Diversity. A powerful word with a lot of impact behind it – if used correctly. Schibsted is now redefining what diversity really means in the corporate world. And on the frontline to find new talents and take out the full potential in existing talents stands Head of Diversity, Inclusive and Belonging Sumeet Singh Patpatia.
For Schibsted, working with diversity started with the insight that a change in mindset needed to happen from the top. The first goal on the diversity journey was to even out the gender distribution within top management. By reaching that goal, and creating a strong internal ambition to become leading in diversity work, the change is now trickling down from top three management levels to all underlying companies.
“Schibsted is ambitious regarding diversity, inclusion and belonging. It is rationally anchored throughout the organisation, which is quite uncommon. We aim to put a lot of effort in being both inclusive and making people feel they belong. To include means inviting someone to sit by the table, but to make them belong means actually hearing what they have to say. That is how we aim to unlock that valuable potential in all talents and make all thrive,” Sumeet says.
More than the CV
Schibsted aims to be a company where every employee can be themself and see their unique story as a strength. Norwegian newspaper VG opened up a recruitment process for a journalist where it was not a requirement to have editorial background. VGs need is to build diversity competence. Thus, finding someone with this competence is valuable. The journalistic background was less important because how to write an article can be taught.
“The CV only says that much about a person. To find the greatest talents we have to go beyond that and see strengths that come from other experiences than work. It is important to extend the span in each team with perspectives, backgrounds, languages – verbal and non-verbal, abilities, generations etc. By mirroring what society looks like, we create strong teams and make our products more relevant because we understand the customer needs better,” Sumeet says.
Diversity is default
To make sure Schibsted is keeping up on the diversity work, Sumeet Singh Patpatia and his team run studies and evaluations cross-company.
“We have to understand our maturity and what we already have done to be able to take action forward. We want diversity to be the default, and Schibsted is the right place for exactly that,” Sumeet says.
Sumeet’s three simple tips to a more inclusive workplace:
1. Hack the pipeline: if you can´t find the talents, see the potential and develop the talents.
2. Be curious and learn more from other perspectives.
3. Rewire processes to have as little room as possible for people biases