The secret ingredient for success? Empowering a diverse team
“We take pride in being a progressive, forward thinking company that actively embraces diversity and inclusion,” says Malin Svensson, Chief People Officer at Axis. “Diversity is important, it is about adding it to the culture that we have at Axis, and providing us with the diverse workforce with the unique abilities that we need, to innovate for a smarter, safer world. We want to be an employer for many people, where you feel safe to be who you are, whoever you want to be. The meeting of different backgrounds and skills fosters innovation, creative thinking and employees’ well-being. It’s a smart strategy, driving results.”
Often diversity and inclusion are used interchangeably, but it is important to point out that they are different concepts. Diversity only indicates the presence of different demographics in an organization. Adding inclusion into the mix, indicates that everyone in the company are invited to contribute and be heard equally.
The meeting of different backgrounds and skills fosters innovation, creative thinking and employees’ well-being.
Axis Communications strives for both. In particular, the company is proud of the work that went into promoting gender equality in every Axis department, from engineering to finance.
Supporting the change
Axis promotes diversity through many initiatives. Gender equality, in fact, is part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which Axis lean on to get focus on the sustainability work. In the company’s Sustainability Report, several initiatives are described that promote better working conditions, ranging from stress management training programs, bias training to activities that lift diversity and inclusion.
In the scope of sustainability, Axis established a few new goals last year:
- Aim for a more balanced gender distribution in all teams and functions within Axis.
- Ensure that the recruitment process doesn’t discriminate and contributes to increased diversity.
As a result, a conscious recruitment process was promoted in Southern Europe to boost the number of female employees. This was successful with, for example, 66% of the positions filled in France in 2019 being taken by women. Axis will continue towards its goal, which aims to reach a defined equality of at least 60/40 of either sex.
The other regions where Axis operates are also working to attract more female employees. For instance, Axis North America is cooperating with local high schools and universities to generate interest in security industry-related careers, with focused attention on inspiring young women. A leadership program for women is also being developed through a partnership with the Security Industry Association (SIA).
“We have a goal towards gender distribution,” says Rosalba Convertino, who as Content & Digital Marketing Specialist at Axis, is involved in implementing diversity projects, “[It] makes me proud to work for a company that has ambitious goals even towards its employees and pursues them with conviction starting from its senior executives.”
Another initiative is the Women In Security EMEA event Axis hosted this year. This was the second WIS event, as last year it was in US. This is the perfect occasion to acknowledge the women who are already part of the security industry, to network, build competence and share experience through workshops and stories shared by industry leading women both within and outside Axis.
Diverse teams drive growth
The efforts Axis is taking towards diversity and equal opportunities for all are more than a politically correct stand. There is evidence that diversity and business success are linked. Research shows that organizations with a more diverse and inclusive workplace are, among other things, more innovative and more profitable. So focusing on inclusion and diversity isn’t only the right thing to do, it makes perfect business sense. A broader perspective of where competence comes from might also be part of the solution for the skill shortage the technology industry is currently facing.
In short, a diverse, inclusive team gives companies a unique edge, first because it fosters innovation by introducing new way of thoughts, secondly because it makes it more desirable for young generations to apply to that company and, ultimately, it brings more profit.
Luckily, more and more companies realize that inclusion and diversity are essential to drive business growth. Without them, innovation dries up. Axis has the intention to continue in this commitment to raise awareness and introduce more young women to the security industry globally, supporting their education and careers.