Treating everyone equally is not a matter of course 

15 June 2023

BY PETER ØSTERGAARD, CO-CEO, DELEGATE

ESG efforts will be topmost of board agendas in the coming years. Peter Østergaard, Co-CEO at Delegate, shares insights into the consultancy house's work with diversity and gender equality.

As a company today, it is far from enough to focus on delivering a reasonable return to the owners. There is also a clear expectation that you take a social responsibility, for example in relation to climate and environment, ethics and diversity. This is particularly true for larger companies, and the increasing expectations to taking responsibility comes both from the political side, from partners and customers, and internally from employees and managements/boards.

Best Workplace in Denmark for Women

In 2022, Delegate was recognized as the Best Workplace in Denmark for Women by the global consulting and analysis company Great Place To Work. To be recognized as the country's best workplace for women is a great honour, which makes us immensely proud and grateful. That is why it might sound strange when I tell you that, actually, we do not do anything in particular at all for our female employees.

Yes, a couple of years ago, Delegate did, in fact, launch a women's network to bring together female employees across offices to discuss career choices and share inspiration. But the network has not been a decisive factor in ensuring that we got to the top spot of the podium as the best workplace in Denmark for women. It comes down to something as fundamental as the fact that we make an effort to treat all our colleagues well and have a great focus on our employees' well-being and development in general.

Equal treatment rather than positive discrimination

Moreover, we have succeeded in eliminating the salary gap between women and men, just as, and, as a female employee, an upcoming maternity leave is not an obstacle to qualifying for a promotion. In other words, we do not operate with positive discrimination, but with proper equal treatment, which is not a matter of course on the labour market neither in Denmark nor the rest of Europe.

This fundamental view of our employees is also the reason why, this April, we were recognized as the best workplace in Denmark for young people. As a Delegate employee, you quickly get responsibility, ample opportunity to learn, and you are encouraged to challenging the status quo – regardless of age and seniority. At the same ceremony, Delegate also – for the second year in a row – won the award for Best IT Workplace in Denmark.

ESG is the biggest growth area in international business right now, and, in a perfect world, it goes hand in hand with corporate values and with business. The same is true when we talk about diversity. Due to the fierce battle for the best minds, we are experiencing in the IT industry these years, we are quite simply forced to make sure we have the broadest recruitment base possible.

Peter Østergaard
Co-CEO, Delegate

Diversity is about more than gender

It is no secret that we are proud of the awards, and there is no doubt they make us a more attractive workplace for current as well as potential "Delegaters".

But the awards must not make us complacent. Diversity is about much more than gender and age. It also covers, for example, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability. We still have a lot of work to do in those areas. Most of us are more biased than we realize.

In Delegate, we already monitor data on an ongoing basis to see if there are imbalances that need to be adjusted, for example with regard to equal pay and access to promotions. We are still far from the goal, but we have set an ambitious course. This year, we have started work on implementing DS 5001 – the Danish standard for equality and diversity. One of the things we have done is to try learning more about our own bias when recruiting new employees. Both in Delegate and society as such, the most important thing is that we hire the right person for the job regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality or disability.

The value of diversity

ESG is the biggest growth area in international business right now, and, in a perfect world, it goes hand in hand with corporate values and with business. The same is true when we talk about diversity. Due to the fierce battle for the best minds, we are experiencing in the IT industry these years, we are quite simply forced to make sure we have the broadest recruitment base possible. At the same time, diversity in a broader sense is crucial for understanding customers, for creating innovative solutions and, in general, for building a healthy workplace where employees thrive, develop and are challenged.

en_GBEnglish