Today, 8 March, is International Women’s Day, and the proportion of female managers at Vattenfall has indeed risen in recent years, from 19 per cent in 2015 to 23 per cent in 2017. This increase has been promoted by a clear and target-oriented policy to appoint more women in managerial positions.
"For Vattenfall, acquiring more female managers not only a question of equality, but above all a strategic matter. I am convinced that we will become a more successful company with more female managers, as they bring in perspectives, insights and knowledge that would be lost in an excessively one-sided organisation. In order to become better at understanding our customers’ needs, we have to reflect the society in which we live. And that applies not only to gender balance but also to diversity as regards age, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability and so on," says Tuomo Hatakka, Head of Business Area Heat as well as Vattenfall’s Diversity & Inclusion Officer.
Promoting equality with a bonus
In order to boost the share of female managers, Vattenfall is aiming for at least 35 per cent of new managerial appointments to be female. Last year, the figure was 32 per cent. This was an improvement over 2016, but fell short of the target. In order to promote this transition further, Group management is now making the 35 per cent target a bonus-relevant key performance indicator for senior managers.
"In this way, the Executive Group Management want to make it abundantly clear to all managers just how much weight we attach to this issue. By raising its profile in this way, we want everyone to understand just how seriously we are taking it. At the same time, I would stress that every managerial recruitment is carried out fairly, in order to select the best qualified candidate irrespective of gender," says Kerstin Ahlfont, Vattenfall’s HR Manager.
When different parts of the organization are compared , it is clear that that the share of female managers is unevenly spread. At Customers & Solutions, close to 40 per cent of managers are female, whereas Business Area Heat has less than 15 per cent female managers. The difference is certainly not unreasonable seeing that relatively fewer women tend to seek technical qualifications, especially in Germany, which is the market that lags furthest behind in this respect. Hatakka nevertheless says that the target for female managers is equally reasonable also for the company’s technical heavy operations.
"We are making continuous progress towards the 35 per cent target for female managerial appointments. Operations such as BA Heat are slowing us down, but it is still a realistic target for this and other similar operations. We must find new ways of recruiting our personnel, including managers, and we must also highlight the good examples we have which can inspire other women to choose a career also within these operations," says Hatakka.