Early action essential for a diverse working environment

Written By:

Rebecka Klintström

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Inclusion and diversity in the workplace have been a major topic of discussion in recent years. At Clir Renewables building an inclusive workplace for our team is a core value. We believe that ensuring the work environment is one where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and do their absolute best is essential to create an engaged team. In addition, numerous studies cite that diversity in the workplace can lead to increased profitability, and as a start-up company in a competitive industry working on this makes sense to us.

Inclusion and diversity is not a ‘task’ you ever complete. Sure, in terms of diversity you may reach the goals you initially set, but to truly have an inclusive and diverse workplace it must be an ongoing process. It should form part of the daily work environment and be present in everyone’s mind regardless of their role within in the company. We recognized this as an issue early on at Clir. The reason we want to spend time on inclusion and diversity is twofold:

  • We’re a renewable energy company and as such we want to make the world a better and more sustainable place.
  • Research shows that companies with better diversity figures that focus on inclusion are more profitable.

We believe people thrive in a workplace where there is a focus on inclusion and diversity. We want to be a part of the movement pushing these values forward! Moreover, we believe that having different backgrounds, experiences and cultures in our team will bring more views to the table, in turn helping us be more creative.

At an early stage, we knew the company would grow quickly so with inclusion and diversity in our minds we consciously reviewed our recruitment strategy to mitigate some of the unconscious biases at play in a recruiting process. Gradually this strategy has taken us from 12% female staff when I started in February 2017, to 28% at the beginning of 2018 to where we are today with 45%*.  For technical staff, we’re currently at 57%* women including some of the most recent hires on our software team. Obviously, gender is not the only measure of diversity but is one of the most easily identifiable.

As a team, we formulated a plan to enable Clir to take advantage of the best talent from all backgrounds today and going forward. We created a number of KPIs for inclusion and diversity which we measure on a regular basis and communicate to staff through an internal newsletter. Additional internal communications are used to share key information about the company with all employees making sure everyone is aware of what is happening.

We continue to work on developing a company culture where inclusion actually “happens”. Recently we organized a workshop on the topic for the whole company as part of our yearly team meet up. The workshop focused on our unconscious biases and we talked about different tools we can use to better identify them, and consequently get better at not acting on them. Among other things, it gave us some ideas on how to adapt our meeting structure to make sure everyone feels they can share their opinion and freely participate in the discussions.

We’re currently working on a survey to get a broader understanding of how everyone in the team experiences our work environment and company culture to identify the core areas where we need to focus going forward. Since we’re also in the process of hiring new talent in our tech, sales, and operations teams we have a great opportunity to test our new recruiting and interviewing tools we’ve developed as a part of the project together with key personnel from each team.

We strive to build an inclusive and diverse company culture that people want to join. To achieve this we will continue to work on and implement our inclusion and diversity strategy. If you would like to join our ever expanding team visit the careers page of our website.

* Figure correct as of September 2018

About Rebecka Klintström

Rebecka has been at Clir from the start and leads Clir’s Inclusion and Diversity initiative. She has over six years’ experience working in the wind industry, both as a consultant and for a utility. She has worked in all phases of a wind project, from pre-construction flow modelling, met mast installations and noise modelling to operational analysis, icing loss modelling and optimizations, as well as managed research projects and project portfolios.

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