behind their competitors.
I believe, the companies who create a workplace for everyone will cultivate tremendous value from their people’s differences and thrive.
Snr Talent Consultant, Sweden