The 2012 Diversity Award was handed over by Ahmad Ghazinadeh, State Secretary in the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, in Oslo on December 4th.
“I am very pleased that the Award is going this year to a research institute. SINTEF is a high-competence organisation that has a conscious strategy of exploiting the potential that characterises a diverse workforce. It has made conscious efforts to recruit staff from many countries and cultures, including at management level, said State Secretary Ghazinadeh as he handed over the award.
One out of every five born in another country
No fewer than 68 nations are represented in SINTEF, and 20 per cent of our colleagues were born and raised in other countries.
The jury pointed out that SINTEF has implemented a wide range of measures aimed at making itself an attractive work-place for everyone. These measures include reception, integration, training and social activities for employees.
Proud human resources director
Ingeborg Lund, director of human resources, accepted the prize on behalf of SINTEF. In her speech of acceptance, she emphasised that we are fortunate to be able to attract capable people from so many countries.
“To be successful at international level, it is very valuable to have people with linguistic and cultural expertise from all over the world. Such expertise helps to strengthen our networks in other countries, and gives us access to a wider range of knowledge that we can draw on,” said Lund.
Two voices from the floor
Several foreign-born SINTEF employees were present at the ceremony. Ethiopian Yisak Abdella of SINTEF Energy Research and Partow Pakdel Henriksen from Iran were invited to tell the state secretary something about their experience of SINTEF.
“Make integration a simple matter”
Yisak: “I got my first fulltime job with SINTEF, and I was very keen to see what it would be like to share an office, work in a new language, and so on. I have learnt a great deal at SINTEF, the most important thing being that when people work together towards a shared goal – here, it is “Technology for a Better Society” – differences in language and culture lose their importance.”
Partow: “I am research manager of a group of eleven people, three from Norway and the rest of us from all over the world. Perhaps to an even greater extent than the Norwegians themselves, we who come from abroad set great store on openness, honesty and SINTEF’s flat organisation, all of which enable us to influence our own day-to-day lives. This award fills me with pride.”
About the Diversity Award
The Diversity Award is given to a an organisation that has made a significant contribution to diversity in the workplace. The aim of the award is to turn the spotlight on good examples of diversity at work that can offer knowledge and inspiration to others.
A jury selects the award-winner on the basis of several criteria, such as how deep-rooted are efforts to encourage diversity in the organisation, its proportion of ethnic minorities, and its recruitment policy. The jury is made up of representatives of Norway’s social partners, the Contact Committee between the Immigrant Population and the Government, and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation. The secretariat of the award is provided by the Directorate of Integration and Diversity.
Previous winners of the Diversity Award include IKEA (2011), Coca Cola (2010), the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (2009), Lørenskog Municipality (2008), Hennig Olsen Is (2007), Ullevål University Hospital (2006) and the Norwegian Post Office (2005):