Sweden Annika Viklund, Head of Vattenfall Distribution and Vattenfall’s Diversity & Inclusion Officer, accepted the title of "Diversity Officer of the Year 2017" at the Manager of the Year Gala in Stockholm, widely seen as the year’s most important leadership event in Sweden.

This award was newly instituted among the prizes at the gala. It aims to highlight good examples of managers whose leadership is characterised by focused and strategic efforts based on the company’s fundamental values to challenge prevailing norms and promote diversity at their workplace.

Annika Viklund, this year’s Diversity Officer. Vattenfall’s CEO Magnus Hall, was one of the first to congratulate her.

Annika Viklund was nominated and finally won. She was recognised as being:

"A mover and shaker who has brought about very real changes in a complex, engineer-driven, international and male-dominated industry, and who lives by her own motto: diversity enriches – it’s not always easier but it gets better all the time."

Congratulations, Annika Viklund, were you surprised?
"I am surprised, honoured, thankful and also really delighted – it’s great to see that our work to promote greater diversity and inclusion within Vattenfall and in the energy industry gets recognized."

What does this prize mean?
"It’s a really prestigious prize – there were over 500 nominations for the various categories, and as the sponsor Sodexo stressed, the diversity prize is absolutely the finest of the lot, and I naturally agree. It also means that what we have been working on together within Vattenfall really has been noticed outside the company. That spurs us on to continue this work in order to become an even better company."

What is needed to get our diversity efforts up to speed?
"We need both to ensure that we are moving even more quickly to become attractive employers for everyone, and that we can also take on board the expectations of our customers both today and in the future. Heterogeneous groups are better able to produce innovation and achieve better results thanks to their diverse perspectives and experiences. I have good experience of working in diverse groups with different genders, nationalities and ages – they give a dynamic and a lack of status-seeking that I really value. I am convinced that if we can reflect the diversity of our customers internally within the company, we gain even greater opportunities to work together to create a more climate-smart future."

How will you be celebrating?
"Well, I’ve not really thought about it yet, but perhaps by having an extra lie-in tomorrow, as it’s Saturday – it’s been an exciting week."

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