This document contains Solution Seeker’s Gender Equality Plan (GEP). The plan was approved by Solution Seeker’s Management team on 15 December 2022 and is signed by the CEO. The document sets out Solution Seeker’s ambition and targets linked to our work to promote gender equality within the organization, as well as important initiatives designed to achieve this ambition.
We are passionate about closing the persistent gender equality gap that still exists in the world of business today, and we aim for a 50/50 gender split in the company as a whole. Some concrete measures have already been implemented in the overall strategy, requiring female representation of at least one third in the management team and on the board.
Solution Seeker appreciate the EU’s initiative to strengthen gender equality and diversity in the field of research and in business in general. To be able to deliver the best results and make a sustainable company, diversity among employees, managers and Board members is essential for us to succeed. We need to extract knowledge from different genders and from different cultures and countries, and make use of the skills and expertise that each of our unique contributors represent to maintain our role as a world leader in turning data into value.
We have actively worked for diversity since the company was started almost 10 years ago, and to succeed with the work on diversity and inclusion, the entire organization must contribute. Emphasis is placed on a broad involvement of employees throughout the organization through work in smaller groups and competence meetings.
We have been working actively to recruit women and demonstrated true gender equality both at top management level and among our employees, but this has proven more difficult as our organization has grown larger, especially in positions such as software engineer. Both Chief People Officer and Chief Commercial Officer have been female for the last nine years. Three of our five Board members are currently also female.
Solution Seeker appears to be an attractive employer among competent university leavers, and almost equally popular with women as men. This gives us reason to hope that we can continue to improve the gender equality status. Our aim is to seize this opportunity! Currently, women make up 42 % of our employees within Solution Seeker as a whole.
We observe a general tendency showing that the proportion of women is greater in the youngest age group. In the group 24 to 33, 62% of the employees are women, compared with 20 % in the oldest age group, 34 to 43 (all employees are in are between 24 and 43 years old). The proportion of women among Solution Seeker’s top management is currently 29 %. We believe that this figure must be increased as a basis for improving gender equality in other areas of the organization. A major challenge facing us is to identify how to facilitate career paths for women so that the high proportions of female employees that we observe at lower grades can be reflected on higher levels.
We wish to strengthen our efforts to achieve an organization-wide gender equality by means of systematic and long- term work. As a foundation for this work, we have defined a number of development targets that we believe are both ambitious and achievable over time.
We believe that a ratio of 50 % women to 50 % men is an appropriate target for the organization as a whole. The option of a 50/50 ratio in the top management is considered to be unrealistic due to the current size of the company. If the company grows and new positions are created a 50/50 ratio will be more realistic, and this is reflected in our long- term plan. Our goal is at least 33/67 ratio in the management team, and a goal of 50 % women on the Board.
In terms of defining targets, our starting point is the current status of a series of organizational dimensions that are
of particular relevance as metrics of gender equality development (see the table below). For each dimension, we have
defined subordinate targets for gender equality development, to be achieved in three stages: after 3 years, 5 years
and 10 years. The targets are determined on the basis of best discretion, and it may be necessary to adjust them based
on lessons learnt as the plan progresses.
Responsibility and resources
Adherence to Solution Seeker's Gender Equality Plan will be mandatory for all managers with personnel responsibility. Within their areas of authority, they will be responsible for preparing plans containing targets and actions and for implementing these so that Solution Seeker can achieve its overall objectives. All managers will be supported in exercising their responsibilities from dedicated resources and shared systems.
The Chief People Officer will have the overall responsibility for supporting and monitoring the work to implement this Gender Equality Plan and will be authorized to spend the necessary time needed on this work. The CPO will act to ensure development and facilitation for managers and other employees with systems and tools that support the work to achieve equality. Top management will also take responsibility for carrying out annual assessments of target achievement status.
If advice and support related to GEP is needed, the company's managers and employees will be able to use advice from the employers' organization Virke.
We will monitor and document the progress of the gender balance over time and establish a system for annual reporting of the status of the dimensions listed below. This will also include the monitoring of corporate governance activities as each year progresses. The aim here is to determine whether the plan is progressing in the direction required for Solution Seeker to achieve its objectives. These annual status updates will also provide the basis for the adjustment of targets and the adaptation of actions in support of ensuring progress in the required direction.
We will focus on the Software engineer and Data scientist levels because these are key positions in relation to our core activities. It also forms the basis for gender equality development in organizational dimensions such as the administration of major research projects, publications and future management roles. We will be monitoring developments in these dimensions in particular in addition to the overall equality in the company. The management will also be monitoring salary-related data with the aim of ensuring no gender-related salary differentials between men and women.
Commitment and actions
All activities in Solution Seeker are conducted in a manner designed to ensure zero tolerance towards all types of bullying, gender- based violence and sexual harassment. The commitment to this GEP is embedded in our Company Vision, Purpose and Values which can be achieved through the personal commitment of all employees. In addition;
The Board of Directors and Management in Solution Seeker are fully committed to this Gender Equality Plan and will ensure in this regard that all responsibilities are clearly defined, communicated and understood by employees, contractors, customers and all those affected by our operations.
Incidents or matters worthy of criticism will be reported according to our internal routines for whistleblowing. In
addition, we monitor other aspects such as motivation, collaboration, work-life balance and development in our
quarterly happiness survey. All reported cases are followed up in accordance with established procedures in order to
resolve each specific case, take care of the individual, and prevent improper conduct from happening again.
In order to continually enhance our performance, we are committed to:
- Promote a positive culture through engagement, leadership and empowerment;
- Adequately control equality risks arising from our work activities; ensuring that all operations are managed in such a way as to prevent any kind of bullying, gender-based violence or sexual harassment;
- Provide suitable instructions, information and training to ensure competence of our employees, setting high standards to ensure that everyone is fully aware of the standards and behaviors expected of them;
- Reviewing and investigating all offensive gender equality incidents, complaints and non-conformances; implementing corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence;
- Monitor and measure progress by setting objectives and targets to ensure continual improvement in equality performance through our Management System;
- Contribute to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and track employee happiness to ensure a positive trend.
Signed: Vidar Gunnerud, CEO
Dated: December 2022