Scan Magazine, Issue 91, August 2016

Page 72


e Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Social Entrepreneurs of Norway Scan

RS L U IA E e C N Y Sp SO RE WA EP OR R T FN N E O l cia

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Left: Founder and director Loveleen Rihel Brenna. Photo: Anders Bergersen. Top right: Rihel Brenna with Johan H. Andresen from Ferd AS and chairman Anders H. Lier from Enoro AS. Photo: Raj Fyllingen. Right: ‘Jens Nørve has provided advice for my career development, as well as my personal development. He has encouraged me to develop specific skills, like digitalisation, a competence becoming increasingly important in the banking industry where I work,’ says Arooj Dar, who has taken part in Seema’s talent and mentoring programme, VS-Humentor. Photo: Joe Ekker.

Making diversity good for business A 2015 report from the renowned consultancy firm McKinsey says that gender diversity increases the likelihood of profitability by 15 per cent. Ticking the ethnical diversity box, the number increases to 35 per cent. In other words, diversity is good for business, and companies across the globe are opening their eyes – and doors – to social groups that were traditionally kept on the doorstep. By Helene Toftner

However, the road ahead is still long and companies such as Seema have proven invaluable in the development. A consultancy firm specialised in company diversity, Seema teaches and consults companies in how to encourage and take advantage of diversity amongst their employees. Seema was established in 2012 by founder and director Loveleen Rihel 72  |  Issue 91  |  August 2016

Brenna. Originally from India, she experienced firsthand how difficult it can be coming from a background other than Norwegian or western, in addition to being a woman. While some would take the easy way out, Loveleen shouldered the challenge and has over the years chaired the National Parent Committee for primary and secondary schools set up by the government. She has also led a women’s panel and worked with gender

issues, as well as working for social services. “I have seen that many people, and particularly women, have incredible skills and qualifications but often don’t get the chance to use them. Everyone is losing out – the people, the companies and the country – by not giving these people access to appropriate jobs,” Rihel Brenna says.

Understanding diversity As a consultancy firm, Seema works with numerous Norwegian companies as well as collaborating with the government on how best to encourage diversity in the work place. “We work according to three perspectives: why diversity is important, how to manage diversity, and how to meet a diverse

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