And they are showing that they are doing something about it!
Open minds welcomed EQ Inspiration to Stockholm, shared stories of success in advancing women to leadership, and built new connections.
On February 15th a deep frozen Stockholm was thawed in the center of town. Synch - the flat org law firm; no partners, no assistants, hosted EQ Inspiration in their amazing offices on Birger Jarlsgatan. For those of you who have never been to Stockholm, this is the place to be, and Synch is setting a NEW standard for law firms. With full focus on their client and the individual, they have created an amazing model. I have never considered becoming a lawyer but after learning about Synch, I'm thinking about going back to school (almost:).
Wall painting at Synch in Stockholm.
The program of the evening served role models and experts on equality and inclusion in the tech industry. Starting with an interview with WES Tech's Dilba Demirbag, http://www.womenexecutivesearch.se/, placing women and underrepresented groups in leadership positions in Sweden's tech industry. Their core competence is organic growth and their agility in working with customers and candidates throughout the recruiting process, which sets them apart from the competition. Wes Tech believe that diversity is the key to improved results and that it fosters a creative and innovative corporate culture.
Lars Einar Engström shared equality work from a perspective of many years, and talked about what men can do to engage. Jeanna Rutherhill and Eva Ekedahl from Women for Leaders presented their successful program and Lisa Berg Rydsbo talked with enthusiasm about what this program has done for her as a woman leader in tech. Lisa has held positions, built and led teams at software companies in Silicon Valley and across Europe, and she's currently the CMO at Apica. She recently landed a board position with Pegroco Invest AB. WFL are still accepting applications for the next batch!
Kjell Ahlzén who heads up Salesforce in the Nordics spoke about the importance of holding people responsible, formalizing programs, measuring results. Kjell initiated the equality work at HP Sweden when they increased the number of women in leadership positions from 18% to 36% over six years. Ted Elvhage, attendee and investor said: "My biggest take away from the event was hearing Kjell talking about goal-oriented leadership. I was part of HP at the tail-end of this journey, and the determination to make change happen was critical for the success." Lisbeth Vigemyr, responsible for IoT at IBM in Sweden talked about speaking up and being fearless. She shared her own journey as well as the importance of attracting new talent. Do we need to change the terminology from STEM, IT, Tech to Innovation, Creative and Design Thinking and Skills? Per Gustafsson heads up VMware in the Nordics. His humble approach as a successful leader sets him apart. He shared childhood memories of protecting the weaker, lifting women candidates inside the company who others would frown at to see them succeed as sales leaders, and he talked about the Talent Program he has initiated. As the resellers are swamped with product offerings and become generalists, VMware select a number of women and men with great potential at the reseller and put them through a training program. The applicants way over exceed the number of spots and in this round there are 4 women and 6 men (up from 1 woman in the first round).
I would like to Thank All Attendees! Thank you for your support in making EQ Inspiration possible in Stockholm!