Embracing a diverse workforce: Tove Möller | Undutchables

Embracing a diverse workforce: Tove Möller

Categorie: Cultural

Diversity according to Tove Möller, Diversity, Equality, Inclusion and CSR Co- founder at The Accessible Society


Undutchables is known for the recruitment of international talents. The importance when working with internationals is the understanding of Diversity & Inclusion. A no better person to give her insights on this topic is Tove Möller from The Accessible Society.

What does diversity mean to you? What is diversity in your opinion?

Diversity, for me, is the fact that we are all different from the next person. Even identical twins are different from each other! Many are too eager to try to place people around them into boxes, often without considering that person's obvious right to define themselves. I think of diversity as more connected to human rights, than to anything else. I also think we do need to stop using ourselves as the template on how others should be, think, act and live, as we often tend to do. It also means that we all have different perspectives and knowledge to offer to friends, to our colleagues, to a company, and to the world.


(Why) should Swedish companies embrace diversity and how can Swedish companies see the added value on this topic?

My experience is that more and more are working towards creating diversity now. That is really good of course, but we also do need to advance from the “slogans” and all the talking!

I am hoping that we all by now are aware of the benefits, such as better innovation and more creativity, increased revenue due to more perspectives before decision making.

Tove

And we also know that there is a fight for attracting the competence we need, and how well a diverse company is doing when it comes to finding the talents. I also think that we have been made aware of many results of the lack of diversity during the pandemic. I am thinking for example of the fact that it took a while before the press conferences became interpreted into sign language as if being deaf means you need no information on the covid virus? I have also had friends telling me that different companies have had non-accessible e-commerce sites at a time when many of us didn´t go to the shops, we made our purchases online, that meant that customers with special needs when it comes to for instance eyesight were unable to shop on their site. Talk about lost customers! Many went over to companies where the site was accessible, and they will most likely remember that and remain with them, instead of going back to the company they used to shop with before the pandemic? What if those companies would have had competence already before the pandemic? So do create a workforce within your company that is diverse in knowledge, experience, and skills - it will be the way to find a better future and a company well prepared for unexpected happenings as appose to having many that know the same things?

The next step would be to create more universally designed work environments. Where there would be no need to adjust surroundings “just because you were hired” – rather than the environment allows you to be yourself and not the odd one out, both when it comes to accessibility in the physical sense and the social sense. The labor market is facing major challenges today. The welfare sector is in an acute state with the rapidly growing need for competence, while in the coming years the sector is responsible for a major generation shift. This is also true for many companies in general. Questions about recruitment and skills supply will therefore be of great importance.

In order for us to have a long-term sustainable and inclusive working life, we need to be better at taking care of people's differences - and having jobs that reflect the whole of Sweden's population

At the same time, we also see today that different groups find it difficult to enter the labor market - people with disabilities, people with foreign backgrounds, young people without completed schooling.

In order for us to have a long-term sustainable and inclusive working life, we need to be better at taking care of people's differences - and having jobs that reflect the whole of Sweden's population. Working life needs to be designed, planned, and organized based on an inclusive basis; a physical and social work environment, and a workplace that work and suits everyone - that is, universally designed workplaces.

A perspective shift in the view of our workplaces and a working life designed for everyone, a working life where differences are accommodated and taken into account

It is a continuous everyday work, goals and targets need to be worked towards. Try different approaches to reach your goals, and always be positive for new avenues to reach better results.

Go through all our policies, and adjusted them, be active in different networks to find the best co-operations. Another way is to invite interns, trainees and to create a diverse group consisting of colleagues that are active every day, in many ways they are the bearers of culture, in their everyday work.

During our first meeting, you said you have come further than just talking about ‘diversity’ and you wish to formulate the content of the word differently. Why is this topic so important?

This is an important topic because, as I see it none of us choose the way we look, where we were born or what year, male or female, or how tall we are or whatever else and else on the surface. When it comes to opportunities such as getting a job, what matters is competence, and not in general, the right competence for the vacant job. No one has the right to out of their bias obstruct others.

A friend of mine once said 'Diversity is like receiving an invitation to the party (representation). Inclusion is the opportunity to dance at the party. If you don´t get to dance you will not come back to the party another time.' Possibly true, both when it comes to attracting new members of staff, as well as customers?

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Do you have more questions about working in Sweden? Or are you an international company looking to recruit in Sweden? Reach out - we can help! Looking forward to being hearing from you!

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