Ensuring that Scania’s workforce features a good balance of genders, ages, backgrounds and experiences is crucial to the company’s ongoing success, says Kent Conradson, Executive Vice President, Human Resources within Scania.
He argues that increasing the diversity of the company’s workforce should be viewed as a business topic – with the potential to significantly influence Scania’s future performance.
“Diversity has the power to strengthen our company and contribute to the fulfilment of our strategies towards 2020,” he says. “So, from my point of view, it’s definitely a business-driven topic. We should be a company where equal opportunities are created, and blends in background, experience, gender and age are seen as assets. This will make us an attractive employer and an employer with an ability to retain staff in the future.”
Communicating the diversity message to a workforce of 42,000 employees across 100 markets is a challenge, says Conradson. Commitment to change needs to be present throughout the organisation, including at the upper management level.
While there is still much to be done, he says that considerable ground has been gained since the company embarked on a programme to tackle diversity issues. “I’m glad to say that at the upper management level we have a representation of six nationalities among the 30 individuals working there,” he says. Other changes include updated leadership modules that focus on diversity and a more standardised approach to diversity in KPIs.”
While Scania has also taken the important step of signing the United Nations Global Compact (ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption), Conradson says that striving to continually improve is vital. “Scania has made an excellent start, but in some aspects we can improve and we need to improve,” he says.