Nordic countries increasing diversity
Sustainability Jan 11, 2024 9:19:00 AM

Nordic countries increasing diversity

Featured guest blog by Christine Horton, Contributing Editor at Channel Futures

While many channel partners are making a genuine effort to promote equity in the workforce, there is still shocking lack of women in one area, compared to men: leadership. The fact is, there are still too few women in leadership positions in the IT channel.

“Generally speaking, there are too few women in IT, period,” noted Hege Støre, Group CEO of Nordic technology provider Advania Group. “The lack of women in leadership positions is a direct consequence of the under-representation of women in the industry.”

“I have been in IT for nearly 30 years, in management positions for the past 20 years. Today, in Norway, 29% of people in technology are women. One in four is in a management position, and 15% of all IT/tech companies have a female CEO. This is the highest it has ever been,” said Hege Støre, Group CEO of Nordic technology providerAdvania Group

“Women still seem to choose “traditional careers,” even though more women than men study at universities — at least in Norway, which I know the best," said Støre. "Several IT and tech studies have female quotas aiming at improved gender representation. This has resulted in a rise in the share of women applicants and women students in Norway. At several universities, they see the same development,” she added

“Overall, we have 23% of women working at Advania, but our target is 30%. The long-term goal should of course be 50/50!”

Støre said Advania launched a trainee program in Sweden. Last year was the second year in a row that it had 50-50 female and male participants.

“We are closely examining individual stories behind these numbers to see if there is a specific reason for this, or if we hit a sentiment in the way we communicated and launched the program that is more attractive to women. Also, let’s not forget that diversity is more than gender," the CEO said.

Støre believes that companies require not only diversity in leadership, "but also, an inclusive and supportive organisational culture that values the contributions of individuals from various backgrounds. It goes without saying.”

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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