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Targeted and long-term efforts to contribute to increased equality

Robert Celsing, SEB’s Head of Group Human Resources, talks about the importance of diversity, inclusion and efforts to contribute to increased financial equality.

How does SEB work from an employer perspective to encourage financial equality? 

– SEB, like society at large, is heading in the right direction when it comes to equality, but we can always be better. Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental principle and at SEB we work in a structured way to identify and follow up salary statistics so as to discover and act on unreasonable differences. In order to contribute to financial equality at SEB we must continue our efforts to increase diversity in our management groups. Today we have more men than women in better paid positions which contributes to structural pay differences. That is why we work to promote diversity in our recruitment processes, in our succession planning and in admissions to leadership training courses, among other things. It is also important that we continue to raise awareness and knowledge among our employees and strengthen an inclusive culture in various ways.

Do you regard these issues as important?   

– Absolutely. Greater equality benefits society at large helps companies and organisations to become more successful and sustainable. It is also decisive for attracting talented people as well as customers, investors and partners. The fact that SEB has a workforce with high diversity contributes to us gaining several perspectives which increases innovation, helps us to assess risks and leads to better decision-making, all of which create long-term value. Therefore, diversity and inclusion are prioritised focus areas for the bank, for our HR organisation and for me personally.

How can you exert an influence in your role? 

As head of human resources, I must first of all be a good role model and practise what I preach in my leadership. Our HR organisation also needs to be active in management groups, work systematically and encourage our managers to prioritise these issues. It is important that managers realise the value of an equal workplace. In 2018 we also established a Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer who has a strong mandate to pursue these issues in the business.

Finally, what do you belief are the key parameters for contributing to financial equality at SEB?

– In addition to working with our HR processes in a targeted and structured way, we also need to continue to work long-term with values, culture and leadership.