Let us inspire to gender equality at work

 

At AJ Products, we work actively to be a company where everyone is given the same opportunities to grow. That is why we are eager to celebrate International Women's Day and the fight for gender equality, which in 2021 has the theme "Women in leadership". For this reason, we have asked some of our female managers to share their thoughts on their role as a leader – with the hope of inspiring others to follow.

But first a few questions to Helena Christensen, Global HR Manager at AJ Products.

How is gender equality at AJ Products?
I would say good, it’s an issue we are focusing on. We have a clear policy and work actively to be an open, inclusive and equal workplace where everyone is given the same opportunities. And because we like to recruit internally, we encourage all employees to dare to take up space and take on challenges. As for the proportion of female managers, previous imbalances are about to be evened out, but we still have a way to go.

Do we appoint women based on quotas?
All recruitments are made based on the candidate's experience, personality and knowledge. But, if we must choose between a woman and a man with exactly the same qualifications, we would probably choose the woman to even out the proportion of women/men in managerial positions.

Why is balance important?
We believe that an even number of female and male managers provides a better work climate, with increased well-being and efficiency as a result. But an equal company is not just about the number of women and men, it is also about creating an inclusive and positive corporate culture – and that’s something we really have at AJ Products!

Anything else that is particularly important?
We want to make it easier for our employees to combine work and family life – and especially encourage an even share of parental leave. The more fathers who take their part of the responsibility, the easier it will be for women to compete for jobs on equal terms. In the long run, this will hopefully lead to a culture in society where the issue of gender is not even relevant.

Is International Women's Day needed?
Absolutely! It is a reminder of how people in previous generations have fought for things we now take for granted, such as being able to vote and being able to get a job. We must not forget those sacrifices, because we still have a way to go.

Words meant to inspire

Annika Petersson

Sales Manager, Inbound sale, Sweden

"Job satisfaction breeds success"

One of the most important things that runs through our workplace is to have a happy and varied everyday life and that you enjoy your colleagues, then the results will also come.

 

Sofia Andersson
Supply Manager, Sweden

"Dare to take up space and believe in yourself"

I think you need to dare to take space in a room no matter which are there. One of the most important things in my job as a leader, I see, is to make others dare to take a seat and believe in themselves in order to be able to grow as people.

 

Louise Stierna
Production Leader, Sweden

"For me leadership is about teamwork and reaching for our common goals"

I think it’s about teamwork and that I as a leader helps everyone to be their best and find satisfaction and team spirit, so that we together can be strong and strive forward to reach new heights.

 

Pia Hallqvist
Range Manager, Sweden

"Dare to challenge and be yourself"

Dare to stand for your beliefs and your work in your leadership and not pretend to fit in. Be your real self and you will go a long way.

 

Helena Christensen
Global HR Manager, Sweden

"I am convinced that companies with women in senior positions deliver better, both in results and workplace climate"

A workplace culture where everyone has the same conditions creates security where employees have the opportunity to grow and develop. Through a mix of both women and men in senior positions, we take advantage of all perspectives and that enriches us as a company.


Paula Edebalk
Brand Manager, Sweden

"Title or not, it’s building a relationship with all, based on shared trust, commitment and vision."

I believe in working together on a horizontal level, which I think provides more space and more opportunities for co-workers around me to be able to apply their expertise and knowledge to the challenges that the company faces, together.

 

Zane Bekere
Manager, Latvia

"Be passionate about what you do"

Recognize the talents and develop their passions and skills, be kind and stimulate harmony in every step of the process.

 

Johanna Kemppainen
Managing Director, Finland

"You just can't always win, but you can always get better"

When working towards the targets, it is important to keep the curiosity and open mind towards new solutions. By aiming to constant improvements we together get better all the time. This includes that also mistakes are allowed – as long as we learn from them.

 

Nicole Hartmann

Country Manager, Germany and Austria

"Believe in yourself to reach your goal"

Success comes when you have a vision and be focused on your goals with passion, be confident to reach your goals, inspiring to others to follow you, smart enough not to be afraid of failure and more smart enough to learn from your own mistakes. As a woman you can achieve success when you believe in yourself and are self-confident enough to believe you can achieve whatever you want. You only need to have a vision and know the way. As a leader you have to know the way, go that way and show the way to others. But always be keep yourself and treat your team with kindness and respect to emerge the best out of them. A leader is nothing without a good team.

 

Anna Sköld
Sales Manager, Norway

"In everything you do – always be the best version of you"

There's only one of you – and that's you. The original is always better than a copy so find out who you are and stand for it. Focus on the best in each person in your team to create a harmonious team that drives each other, helps each other and pulls in the same direction – forward!

 

Anne Ahlmann
Customer Service Manager, Denmark

"Openness creates trust"

I believe that it creates motivated and happy employees if you as a leader are good at informing and listening to them and their ideas. A work environment that is characterized by trust, where you are not afraid to say your opinion.

 

Mette Thorud
Customer Service Manager, Norway

"Having a warm organizational culture built on diversity helps us achieve goals"

For me, it is important that all people have respect and listen to each other. It all starts with a good culture – if we have that we can do it all!

 

 

Christina Christensen
Marketing Manager, Denmark

"You are more powerful than you know"

Nothing is impossible! No matter what challenges you face as a leader, always maintain the confidence in yourself and stand for who you are.