Moving the needle on diversity and inclusion in tech
by Marika Henriksson
– Seliro to participate in Diversity4Tech roundtable at GSMA
For Seliro’s CEO, Kajsa Arvidsson, diversity and inclusion are engaging issues close to her heart and an important topic which she has actively driven throughout her career. By discussing with industry colleagues and leaders at GSMA Mobile World Congress Barcelona, she aims to impact and accelerate change.
“This is an issue I’m engaged in, and I have taken it with me throughout my career, from Ericsson to Nokia to Seliro and now within Inteno. It is so important for a company to be diverse. For me, diversity is not only about having a gender balance. It is about having representatives from different geographical areas, religions, demographics, ages. Even if you are a small company, it is important that you have a diverse perspective.”
Diversification in tech companies
Multiple studies and reports show that the need for workforce diversity in tech is great, but progress has been slow. Tech companies have made big promises and small gains for diversity and inclusion. But companies who make this long-term investment and commitment to a diversified and inclusive workforce will see significant benefits.
“Whether its technical or business innovation, it is essential to have a mixed team where each one brings valuable perspectives. You need a combination of different knowledge and experiences to move forward fast and accelerate innovation.”
However, diversity is essential to more than business performance. Kajsa explains, “For me, in the telecom industry, we are very passionate and engaged in our jobs – ‘work is more than work.’ It influences your whole world and your identity. For instance, on your lunch breaks, when you bring the world to the table, there are so many interesting topics to share and discuss. It is very stimulating to be a diverse and mixed workforce.”
During the Broadband World Forum (BBWF) in 2019, Kajsa participated in a panel discussion on diversity. The debate back then was about having diversity as a key performance indicator and criteria when recruiting executives and managers. “But it is not enough to shortlist minorities for executive positions. Some companies measure success by having a candidate who meets a requirement on minority representation instead of focusing on the key issues of WHY they want diversity.”
Meeting a global market with Seliro and Inteno
It was recently announced that Inteno Group acquired Seliro to strengthen its position as a leading technology and software company for the smart, connected home. Seliro serves a global market, which also means having a global workforce.
“To truly serve a global market, we need people with different experiences – private or professional – who have their ‘sensors’ out on what is happening in key markets.
We are global inside and outside. It is crucial for small companies targeting a global market to have a workforce which reflects the market.”
“For us, this means we have to be aware of the context of doing business in each market. What is the type of segmentation? What are the demographics? Who needs to have a perfect setup in the home? What are impacting factors in providing customer care? Also, it would help if you were very close to the market to understand regulations.”
GSMA’s D4T Roundtable, sponsored by Red Hat, provides a unique opportunity to continue the conversation as change enablers, convening thought leaders for a meaningful discussion focused on advancing diversity, inclusion, and equality across the industry landscape. Together we can accelerate change and impact by influencing others to contribute to change so that individuals and society thrive. This activity is strictly by invitation only.
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 09:30 – 13:30 CET
Location: SE CC1.5 (invite only)
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