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DIVERSITY INITIATIVES

The important work on diversity and inclusion according to the Head of Operations at Annevo

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Annevo
May 6, 2024

Our starting point

At Annevo, we believe in tackling challenges and norms head-on and do not shy away from difficulties or complex discussions. We rather see it as a prime opportunity to become better, stronger, and more reliable as a workplace. We also believe that a healthy company engages in issues related to wellbeing and inclusion with the same respect as it does to market and business-related matters.

We posed a series of difficult but important questions to our Head of Operations at Annevo, Jennifer Jensen. Here are her thoughts on the complex mechanisms related to diversity and inclusion.

How do you define the significance of diversity and inclusion within the culture and operations of Annevo?

- I see diversity as crucial for our success as a business. An organization with broad ethnic and cultural diversity increases its performance by 36%, so it's not just a cultural issue. Our core values are that everyone is welcome at Annevo, and this is based on ensuring that everyone feels comfortable with us regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, ethnic background, religion or other beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, or age, says Jennifer.

Our commitment to diversity

Can you describe Annevo’s current diversity policy and its key components?

- Our policy is based on the fundamental principle that all people are of equal value. This means that everyone in our community should live by this and act inclusively. We have zero tolerance for all forms of demeaning treatment. In contrast, we aim to highlight various cultures, identities, and expressions. We value differences and genuinely believe that they benefit our operations and culture.


What specific diversity initiatives have you found most impactful at Annevo? Can you share examples of how these initiatives are implemented in daily operations?

- I don't believe that diversity work is a series of efforts but rather it's based on continual integrated work within the organization, and that is our approach to it. In all meetings, decisions, and activities, we should consider the diversity perspective to ensure everyone feels included, regardless of who they are. We speak English in all our forums to include non-Swedish speakers in our community.

Challenges in Achieving Diversity

What are the primary challenges Annevo faces in balancing client expectations with the goal of increasing diversity, especially regarding nationality and gender in tech roles?

- We are grappling with the fundamental issue that the industry is male-dominated. Only 30% of the tech industry is comprised of women, and even fewer are developers or leaders. We see a better balance within design, where our team is gender-equal. When it comes to nationality, our clients often require experience from well-known companies. This creates a barrier for us in hiring individuals with experience from local companies in other countries.

How do these challenges influence your strategic and operational decisions regarding diversity?

It’s tricky, of course. But it doesn’t change the fact that we want a diverse community. We’re always working to find ways around the challenges themselves but also challenge the industry.

Leadership and personal philosophy

How do you, personally, contribute to promoting diversity at Annevo?

I apply it in all aspects of my work, from being open-minded and unbiased in personal interactions to implementing it in our HR strategies. Doing this has an immediate effect, and the best part is that when a proposal concerning the issue is presented, it is never questioned; there is complete consensus on the importance of working with diversification and inclusion.


What is your personal philosophy on diversity and inclusion? How does it align with the company’s overall goals?

For me, equality and equal opportunities are non-issues that I want to apply in all parts of my life. Additionally, being at a workplace that accepts everyone as they are and where I can make a direct difference in people's daily lives gives me a strong sense of purpose. It's not just about creating an open community, but everyone here and part of it hopefully carries the same values out into our society. I hope and believe that Annevo has a positive impact on acceptance and humanity in our society in this way.

Future goals for diversity

So, what are Annevo’s specific goals for improving diversity in the coming years, especially regarding gender balance and the role of female developers?

- By the end of this year, we aim for 15% of our developers to be women and non binary (compared to the industry's 14%) and 30% of our consultants (matching the industry's 30%).
However, our long-term goal is clearly a 50/50 balance in the organization and across all groups. We want to create a safe space for women and non binary where we do not have to rely on a network that distinguishes this group from the rest of the organization. Instead, we view it from the perspective that there should be total respect at our workplace, which involves combating the male norms prevalent in our industry.

If we can contribute to educating men on issues that many women are already knowledgeable about, we create a culture where everyone is treated equally without regard to gender. I also believe that we create an attractive workplace for men who do not want to conform to traditional male norms, Jennifer concludes.

Jennifer
Jensen
Head of Operations

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