Inspirators in the Electronics Industry meet Sofia Persson Björk

Inspiratörer i Elektronikbranschen

Motivate your favorite for this year's Woman in the Electronics Industry.

Together with Phoenix Contact, Electronics Fair makes a comprehensive effort to highlight women in the electronics industry. On-site at Electronics Fair on April 10-11, 2024, at Kistamässan Stockholm, this year’s female role model will be crowned.

In an article series on female leadership, we will explore various aspects of leadership development, provide examples of successful leaders, and examine how today’s leaders can navigate through complex challenges.

First up, we present Sofia Persson Björk – Manager Electronics Design at AFRY.

During the interview, you have the opportunity to motivate a colleague or a fellow human being whom you believe contributes to the improvement and forward-thinking of the electronics industry.

Who is Sofia Persson Björk? 46 years old, working in the development of embedded electronics, automation, and industrial IT in multiple countries for nearly 25 years. Privately, I enjoy climbing high mountains or running ultra-races in forests and mountains.

What is important to you in creating sustainable leadership? To truly understand what sustainability means and adhere to the sustainability mindset in all decisions made, individually, in leadership groups, and together with colleagues. Social and economic sustainability must not be forgotten in our work to, for example, achieve climate goals.

How is AFRY working to create a more sustainable and inclusive industry? I am incredibly proud of AFRY’s work in diversity and inclusion. As an example, we have a handbook for recruiting foreign-born employees, which lowers the threshold for all managers to truly find the right expertise anywhere in the world to meet our customer needs. Since 2015, AFRY has recruited nearly 700 newly arrived engineers.

We have clear sustainability goals regarding Gender Diversity; for example, 40% female leaders by 2030 – to achieve this goal, we need to not only take bold actions to retain the 25.4% female leaders we have today but also increase this share of female leaders by 2 percentage points each year.

We also have a comprehensive Sustainability Toolbox available to everyone and used in our daily work. In electronics development, we not only work with DFM (Design for Manufacturing) but also design for a longer lifespan, for potential reuse of electronics, and to reduce energy consumption throughout the life of the electronics.

We are good at highlighting both big and small aspects of sustainability. As an example, future food is often served at our Team Players meetings  – incredibly fun with burgers made from sea weed or mung beans.

Which strategies are implemented to ensure a fair and inclusive recruitment process?

AFRY Recruitment Principles – To meet our long-term recruitment needs, we have a structured recruitment process with a focus on inclusion and long-term relationships. We believe that diversity is a strength and have set goals to increase inclusion and diversity of backgrounds and cultures, including achieving a gender-balanced workforce.

  • Immigrated Competence Programme
  • Inclusion and Diversity Week
  • LGBTQI+ rights
  • Inclusive recruitment
  • Courageous leadership

How can the company support and promote career development for all employees, regardless of gender?

Simply walk the talk! We have the tools, principles, and goals, making it much easier to take the “detour” away from the simple and away from our unconscious bias – and there we have support from a structured recruitment process.

How does the company promote visibility and representation of all genders in leadership positions?

At AFRY, we report and follow up on the goals several times a year; it makes a difference. Once a year, we highlight this important issue even more through our Inclusion & Diversity Week, now in its seventh year.

A big thank you to Sofia and her inspiring work for the Electronics Industry.

Do you have a female colleague who is truly an inspiration and works within the electronics industry? Motivate your suggestion below.

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