Inclusion is the foundation of diversity efforts

Maria Lindberg Howard 19 June 2017

According to recent figures from the National Institute of Economic Research, Sweden has the hottest labor market across the EU. But at the same time as business is on the rise, the labor force share of the population is decreasing.

To attract tomorrow’s workforce, companies must incorporate more aspects into their diversity efforts and actively work on inclusion.

At the end of May, MultiMind, rail travel partner SJ and Diversity Charter Sweden arranged a breakfast seminar to show how Swedish companies through their diversity efforts can increase their potential to reach new markets while strengthening their attractiveness as employers.

The Diversity Charter Sweden association supports Swedish companies in their transition work regarding diversity and inclusion. The association’s chairperson, Katarina Önell, is Client Service Director at Kantar Sifo’s Employee Research & Consulting business area and could present fresh numbers:

“Sweden’s population recently passed 10 million inhabitants, of which 18 percent were born abroad. In the next ten years, the number of residents will increase most in the ages under 20 years and over 65 years,’ says Katarina Önell.

Tomorrow’s labor force lies among foreign-born and retirees, as well as in other social groups.   In recruitment, companies must incorporate more aspects into their diversity efforts. In addition to ethnicity, this concerns age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, personality, disability, education and socio-economic status.

As a rail travel partner, SJ’s sustainability work is linked to social, environmental and financial responsibility. And to be an attractive employer, SJ must be able to reflect society.

“The age distribution of staff is equal, and the gender ratio is 58 percent men and 42 percent women with about 15 percent having a foreign background. An inventory shows that 46 languages ​​are spoken at SJ,” says Sustainability Manager Erica Kronhöffer.

To successfully build a company from a diversity perspective, one must actively work on recruitment and create an inclusive corporate culture.

“Companies with high diversity in their workforce benefit from higher levels of staff motivation and efficiency, improved levels of innovation and creativity and lower staff turnover rates, improved levels of service and customer satisfaction and an increased potential to penetrate new markets,” says Shaun Ogden, Staffing & Recruiting Manager at MultiMind.

 Five tips for success with diversity work:
1.              Determine where the company is today and where you want to be tomorrow.
2.              Define what to focus on and combine it with the benefits.
3.              Target and measure the diversity of applications, candidates and recruits.
4.              Work actively to create an inclusive corporate culture.
5.              Keep in touch with candidates who have not gone further for future needs.