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Honoured for diversity in currency trading

Robert Celsing, head of SEB's foreign exchange and commodities unit, and Ann-Marie Lamb, a human resources expert in SEB's Merchant Banking division, were awarded for diversity efforts.

Anna's Equality Prize is awarded by an association for Swedish banks (BAO) to recognize good initiatives for increased equality and diversity within the banking and finance sector.

“Unexpected, but really great to get this acknowledgment. "One More" no short-term project. This is a long-term effort to create a modern management culture where diversity is a natural element,” says Celsing.

Celsing shares the prize with Lamb, who in 2006 began an equality and diversity plan for SEB and has persistently focused on the issue for the Merchant Banking division since then.

“It's been a long and arduous task, so I am incredibly proud and pleased to receive this recognition. I think it means a lot in terms of inspiration for other managers and divisions,” she says.

Project “One More”

About a year ago, Celsing decided to pursue the diversity issue more vigorously. He contacted Lamb. Together, they laid the foundations for what was to become the "One More” project.

For the project, Lamb has conducted individual, in-depth interviews with managers. This formed the basis for a full-day workshop with Merchant Banking’s management team. Manager commitment exceeded expectations, she says. One concrete result was to make an extra effort to increase equality and diversity within the division on every new hire and promotion.

Risk diversification

Why is diversity important? For Celsing, the same logic applies to personnel as to trading, where diversification often reduces risk.

“Increased diversity, in terms of gender as well as age and ethnic background, reduces risk, improves results and makes work more enjoyable,” he says.

The Project One action plan is monitored quarterly, with concrete measurements on employee gender and age.

For the award, Celsing and Lamb were honoured for “contributing to an active and daily effort within the foreign exchange field that has already led to an increase in the number of women working in the department."

The prize will be handed out at a ceremony on March 11.