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Stories by Hydro

Meet Mette Boye Sørensen – Why company values are meaningful

“Our values used to be more about business. Now it is much more about people and what we can do together as people,” says Mette Boye Sørensen, speaking about how values are changing in Hydro.

Once upon a time, Mette was a little girl on the largest island, with the lowest population density, in the world. Summers were cold, winters colder. Now she is a grown woman and Greenland is a memory, with a satisfying career, a caring family and a dog. Mette manages Hydro’s aluminium extrusion plant in Denmark, leading 280 people who have dreams of their own.

It is a tale with many unexpected turns.

You lead the Tønder plant as its top manager. Did you see this happening when you started?

No. It has been a journey.

My job has changed many times since I began. Which is good, because the company has given me the opportunity to develop in different areas, and to grow and educate myself.

Another thing I have learned is that when you are placed in one area, maybe you should look over at the other area, too. That it could also be a possibility. That it's OK to try it out and see if it works, and that it is OK if it doesn't work. And that if it doesn’t work, then we will find something else that perhaps is better.

I didn't see myself as a manager. One day HR came to me and said, wouldn't it be fun to try to be a manager?  We have a position here in the process department. I tried it out, and I really think that leading people, growing them and the relations, that sort of kicked in for me. I said, oh, this I like.

I like being able to work on different levels in the organization. I like going out on the floor and having a chit chat with people. Getting the feeling of what they're doing, if they are doing well, if there are problems we need to attend to, and so on. I really like the feedback that tells me, OK, we are going in the right direction.

How has the company been changing to become a more attractive workplace for women?

Our values have changed. I remember that previously it was more about business and now it's much more about people, and what we can do together as people. I think that's very valuable. When I began, it was important to have younger people around me and so on. Now it's very much about the values that we also live in the company.

Having Hilde as CEO inspires me. She came to the plant this year and it was inspiring seeing her moving around the plant, seeing the time she took to talk to people and getting to know what they actually were doing. We had two hours, but that was not enough. She wanted to see more. So we came back and she did a speech for the people and she remembered all the names. That was impressive. I really think that she cares.

I think that we (women employees) come in with some softer values and we look at other things than men do. We bring something different to the table.

Hydro is aiming to have at least 25 percent women employees, including permanent and temporary employees, by the end of 2025. The share of women employees in the company at the end of 2022 was 22 percent. Listen to the stories from a select group of our women employees from across the world! 

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