Ericsson's Australia Diversity and Inclusion Programme engages all employees within the organisation in different aspects of the initiative. The Diversity and Inclusion Council is the overarching body where proposals for change are presented and decisions are communicated to the leadership and Regional teams. The Council is lead by a senior manager and is inclusive of the Australian CEO as well as the Leadership Team for Australia. For each of our three work streams; Attract, Develop and Retain, two senior managers within the organisation are invited to become leaders and drivers for these streams. These senior managers also sit on the council and present the developments and findings from each of their respective streams. Within each workstream, the integration and development of improvements are actively supported by members of the Graduate Program.
Ericsson believes, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I); drives innovation and leads to high performing teams and superior business results. Aligning with the Ericsson global goal of 30% female employees by 2020, the Australian D&I Council program consists of three complementary work streams, Attract, Develop and Retain.
Attract- demonstrate focus on diversity and inclusion, internally and externally. Develop - grow and improve our pipeline of talent towards critical and senior leadership roles. Retain - support our existing talent to be placed into critical and senior leadership roles. The D&I program’s current focus is on our female demographic.
Ericsson’s D & I Council is led from the top, formalised by Executive Sponsorship of the Australian CEO. Council balance is achieved through inclusion of two senior leaders for each work stream from the broader organisation. Execution of D&I initiatives is structurally supported through integration of the active participation of members from our Graduate program. The 2015 D&I program successfully completed policy reviews, established long term partnerships with four key universities, deployed a targeted female development program and conducted an organisation wide survey and follow up focus groups to garner feedback on areas requiring future attention.
Attract: University engagement - We partnered with four universities (two in Sydney and two in Melbourne) participating in university activities to encourage more young women to pursue a career in technology. The criteria for selecting universities to partner with was heavily focused on their D&I policies, and the strong alignment of their vision and values with our organisation’s vision and values.
Attract: Review of key HR policies –We reviewed our parental leave policies for gender neutrality (e.g. “Dad and Parental Leave” to “Partner Leave” and “Parental Leave” to “Primary Carer Leave”).
Develop: Fuel 2015 - A leadership development program that identified emerging female high performers and provided a tailored leadership framework to cultivate and develop a pipeline of female leaders through enhancement of key competencies, behaviours and skills required for senior leadership roles.
Retain: An all staff survey and three focus groups were undertaken to provide a platform to identify, understand and address the concerns surrounding D&I within the organisation.
Develop: Fuel 2015 - Women across all disciplines of the organization were encouraged to participate in Fuel 2015 through self-nomination. Applications were endorsed by their respective line managers and a selection committee assessed candidates against criteria based on our Leadership Framework,
Successful FUEL candidates participated in a structured learning program that consisted five online leadership courses, partnership with mentors from the leadership team and attendance at the 'Women in Multinationals' Conference. The highlight was two leadership connection masterclasses, aimed at challenging complex barriers that women face. Key senior leaders, such as our Head of ICT for Ericsson ANZA shared career experiences and learnings, providing accessible role models for the participants
Retain: Our Graduate team developed an online Research structured survey covering the perception of diversity at Ericsson, policies, gender bias, and metrics used to assess competence. Three follow up focus groups allowed open discussion to ensue and encourage deeper thought and analysis on the complexity of issues. The data collected from the survey and focus groups’ results was analysed and key findings tabled towards the council with recommendations for future areas of focus.
The 2016 graduate intake maintained our 2015, 50:50 gender ratio. Our 2015 Graduate cohort was active in the execution of the 2016 D&I program. This enabled attention to be focussed on ensuring appropriate planning, design and feedback phases were included in the execution of initiatives. Their direct involvement brought fresh perspectives and recommendations to address barriers to success in enabling the full take up of social change. Specifically in our Fuel 2015 initiative, feedback from the participants was captured and published in video logs. The Fuel development assessment processes were integrated into existing HR frameworks, which provided structure and clear pathways for personal development feedback to be formally acknowledged and utilised.
Our ANZA wide Retain survey was our main mechanism to garner broad spectrum views on the success of the D&I program. We had a high volunteered response rate of 55% to our survey and strong participation in three follow on focus groups. Our Global internal HR survey also reflected a high appreciation of the focus and attention by the Council on the issue to address Diversity and Inclusion, with 90% of respondents signalling that they felt the organisation was authentic in making an individual feel included and supported.
The ANZA D & I program openly acknowledges that implementing our objectives requires long term cultural change. . The design of the Council, the program and selection of initiatives is based on consistently demonstrating the level of commitment to effecting the change at all levels throughout the organisation. Resistance to change is managed on a number of fronts, including the local deployment of globally led initiatives, such as Web based and face to face Unconscious bias training, participation in world-wide IWD events, the involvement of pro-D&I champions to promote dialogue and discussion, both structured and unstructured, at executive and operational forums, internally and externally.
We have ongoing executive commitment and support to continue to maintain an independently chaired council with structured programs and governance and a purpose to ensure that Diversity and Inclusion is ingrained into the standard operational ways of working, such that measurements of equality and diversity are no longer required.