SSAB is a knowledge company. Our success depends heavily on the competence and engagement of our employees. SSAB operates globally, and has more than 15,000 employees from diverse demographic backgrounds in more than 50 countries. Leveraging this diversity is a prerequisite to providing a superior customer experience. The steel industry is traditionally male-dominated, and with 17% of our employees being women, SSAB is no exception.

We believe that improving gender balance will positively contribute to our performance culture and be more responsive to customer needs. The competition for competence is tough and we need to attract, recruit and retain employees that will contribute to our performance, making diversity is a strategic business decision, says Martin Lindqvist.

In order to increase the number of women in top management, SSAB launched a diversity target in 2015, aiming to have women in 30% of the top management positions in the company by the end of 2019. SSAB has a long-term goal of increasing the presence of female employees across the company. Women in top management positions serve as role models for others, which drives further development. To further accelerate this process, in 2016, we initiated a high-level in-house mentoring program, which proved successful and will be re-launched in February 2017. The program will run throughout the year and include elements of leadership assessments and networking activities.

This is one of several initiatives to strengthen our employer attractiveness. I also see this program as a mutual learning experience for both mentors and mentees, through challenging each other, exchanging experiences, broadening perspectives and building networks across the organization, says Maria Långberg, EVP and Head of HR and Sustainability.

However, working with diversity in terms of having a diverse workforce will not automatically improve our employee engagement or financial performance. SSAB strives for an inclusive leadership and corporate culture, meaning that employees feel a sense of belonging and have equal opportunities to contribute and succeed.

SSAB launching executive female mentoring program