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Newsletter Week 31

Diversity Doers: Nokia Set Diversity as a Business Priority for 2019 and Closed an Unexplainable Pay Gap.

We talk with Anneli Karlstedt, head of Inclusion and Diversity at Nokia, to learn how she works with teams around the world on building a more inclusive, fairer culture.

Jonna Louvrier talks with their head of Inclusion and Diversity at Nokia to better understand how this iconic company organizes its work around diversity, equity and inclusion. 

JL:  Anneli, you work with D&I at Nokia. What is your title?

AK: I'm head of Inclusion and Diversity, in this order of the words. I always want to start with inclusion first because especially in a company context everybody needs to feel included. Inclusion is the topic that inspires people, and we can easily get them to understand why it matters.

JL: How is your work organized, who are your collaborators?

AK: We don’t have an Inclusion and Diversity unit, but I have great collaborators around in the organization. I have a pool of great experts to tap into who come from all over the world; currently we are a project team of five persons. I also have a great organization around me in HR. Our different employee resource groups are also a huge resource pool for me.

JL: You work across units, and have people all over the globe involved in this work. How is it to make people work together towards a common goal?

I have huge support from the executive leadership team. And that makes every door open when I'm knocking.

AK: We work very closely on a common agenda with the HR team, especially the Nokia People and Organization development teams and HR people in the business groups. Based on research, best practices from other companies and feedback from the organization, I set the global agenda for the coming year stressing what the important things from a global perspective are. Then they reflect over them and their business priorities and decide what on my agenda they will be supporting. We are very aligned.

With some stakeholder groups the most important thing is to keep each other informed. With our employee resource groups we have monthly calls. I think it is important to be very clear about what it is that you, as a global owner of Inclusion and Diversity can drive, and understand what their needs are, what they can do and how they can contribute to the agenda.

This year I have a special boost because our CEO and President Rajeev Suri's leadership team decided that diversity is one of the 2019 business priorities. I have huge support from the executive leadership team. And that makes every door open when I'm knocking. There are also many knocking on my door saying, "Can we have a discussion? Because we have diversity on our agenda, what can we do, so that we are aligned with what you are doing?" So it is very easy for me to get my objectives amplified in the different business groups, and vice versa. I hear what they are planning to do, and I can learn from them and influence them.

JL: In May this year your CEO and President Rajeev Suri announced that you will close the unexplained pay gap. Is this also a result of diversity being a business priority?

AK: Yes, absolutely. At the beginning of the year we started to collaborate with Mercer to understand if there is a gap and what Nokia's unexplained pay gap might be. We also wanted to understand where we stand and how we compare to other industry players. Based on Mercer’s analysis we found this statistically significant unexplained pay gap. Our CEO then decided to set a budget aside for this.

JL: Nokia is of course not the first company to do this, but it is not very common either. How did you come to this solution?

AK: Nokia prides itself in being an ethical company and with a focus on diversity, we wanted to fix this issue. In addition to working with Mercer we also benchmarked other companies, other industry players. We also listened to our customers. They are big communication service providers that closely keep track of their suppliers’ gender balance activities, so our goal aligns well with theirs.

JL: Some companies have had to set aside a new budget a few years after first closing the gap. How will Nokia try to avoid recreating the gap that you now are closing?

AK: Exactly. There are a few areas we currently work on. When we hire people we want to make sure that we don’t inherit the pay gap they might have had in their previous jobs. Other areas where we accidentally might widen the gap is in promotions and in international mobility. So these are areas where we are putting policies in place now.

JL: It seems clear that having diversity as a business priority translates very positively to your work. More generally, what makes you happy in your job?

AK: What really makes me happy is all the emails that I get from our employees from all around the world saying that it makes them proud that we are talking about these things – and not just talking, but also taking action. What I'm doing is clearly meeting a demand and it is met in a very good and very warm way. Another thing that means a lot to me is that I can clearly see how our industry is going through a huge transformation and inclusion and diversity are part of the change agenda. It gives me energy and is truly meaningful and inspiring.

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