3 EVEN ODDS – a process to promote equality ÅF wants to attract more women to its ranks. By improving equality in the workplace ÅF hopes to become stronger, more productive and more successful. ÅF’s “EVEN ODDS” initiative aims to improve the gender balance in the company and the industry as a whole. For many years the technology industry has been dominated by men. The same has also applied to university departments offering degrees in technology and engineering. However, in a positive trend, the proportion of female students has recently risen to around a quarter of those enrolled in technical programmes. Society and many technology companies need more female engineers, and it is becoming increasingly important for companies to attract both men and women. ÅF sees diversity as a strength and is a staunch advocate of equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, religion or sexual orientation. The EVEN ODDS initiative is a new process through which ÅF seeks to demonstrate this commitment to diversity by taking a proactive approach to promoting equality in the company. Synergies of equality Greater diversity makes a workplace more congenial. ÅF believes it also pro- duces the right conditions for a company to become more creative, more efficient and more profitable. Research shows that a more even gender balance frequently has a positive effect on groups of people who work closely together. Promoting values such as diversity, accountability, performance and competence at all levels within the company makes ÅF better able to adapt to client needs, improves cooperation and boosts innovative thinking. More women as managers Today women make up 23 percent of the ÅF workforce, while the proportion of female managers is just 17 percent. The aim of the EVEN ODDS initiative is to raise the proportion of both female workers and female managers to 30 percent by 2020. The EVEN ODDS Talent Management Programme has been started to identify and support women who have the skillsets required to be tomorrow’s female managers. ÅF has also taken the initia- tive to liaise closely with universities of technology, both to generate interest among young people in a career in technology and to secure the competence that ÅF needs both now and in the future. During September 2014 only women were recruited to ÅF. EVEN ODDS has four main purposes: • to improve ÅF’s ability to maximise its potential • to increase female representation at all levels within ÅF • to make technology more attractive to young women • to make ÅF more attractive as an employer. Jonas Wiström, CEO: “Successful companies like ÅF need to be able to attract talented men and women – and to increase the number of women in senior positions. ‘EVEN ODDS’ is a crucial step along the way to achieving our vision for 2020.” ÅF is launching EVEN ODDS to attract more women to the technical consulting industry and to achieve a more even gender balance within the company.
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