Diversity: The key to accelerate innovation in the electronic industry

The electrical industry’s lack of diversity is no secret, yet research find companies who actively work to increase their diversity, have higher productivity and innovation rates. EFO wants Norway to become the world’s first fully electrified country, to reach this goal it is necessary to create space for innovation. Our industry is both exciting and forward-looking, but we still have a long way to go in terms of getting more women on board.


Frank Jaegtnes, CEO at Elektroforeningen EFO, and Ida Thorendahl, Marketing Director at Elektroforeningen EFO, both certified diversity leaders.

Crucial for the industry


We all know that diversity is the key to accelerating company innovation and productivity, yet women are severely underrepresented in the industry.


Ida Thorendahl, Marketing Director and certified diversity leader at Elektroforeningen EFO: The industry's future depends on diversity and innovation. We will not be able to accelerate the development if we continue to recruit from only half of the population. Women in Norway have on average a higher level of education and a higher purchasing power than men. If we don't succeed in recruiting them to leadership positions, our sector’s development will be doomed since our solutions will be inadequate.


This industry is open for everyone


Is there anything the industry can change to recruit more women?


Frank Jaegtnes, CEO of EFO: Women are underrepresented in our industry. Some of the reasons might be due to the culture within this sector, but the chances are there is just not enough information and awareness about our industry. It is critical to demonstrate that our industry is open for absolutely everyone – regardless of gender, ethnicity, and cultural background. Our industry encompasses a wide range of jobs, and we require a diverse group of people to keep it running. We will be missing out on valuable people if we do not recruit more women.


It is said that change must start at the leadership level – what does this mean for diversity?


Frank Jaegtnes: That’s correct. Management and executives must concentrate on their diversity management. More female presence at all levels is required; this will have a positive impact on the rest of the sector. We need strong, unambiguous leaders who are willing to engage others, and welcome diversity.


Diversity is a collective responsibility


What is your best advice for companies wanting to recruit more women?


Frank Jaegtnes: My recommendation is to embrace diversity. Accept differences with open arms, demonstrate appreciation for everyone’s uniqueness. I believe we all have a joint obligation to enhance diversity in our industry, because we just can’t do it alone.


The Elektrokvinnen 2022-awards


EFO is on a mission to raise awareness about diversity and inclusion in the industry and are hosting the first ever Elektrokvinnen-award. Elektrokvinnen (translated - Electrowoman) is an award that recognizes excellent and outstanding women in the electrical industry in Norway. EFO’s goal with the awards is to uncover the industry’s heroes, the hard-working women we should look up to, and empower them. The Elektrokvinnen 2022 awards will be hosted in June during Eliaden, one of Norway’s largest trade fairs.


This award is given to create awareness about diversity, gender balance and equality in the industry. It is critical to recognize the heroes and role models in the industry. We want to welcome more women, but there is still a long way to go. To establish a more modern industry culture, the senior management must embrace change, says Jaegtnes.

EFO will continue their work on empowering women and diversity, and encourages their peers throughout EUEW to do the same.


Are you interested in having a chat about EFO’s goal to make Norway the world’s first fully electrified country or our work regarding diversity? You can reach EFO at elektroforening@efo.no.

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