Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

The differences between individuals are what make us all unique, and we know for a fact that we need diversity in order to succeed. We have spoken to some of our Tech and Data leaders to get their reflections on diversity, inclusion, and belonging.


A new perspective to Diversity- `Creative Friction´

“Life in business is about solving problems and fleshing out strategies in an increasingly complex world. The best solutions are found through what I call “creative friction”; different viewpoints that are lifting awareness and understanding to a new level in a team.

Both educational background, ethnicity, gender and other diversity categories are essential for creating creative friction in a group and a company. Without it we will not be able to solve the most complex tasks.

We need different lenses. We need diversity.”  

Sven Størmer Thaulow, Chief Data & Technology Officer 

A sense of belonging is the heartbeat of Inclusion and Diversity

I truly believe that our work has to be internal first, to impact what we do externally. We can deliver better to our users and customers when we have different backgrounds and experiences, as we also then have different perspectives on a problem and can solve it in new ways.

And not least, to thrive and deliver, Schibsted employees need to feel like they belong in Schibsted. I think we are only able to create the feeling of belonging, if people feel reflected and included at work. In my opinion it is key that we have different people represented at all levels in the organisation.

Ingvild Næss, Chief Privacy and Data Trends Officer 

The diversity of mindsets in the teams is crucial for success

“We need diversity to reach a diverse market . Hence we want to have teams which are diverse not only in terms of gender, ethnicity, age, etc but also diverse in terms of their mindsets and areas of interests. And if we can do that we can actually leverage the true power of a diverse workforce.

Belonging can only be truly achieved when the employees feel that their opinions and ideas are equally valued and that they matter to the team in every possible way. Hence, a truly strong team is a team that has the diversity of both people skills and technical skills.”

Ralph Benton, Chief Information Security Officer 

Diversity is not something we do in addition to our business – diversity is our business.

“How do we know to create a news product that allows easy navigation and text-to-speech for those with imperfect sight, or difficulties reading? Who will remind us to make information on Covid-19 available in multiple languages because not everyone who lives in a country speaks the same language? Having the understanding and experience to truly empower people in their daily lives requires a wide diversity of people in Schibsted teams.

Let’s celebrate our people, and our diversity. Let’s increase our diversity in every dimension, and listen and learn from those that are different from us. Diversity is not something we do in addition to our business – diversity is our business.”

Gareth Eason, Chief Information Officer 

I still need to do more to think about and promote Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

“I have a rather selfish view of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging. As a leader, I want my organisation (and consequently me) to be as successful as possible. However, overtime, despite what my Mum says, I have come to realise that I’m not perfect. I have multiple gaps. Some that I work on and many that I know I need others to fill in order to be successful.

When I think about those gaps, yes, I think about hard skills, but I’m increasingly thinking about what life experience someone can bring to my team, a project, or simply a discussion. What perspective can they offer that I am missing to make me and the outcomes for Schibsted better? What background do they have that can augment mine? Notice all the me, mine and I there – I said it was selfish.

Of course, I still need to do more to think about and promote Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, however shining the light on my gaps seems like a reasonable starting point – even I say so myself!”

Ben Graham, Chief Product Officer 

Inclusion and belonging should come without saying

“Inclusion and belonging should come without saying, and it is almost strange for me that we need to have an agenda for it – because to me it is such an obvious and natural thing. NO question marks. If we think about it, it is impossible to create togetherness, team-spirit or drive towards common goals if people don’t feel that they belong or even worse, see themselves as outsiders.

However, the diversity part is more complex, and something I believe all of us need to be reminded to work on. I actually see diversity as a tool to help us solve problems. We want all the best tools in our tool box, and hence we should optimize our possibilities by looking for talent with different backgrounds, mindsets and personalities.”

Karine Mortvedt Mørland, Finance Director Product & Technology 

Diversity in a company is not only natural, it is also smart

“The world has become smaller. Advances in technology and transportation have led to increased globalisation and truly transformed society – something I took advantage of myself when I went abroad to study Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts ages ago. It is only natural that this also has influenced diversity in the workplace here in the Nordics. Diversity in a company is not only natural, it is also smart. Recent studies show that the most diverse companies are more likely to outperform less diverse peers on profitability. 

Having diversity in the company and succeeding with diversity are two different things. For people to perform at their best, they need to feel included – and that means, among other things, having equal opportunities. For me, diversity and equality starts with an awareness of your unconscious biases. If you haven’t tested yourself already, you should check out “Project Implicit“.

Awareness and knowing what your unconscious biases are, makes it possible to do something about it. For example, when making decisions, I sometimes write down my arguments (pros & cons) to force my brain into a conscious mode, instead of taking actions on autopilot.

So what should we do in Schibsted on Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging? I believe in being data-driven. Luckily, ACT is providing us with data we can use as a foundation for conversations in teams on all levels of the organisation. Here we can identify improvement areas and take small steps towards an even more inclusive workplace. So, please continue to respond to the survey and let the data flow…”

Lars Westvang, Chief Enterprise Architect