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Digital transformation and gender equality hot topics at Almedalen

By Helena Wennergren

Comprend was in Gotland last week to participate in the annual political and corporate summit, Almedalen Week. Throughout the week, hundreds …

Comprend was in Gotland last week to participate in the annual political and corporate summit, Almedalen Week. Throughout the week, hundreds of organisations, corporations, political parties, municipalities and NGO’s hold thousands of seminars and sessions to discuss and highlight different issues. This year we noted that digital transformation was high on the agenda with various ongoing discussions. Gender equality was also a popular topic discussed by many panels.

Almedalen 2015

Digital transformation is on everyone’s mind.

Contrary to previous years, the topic of digital transformation and the digitalisation of society were widely discussed during this year’s Almedalen. The contexts varied; there were seminars talking about how digitalisation is changing talent communication and recruiting, others talked about how our democracy is influenced by the digital revolution. E-health, open data, content marketing, digital innovation within large companies, digital banking, sharing economy, cyber security etc. There was something for everyone interested in how digitalisation affects us as individuals – our jobs, our health and our personal lives, as well as the economy and development of Sweden at large.

An initiative called Hej Digitalt created a space at Almedalen with over 50 agenda items – all dedicated to digital topics. Google and BCG held a seminar called: A new digital agenda for Sweden – where they pinpointed what needs to be done in order to put Sweden at the forefront when it comes to digital development.

Comprend was also part of the discussion and we held a seminar on 30 June covering how digital transformation affects corporate communication and what the main challenges are for Heads of Communications.

An article about the seminar can be found on our Swedish Almedalen site.

Gender equality needs to happen in the tech industry

Gender equality is always a hot topic in Sweden. This was felt even more so at Almedalen this year, specifically when it comes to gender equality in male dominated areas such as construction, tech, science and energy. Many seminars and healthy discussions where held around this topic.

Comprend hosted a panel discussion at Epicenter in Almedalen about gender equality within the agency world. We invited five women representing different agencies with digital or tech focus to discuss the questions: Why do we have a division of labour within digital agencies: men tend to be engineers and developers and women designers and project managers? Why do people say that it is so hard to find female role models, speakers and evangelists within the tech field? How come most agencies are owned and run by men and how can women climb to the top?

In order to set a new digital agenda for Sweden and ensure that we are in the technological forefront we will need more specialised technical and digital competences in our organisations. According to a recent study by IIS (the Internet Foundation in Sweden) 56% of young women in Sweden are not interested in the IT-industry or IT-related jobs. The reason is that they associate the industry with male dominance and a “brogrammer” culture that does not appeal to them. Also they claim that there are a lack of female role models within the industry.

Everyone who operates within the tech field has a responsibility to strive towards gender equality and work to create more inclusive workplaces for all. Digital agencies can start by considering how we recruit talent and what kind of strategy we have to create more diverse teams. We can also make sure that we have an inclusive corporate culture and that people are treated equally, with equal chances for development and advancement.

More key points from the seminar can be read in this article (Swedish).

For more information about our activities in Almedalen, contact Sara Hernandez, sara.hernandez@comprend.com, +46 761 09 05 06.

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Further reading

July 08, 2015

Two Corporate & Financial Award Winners!

July 06, 2015

Comprend starts research team in Lisbon

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