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John Einar Sandvand
Written by John Einar Sandvand
Senior Communications Manager Oslo
Published 2023-11-15

Using diversity to create a fair and inclusive job market

This is the core purpose of Schibsted’s jobs marketplaces: To create equal job opportunities for everyone. “But first, we have to sweep for our own door,” says SVP Eddie Sjølie. Now the first Diversity Index survey has been completed. 

Head of Schibsted Nordic Marketplaces Jobs, Eddie Sjølie, and Sumeet Singh Patpatia, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Schibsted.

The lack of fairness in the job market can be distressing. Did you know that 40% of immigrants are overqualified for the roles they are in? That wheelchair users are invited for only half as many job interviews as others? Or that there is a 70-80% unemployment rate among people on the autism spectrum? (1)

An inclusive job market

The 170 employees in Schibsted Nordic Marketplaces Jobs dream about changing that. In fact, building an inclusive job market is at the heart of the strategy for the job portals in Schibsted. 

“Our ambition is to use the strong position of our marketplaces to create equal and fair employment opportunities for all, no matter abilities, ethnic background, age, gender, or other traits,” says Eddie Sjølie, Senior Vice President for Schibsted Nordic Marketplaces Jobs and CEO of FINN. 

His unit runs the jobs portals of brands like FINN in Norway, Blocket in Sweden, and Oikotie in Finland. 

FINN in Norway, Oikotie in Finland, and Blocket in Sweden are among the online job marketplaces of Schibsted.

Engagement and uncertainty

Sustainability is at the core of Schibsted’s strategy – and for Nordic Marketplaces Jobs that means how we impact society by creating inclusive job markets for all. The ambition caused much engagement among the employees. Many recognised that they could indeed make a sustainable and positive difference in society through their work.

“But we also noticed much uncertainty when we started digging into the topic of diversity. People were worried about how to talk about it and we needed basic competence on what constitutes diversity,” says Eddie.

Thus a project was launched to grow the competence in Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (DIB) across the organisation. This was seen as a prerequisite for succeeding with the larger goal of creating equal job opportunities for all.

The core purpose of Schibsted’s job portals is to create equal opportunities for everyone.

Diversity Index

At the cornerstone for the effort was Diversity Index, a new tool to measure the diversity, inclusion and belonging in an organisation. The first survey has just been completed, and the Marketplaces Jobs unit is now studying the results. 

“Talking about diversity often becomes emotional, and we tend to focus on the visual diversity, such as gender or ethnic background. Diversity Index takes a much wider perspective, and gives a baseline we can use to improve,” says Sumeet Singh Patpatia, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Schibsted. 

Strategic partnership 

Schibsted has entered into a strategic partnership with Diversity Index and plans to roll it out to new units and brands in Schibsted step by step. 

The Diversity Index survey asks people if they feel different from the majority of their colleagues in ten different dimensions. Some dimensions are within what is called visible diversity, such as gender, culture, age, disability and body size. Others are part of the invisible diversity, such as sexual identity, religion, work experience/education, socio-economic background and neurodiversity. 

“But it is not only about measuring diversity as such, but also to connect it to inclusion and belonging, and finally to value creation. We need to be able to benefit from the diverse perspectives, experiences or competencies so that we can translate diversity to value,” adds Sumeet. 

Diversity Index measures both visible and invisible diversity in the workplace.

Majority feels different

One surprising result was that a majority of the employees feel different from their colleagues in at least one of the dimensions. The results also showed that managers and employees without diverse traits tended to think there was a more inclusive atmosphere in the organisation than the employees who felt different in one or more dimensions. 

“This is a starting point for us that will help us measure to what extent we improve in being a diverse and inclusive organisation,” Eddie Sjølie says. 

Diversity creates value

Why is diversity, inclusion and belonging so important for Nordic Marketplaces Jobs?

“We strongly believe that it will create value for us. This is not something we do for fun, but because diversity improves our own ability to innovate. It will give better ideas and broader competence in the organisation,” Eddie says.

The next step is to build diversity, inclusion and belonging into the job portals themselves. 

Can make a difference

“Lack of diversity in the recruitment process means that companies do not have access to all the competence that is out there. And it means that individuals do not get the opportunities they deserve. We believe we can make a difference here,” says Eddie Sjølie. 

Sumeet Singh Patpatia adds:

“There is great potential. Recruitment processes often have inherent biases. Removing them is not only a great service to society but also creates a bigger pool of potential candidates for the employers. Ultimately it is all about finding the best candidate and creating the perfect match, and not only choosing the best from a certain group of people.”

Head of Schibsted Nordic Marketplaces Jobs, Eddie Sjølie, and Sumeet Singh Patpatia, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Schibsted

(1) Sources: Forskning.no (overqualified immigrants), OsloMet (wheelchair users), Unicus (unemployment – autism specter)

Written by John Einar Sandvand
Senior Communications Manager Oslo
Published 2023-11-15