XLR8 is a network founded in 2015 with the aim to be an eye-opener to the benefits of diversity, and to develop career opportunities for women as well as anyone with a genuine interest in these questions.
The network was founded by a few young professionals who had just started their careers at Scania. They were all born abroad and were not only new at Scania, but new to Sweden. Today, the XLR8-network at Scania has grown extensively. Initially the focus was within the Sales & Marketing organisation, now XLR8-branches can be found in Research & Development, Purchasing, as well as in Production & Logistics.
Everyone is welcome to attend events
Adam Rindeskär, Research & Development, thinks that it is necessary for large companies to engage in dialogue with networks like XLR8: “I’m convinced that a diversified organisation is a better organisation. It’s obvious that everyone should have the same opportunities at work,” he says.
Raising awareness about issues such as diversity and workplace opportunities is also why everyone – not just those involved in the network – is welcome to attend events organised by XLR8.
Gaining respect from management
“At first, we had to fight to be heard. Now, management comes to us and asks for advice, for example with mentoring programmes,” says Vickie Persson, chairperson for XLR8 at Sales & Marketing, and Finance & Business Control. Persson notes that the XLR8 network; where everyone involved volunteers in their free time, is gaining more respect and attention from management. “The transition is ongoing, but it’s clear that the network really makes a difference,” she says.
A forum to network and exchange ideas
The main reason for implementing XLR8 at Purchasing is to have a forum to network and exchange ideas, where everyone is welcome to express their ambitions.
Thais Candido represents XLR8 Purchasing: “We’ve already seen a great improvement in how we communicate,” Candido says. Employees frequently ask questions about diversity topics and Scania’s position is well-defined, but it was previously difficult to identify the right person to talk to. Now, with the XLR8 network well established at Scania, employees know what to do if something happens. “In the short-term, we aim to close gaps, but we’re not the ones setting the strategies. What’s important for us is to see how we can make our co-workers enjoy being at Scania,” she adds.
“If we grow cross-company, it’s a sign of success”
Although Production & Logistics were the last ones to implement XLR8 in their organisation, they see great interest from within for the XLR8 network. “We have a good connection with the P&L board, with members from the board participating as sponsors of the network”, says Elin Renholm, XLR8 representative, P&L.
Each branch in the XLR8-organisation has its own strategy, but there’s a general openness and sharing of good practice and examples. Regular lunches and after work events build common ground. “We want to co-operate even more. If we grow cross-company, it’s a sign of success”.