Becoming a Patron of the Automotive 30% Club is an important step for Kristian. He comments: “At Volvo, we want to set the benchmark in the industry because it will give us and our retailer network a competitive advantage in the war for talents.”
Kristian hopes it will also demonstrate that a diverse and inclusive workplace not only generates a more productive and profitable environment but also creates a more engaging and inspiring place to work for all of their employees.
Kristian started his career in management consultancy focusing on start-ups and fast growing companies with organisational leadership strategies. He has been in the motor industry now for 18 years, working solely for Volvo Cars and has worked across all areas of sales, including the rental sector through Hertz, who were part of Volvo Cars in the Nordics. Kristian has over 10 years’ experience as a Managing Director, first for Sunfleet Carsharing, the MD of Volvo in Sweden and more recently in the UK.
Kristian believes a great culture and willingness to change is key to reach gender equality. Volvo strives to ensure their people are able to be the best versions of themselves regardless of social background or individual characteristics. Volvo believes that a strong leadership team is created by having the best people in the right roles. Kristian comments: “To be a successful National Sales Centre, you need a mix of great automotive knowledge along with new insight from other industries.”
This approach naturally creates a balanced mix of great leaders. Volvo is focused on educating and raising awareness of diversity and inclusion within their business. Some examples of the great work they have done, with regards to working towards our shared goal of having at least 30% of women in leadership positions by 2030, include; unconscious bias training, mental health awareness programmes and employee mentoring. Volvo has also recently launched a new approach to flexible working to enable people to achieve their desired work life balance. These initiatives have become part of Volvo’s everyday approach to work.
In addition to becoming a Patron of the Club, Kristian on behalf of Volvo Car UK is the sponsor of the Club’s 2020 Inspiring Automotive Women Day. IAW Day will this year consist of a virtual event hosted by Volvo, along with a series of live digital conversations between volunteers and girls in schools across the country, with the aim of inspiring female pupils to consider careers in the automotive industry.
Kristian hopes that pupils will feel inspired by what they see in terms of the breadth of career opportunities on offer within the automotive sector overall and that Volvo, in particular, could be a brand which they aspire to work in one day. He comments: “Whether it’s a customer facing or management role in a retailer or a consumer insight or technical role in one of our UK sites, it’s invaluable for us to have the competencies and perspectives from different areas to be able to make the changes needed.”
Supporting outreach activities like the Club’s Inspiring Automotive Women Day is something Kristian is committed to. Working in one of the most challenging industries today, the next few years will see significant changes in product evolution and also customer behaviour. Kristian comments: “In such a fast paced environment, it is critical for us to have a wide knowledge base across different industries, as well as creating an organisation that mirrors the diversity and equality of wider society. Volvo’s involvement with the Automotive 30% Club and sponsorship of the Inspiring Automotive Women Day for 2020 is critical to these aims.”