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Hilde Nordh, Pål Kildemo, Anne-Lene Midseim, Hilde Merete Aasheim, John Thuestad, Helena Nonka and Eivind Kallevik. Paul Warton attended digitally due to Covid.

Hydro’s Corporate Management: ‘We commit!’

The Hydro Corporate Management Board signed a letter of commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging after participating in our internal diversity leadership seminar March and April 2022.

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) are enablers for Hydro’s strategic agenda. DIB is frequently on the agenda in the Corporate Management Board meetings, but dedicated time throughout separate seminars was key to the learning and commitment process.

“Diversity leadership is about being curious, asking questions, listening, and challenging our own thinking. I believe an ambitious approach to diversity is essential for bringing out the full potential of our workforce. We need a variety of perspectives when solving our business challenges going forward – mobilizing the full potential of the work pool is a prerequisite for future success for Hydro,” says President & CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim.

An eye-opener

The seminar was prepared and held as part of Hydro's DIB program in collaboration with Loveleen Brenna of Seema, an independent consultancy working on diversity leadership. Diversity, unconscious biases, diversity competence, maturity and diversity leadership were addressed in a combination of presentations, reflection in groups and exercises.

“The exercise where we stepped into other people’s shoes was an eye opener. It forced me reflect on my own biases in a new way,” John Thuestad, Executive Vice President in Hydro’s Bauxite & Alumina business area says after having signed the diversity, inclusion and belonging commitment.

Stepping into other people’s shoes in the “the privilege exercise”
Stepping into other people’s shoes in the “the privilege exercise”

Spending time on Hydro’s “What”, “Why” and “How” has been important throughout the seminar. The CMB learned that better decisions are made, and new opportunities created when being open and curious towards different perspectives, leading to sustainability and better financial results.

“To succeed, Hydro depends on leaders who release the potential of a diverse workforce. All Hydro employees must take part in fostering an inclusive culture, where individual differences are not only accepted, but welcomed and utilized. It takes some time to get into the mindset, but it is time well spent,” says Executive Vice President for Hydro Energy Arvid Moss.

The commitment

The entire Corporate Management Board has signed the commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging. The signed letter reads as follows:

As members of the Corporate Management Board in Hydro, we are committed to and personally engaged in Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.

We recognize that advantages and barriers exist and understand that everyone does not have the same starting point. We strive to ensure that all employees receive the same opportunities to contribute and succeed. We commit to ensuring that different perspectives are utilized to create value.

Our overall target is a high performing and sustainable work environment based on inclusion of our differences. All individuals matter – and all voices should be heard when creating business value.

The signed commitment from Hydro's Corporate Management Board.
The signed commitment from Hydro's Corporate Management Board.

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) explained

Diversity, inclusion and belonging are key to helping us be a sustainable company. To be a sustainable company, we need to set the stage for all employees to perform at their best and produce the most sustainably innovative ideas. The United Nations sustainability goals put people in the center, so we need diverse perspectives and backgrounds to meet these sustainability goals. 

Diversity is who our workforce represents in terms of skills, perspectives, experiences, backgrounds, and cultures. Inclusion is the environment we create to enable all individuals to contribute to their full potential. Belonging is the perception that the individual’s’ contributions matter. It reflects the need to be part of a group and that individual voices are heard when solving our tasks.

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