Getting round the Campfire to support diversity

Britt Sønderborg, Talent Manager

I was really excited before our latest Campfire – and even more, inspired afterward. I wasn’t alone either. In this blog, I’ll share what some of the other people had to say about the difference it’s going to make to the way we look at diversity and inclusion throughout our talent acquisition process… and beyond.

Our Campfires are how we describe our amazing sessions where people come together to share ideas, opinions, concerns, and reflections on the big topics that are really important to us. And they don’t come much bigger than getting diversity and inclusion (D&I) right.

D&I needs to sit right at the heart of our recruitment process. That’s why we wanted to look at potential biases and how we can create a more diverse candidate pool. It’s also why we needed new steps to take, new actions to implement, and new ideas on proactive ways to do better.

Our people didn’t disappoint. From the Campfire, we came up with a strong list of ideas and actions that we’re confident will make a noticeable difference, but we know that we’re on a journey. For example, globally we’ve introduced diverse interview panels, checkpoints throughout the recruitment process, and mandatory conscious inclusion training for everyone involved in recruitment. There’s more, too. But we also know that D&I is more than ‘just’ changing processes. It’s also about a change in mindset and breaking down old habits.

That’s why I was particularly excited about this Campfire because we had hiring leaders coming from various areas of Engineering & Quality in our Operations business. Discussions and learnings differ depending on different personalities. So, here’s a taster of people’s expectations and how it went, from some of those who were there…

Joel Zapien Director, Element & Mould Validation

We’re all becoming more and more part of a globally connected world right now. And at the LEGO Group, we’re aiming to become more and more of a global company. Even just the team that I lead is international, with a presence in lots of countries – including Mexico, China, Hungary, and Denmark. And we also have different nationalities, from Indian to Portuguese (and many more!). So I think it’s important that we’re aware of our diversity. And actually, we’re mindful to get all the benefits that diversity can bring to our teams and our organisation.

I knew that the Campfire would be an enriching experience. And that it would provide us with additional tools to perform in this global world, where we’re aiming to become a more diverse and inclusive company. I was right. Being part of a wider group provided different insights which were really positive. I learned to embrace diversity, even more, be aware of the challenges that it represents, and find ways to do it better. When it comes to applications and CVs, it’s important to look at the potential that diversity can bring to the strength of the team.

I already lead a multi-national and multi-cultural team with different diversity angles, experiences and personalities. So, it also reminded me not to fall into autopilot mode. Instead, actually taking that minute to think when we interact with different colleagues in different time zones and in different countries about biases that we can have, and how we can be more embracing of different opinions and perspectives.

Célia Le Gouil-Jensen Director, Test Design & Qualification

We’re a Danish company. But we’re also an international company. So I really wanted to have an honest and open discussion. I also wanted to talk about differentiated training because we’re not all starting from the same awareness and we all have different challenges.

For example, I’ve been working for 15 years in Denmark and hired lots of different nationalities. So I have a certain perspective on diversity and inclusion. But a leader who hasn’t been hired before would have a need for different training – what to look for, what to be open about, even what wording to use, or not use. It’s complex. And it’s very important.

Frank Lund Andersen Vice President, Global Workplace Projects

What I wanted from the Campfire was a free space where I could discuss with my colleagues and have some great insights. I also wanted a bit of confirmation about my own thoughts and some new, good ideas to bring forward. So, it was really good we could share them. For example, when we’re recruiting, it’s important for us to talk about it out in the open.

In the Campfire, we discussed lots of ways to improve things, and I’m trying to keep them alive in my own leadership team and build on that. I also want to motivate my leaders not to be afraid of engaging in the diversity and inclusion dialogue and share their thoughts and ideas with other leaders.

The Campfires are a super-good tool for us to sit down, really focus on, and address an important topic – which can be more difficult in a daily environment when we’re more focused on delivering our work.

Being part of a team that’s open and actively working to make things better is a great place to be. If you like what you hear, then come and join us as we continue our journey. We have opportunities in Engineering & Quality and beyond.

Britt Sønderborg, Talent Manager