Support equal opportunity
Our continuing objective is to be a truly open and inclusive employer. In this environment, with zero tolerance for discrimination, all employees have equal opportunity to achieve their full potential – resulting in a more diverse workplace.
At Swedish Match we put equal opportunities first and foremost in our work toward non-discrimination and diversity. We are dedicated to having an open and inclusive work environment where all our employees shall have equal opportunities to achieve their full potential, regardless of personal status. We work diligently to assure there is zero tolerance for discrimination. As such, we take a proactive approach against structural discrimination and toward increased diversity at all levels within our Company.
Zero tolerance for discrimination
We are committed to non-discrimination in all employment practices, policies, benefits and procedures. Neither employees, nor potential employees, should feel that they are or could be the subject of discrimination at Swedish Match. All violations are taken seriously. Procedures are in place to ensure that swift action is taken to investigate and resolve employee concerns without fear of retaliation. There are several different ways in which an employee may raise a concern, including talking to the employee’s manager, or the manager’s immediate manager, or to the Company’s General Counsel. The employee may also file a complaint anonymously through the whistleblower function, subject to local laws and regulations, which is available on the Company’s intranet. Employee well-being and engagement is tracked regularly through a global employee opinion survey, which includes parameters on discrimination.
Decentralized functions for Human Resources
At Swedish Match, our businesses are driven locally as is the Human Resources function (HR). We have a decentralized HR organization due to the fact that regulations and societal context vary between countries. Many initiatives are taken each year to ensure that we create and maintain an inclusive work environment. For example, we provide access to ongoing training, gender equality programs, equal pay analyses and equal employment opportunity efforts. Through the HR Council we are creating common ground within the Group. The primary focus is on exchanging ideas and knowledge and understanding the different starting points. We have increased our focus on diversity with particular focus on both gender and cultural background during the past year.
Cooperating for equal opportunities in a performance based culture
In order to achieve diversity and a truly performance based culture where all employees feel that they have the same possibility to develop to their full potential we have to drive a performance culture where hiring and/or promotion is based on competence, performance and attitude.
We are convinced that a diverse workforce and diverse management groups are positive for our business. Diversity adds value in and of itself, and diversity improves our chances of recruiting the best talent. Based on how our organization looks today, we believe that gender and cultural background are the areas where there may be a higher risk for potential discrimination and/or areas where the Company could benefit most from an increased focus.
We must consciously work with our culture to make sure that it is inclusive and promotes diversity. This includes tangible initiatives, adapted to local circumstances that are recognized to address diversity relating to gender and cultural background. We will follow all applicable laws related to discrimination and the protection of minorities. We must look for and react forcefully to any indications of discrimination, including with regard to salary. We must work to make sure we find the best candidates, and that also means that in external recruitments we shall always seek out diversity in the candidate pool.
Promoting opportunities and gender balance
From 2017, all operating units are required to present status and changes in gender balance within their organizations, on both a total unit level and with regard to management. These status updates are reviewed by the Group Management Team, and provide greater awareness and involvement from both the operating units and from senior management.
We believe that gender diversity at all levels of the organization benefits the Company in many ways. Gender balance targets are set locally striving for greater balance over time, particularly with regard to more senior levels within the organization. As such, we have a Group goal of having at least 40 percent of each gender in senior management1).
Promoting opportunities for those in protected groups and those from other cultural backgrounds/country of origin
To encourage greater diversity at the management level and for employees throughout the organization, KPIs have been established for the US and Scandinavia to track and report externally the number and percent of managers and other employees who fall under certain classifications. From 2017, operating units in the US and Scandinavia are required to present status within their organizations, on both a total unit level and with regard to management, pertaining to protected groups and those from other cultural backgrounds or country of origin.
In Sweden, information is being gathered to identify the number of employees who are either born in Sweden, in countries outside of Sweden, or who have two parents born in another country. In the US, ethnic or racial background is a factor which is reviewed.
1) Defined as participants in the Group Long Term Incentive Plan, composed of 46 individuals in 2017.