Inclusion & Diversity
Our vision is to create the technology to connect the world. This vision supports inclusion by working to create a more connected and better world for everyone, not just for some. This aspiration is carried through our strategy, right down to the contribution of every person at Nokia. We do not allow for any type of discrimination or discriminating biases, which is reflected in our employment practices and our guiding corporate values.
Our inclusiveness is what makes us win. We act inclusively and respect the uniqueness of people. Nokia culture welcomes people as their true selves.
No limits to opportunity
Celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities
Today we mark the International Day of People with Disabilities by hearing from two of our colleagues on the importance of diversity and resilience. Read more below
Diversity is in our DNA: interview with Stephane Foucault
Stephane Foucault is Operations Manager in the 5G and SC organization in Mobile Networks in Nokia France, supervising the development of a new headcount management tool known as ‘WebTracker’. He is also the local coordinator for employees with disabilities for Nokia and Bell Labs, Paris-Saclay. As part of our celebration of the International Day of People with Disabilities, Stephane shared his experiences and thoughts with us as an employee living with type 1 diabetes. It seemed like a perfect match with this year’s theme being ‘Not all disabilities are visible’.
Why resilience matters: interview with Anderson Carreira
Brazil born and based Anderson Carreira heads up technical support for Nokia Mobile Networks across Latin America. He leads a 21-strong technical team across 15 countries from Curitiba, in the south of the country. Right now, like the rest of business, Anderson is zoned in on delivering a strong Q4 and staying customer focused as changes roll out across the company.
However unlike most of us, Anderson has a visual disability with about 10% of normal view. This hasn’t stopped him pursuing his dream degree in electronic engineering as well as a high-flying career within Nokia — in fact, it’s spurred him on. Anderson’s story is not just personally inspiring but also showcases the rich and diverse workplace we enjoy here at Nokia, so we spoke to him as part of our celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We kicked things off talking about inclusion.
Stephane, let's start with your thoughts about inclusion in the workplace: what does this concept mean for you personally?
“It’s all about respect. Inclusion should apply to everyone, everywhere. It’s a mindset and a vision. We’re all different and special; this is our strength. Any of us can become disabled, even temporarily, at any moment and that’s why we should all be concerned to build an inclusive working environment. Diversity is one of the keys to our success at Nokia, because by pushing our limits, in the end, we all perform better. In my local co-ordination role, my main aim is to engage every employee, even if they don’t currently feel directly connected to issues around disability.”
Is it sometimes difficult for you to maintain balance in the workplace as a disabled employee?
“I sometimes give more of myself than I’m supposed to because I want to show that I deserve my place in the company and that my disability doesn’t hinder my aptitude to work. This can create conflict between my professional and personal lives. I find myself acting as if everything were ‘normal’ and carry on working even when my symptoms should stop me. Right now, I’m learning to better protect myself. After all, if I don’t do that, how can I expect my colleagues to look after me?”
Stephane, do you think Nokia is a supportive place to work?
“It’s always been there for me when I needed it. Over the years, I have tried different treatments, one of them was quite expensive but Nokia helped me to finance it which was unbelievable! Managers have always supported me too, listened to my needs and ensured that my workplace was safe.”
So, is there anything some of us take for granted which is a struggle for you?
"One great example is that we all work in a multi-cultural environment hopping between time zones, with odd meeting times taken for granted and conference calls placed over lunch. If I miss lunch it really impacts my diabetes later in the day. I need to be firmer with regard to that. These things impact me a lot and have escalated over COVID with us all working from home.”
Do you feel like you need to fight to get the support you need at work?
“Not at all! In over 10 years at Nokia I never felt that way. My advice to others if you have a disability that requires special equipment or attention is to just talk to your manager or if you’d prefer the Nokia medical service, social service or your local disabilities representative, like me. We are here for you, you’re not alone!”
How do friends or colleagues at work react to your special working arrangements?
"Mostly with compassion and understanding – we all need this support at times. I recall one of my colleagues who was pregnant asked for a special working arrangement because her nausea was so bad that she couldn’t do a conference call. What disables us at times can be as simple as that!”
So, in your experience has the world changed much over the course of his working life when it comes to inclusion and discrimination?
“Yes, many barriers have come down, thanks to us talking about the issues, setting objectives, raising people’s awareness and training managers. This is true outside Nokia too: inclusion matters more within our supply chain and the French government has a lot of mechanisms in place to support people with special needs and facilitate their inclusion.”
What kind of effect can corporate leadership, management style and company values have on the career potential of someone with different needs?
“The culture of our company is of course very important too. We can be proud in Nokia to have a lot of support from the highest levels of the organization including HR, Legal and CSO functions. Diversity and inclusion are part of our DNA. Of course, there are always ways to improve and it’s extremely important to keep working on it, so we can reach the next level. For example, putting in place regular sharing sessions for people with disabilities going forward would help us all to better learn from each other’s experiences.”
How are you coping with the pandemic situation and do you have any advice for the rest of us at this tough time?
“We all need to take better care of ourselves. A stressful period like the one we’re living through can really impact my diabetes and being more sedentary can destabilize the careful physical and psychological balance I try to maintain. Achieving balance is easy to say, but not so easy to do but I’m working on it! We should all neither be shy nor afraid to speak up and ask for what we need to stay safe and happy at work at this difficult time.”
What keeps you motivated and inspired, Stephane?
“I love to create, communicate, find solutions. I can always question myself, push my limits further, keep going and reach the goals I’ve set for myself. Sharing my experiences and hearing other people’s experiences energizes me too. Life is full of opportunities to grow. We have to take them or provoke them and own our future and happiness.”
A big thanks, Stephane, for sharing your experiences and wise thoughts on this important day.
Anderson, what does inclusion mean to you and why does it matter?
“Inclusion for me is about giving people the right tools and conditions to do their job well. Lots of people need some support, whether their disability is physical, hearing-based or something else entirely. Basically all my interactions these days are computer-based so, for example, I need an external monitor to enlarge the letters on my laptop screen so I can read them, scroll menus and do my job — and support to use the tool which controls the support tickets customers raise. Without this help, it would be very difficult for me to succeed in my role.”
Are there any daily activities some take for granted that you have to plan for?
“Sure, people projecting on screen is a good example. Usually I can’t see, even if the text is really big. So I just ask the presenter to share their screen via a meeting tool like Teams, even if we’re face-to face. That way I can enlarge the text and we can work together. Simple fixes like this make me pretty independent, like asking for help to catch the right bus to work in the morning or in airports when traveling for work. The text on the information boards is always too small and far away, so I needed support with that when I used to fly lots to present to customers. I guess with the pandemic, that’s no longer such a challenge!”
How well do the culture and values at Nokia support you with inclusivity?
“I've worked here since 1995, when I was just a trainee. I had gone through university and other jobs never really thinking of myself as ‘different’. A few years ago, somebody kindly pointed out to me "Look Anderson, you have some special requirements that need supporting. Please let us help.” It had never even occurred to me that I could have some official special tools or working arrangements. Nokia has been very supportive, and I’ve honestly never encountered any bias, only encouragement. When I’ve risen up and had the competence to do a job, I’ve been promoted. My disability has felt irrelevant. It's really been quite an impressive experience for me.”
Are friends and colleagues good at adapting to your needs?
“Sure, everybody understands. I mean this current slogan of ‘not all disabilities being visible’ that is at the fore this year really fits my experience. I can walk without support and see some objects and people, so if people don't know me, they can think I’m selfish or arrogant because I might ignore them in the corridor. But once they know that I have this condition, everyone is supportive. For example when this pandemic took hold, my colleagues asked if I needed my monitor bringing home so I could work. It was nice they thought of that.”
Has the world changed much in your lifetime?
“Of course! I'm 46 now, when I was a child people used to make jokes about my visual limitations all the time. It’s human to have some curiosity about people who are different, but this was hard to deal with. When I tell my daughters how I used to be treated, they’re shocked. For this new generation, these attitudes are thankfully really not acceptable. These days, most companies don’t allow that kind of behavior either — in fact they encourage workplace diversity. This is true across Brazil. The government offers lower employment taxes and other beneficial regulations to stimulate employment for people with disabilities. It really helps to open doors. People should be hired dependent on their competency and whether they can do the job or not. Their disability should always be irrelevant.”
Do you have any advice for anyone facing similar challenges?
“I had a mathematics professor who said something powerful. I’ve remembered it my whole life. I’d failed a coding exam because the letters in the test were really small, which made me panic. He told me ‘Never use your disability as an excuse for your lack of resilience and lack of effort to do things right.’ I’ve really taken that to heart and went on to study electronic engineering — not easy when you’re sight impaired. I’ve always had obstacles to manage and I’ve had to be resilient and creative to make things work.”
Any last words of advice?
“It’s important for us all to stay disciplined about work/life balance in this time of pandemic ¬– I do that by practicing yoga every morning and I swim 3 evenings a week. Beyond that it’s worth remembering that you never do things alone, right? Sometimes at college there were things I just physically couldn’t do like mounting systems so I’d work with people who could help and then I’d compensate, for example doing the theory and calculations part of the task. So we supported each other.”
That feels like a perfect note on which to end. Collaborating and working in association with each other is always important, whatever our abilities and skillsets. A huge thanks to you, Anderson, for sharing your story and we look forward to seeing your career at Nokia continue to flourish.
We believe that a diverse workforce is our platform for greater innovation, superior organizational performance, and delivering excellent service to our customers. Our ambition is to have a workplace where both men and women have equal opportunities to succeed in every function and at every level. As part of a related program we have implemented several initiatives to drive for gender balance.
Gender equality recognition
Bloomberg has included Nokia in its Gender Equality Index (GEI) for 2021 – the third time in a row.
For details see Anneli Karlstedt’s Blog: Nokia redoubles its commitment to equality and inclusion
Gender equality networks
We have two strong networks focusing on gender equality related topics: Greenhouse and StrongHer.
While Greenhouse initiated by Nokia is a network of female leaders that spans across many companies, StrongHer is an employee network aiming at a company where women have the same opportunities as men and are well represented in all business domains and functions. To achieve real change in the nomination dynamics, and visible increase in gender statistics, StrongHer defined a common Theme for 2019 - Engaging managers for an inclusive workplace. StrongHer builds and deploys emblematic worldwide programs through its global network of 40+ chapters across five continents. Its focus in 2019 was on the deployment of the StrongHer Charter for Managers to enable Nokia line managers to explicitly walk the talk on gender balance, to publicly commit to take gender inclusive actions, and to become certified champions of the StrongHer values. In 2019, StrongHer organized 105 local events around the globe together with other companies and networks, attended by over 7400 employees.
For more information visit StrongHer
Greenlight for girls
We continued our work with greenlight for girls. In 2019, we enabled 1290 girls to experience a day of science together with international NGO, greenlight for girls. 255 Nokia employees volunteered and supported these events that took place in seven cities around the world.
“We only see those in movies, that’s so cool,” exclaimed one girl as she leaned in to touch the plasma ball with her fingertips, watching with amazement as the filaments gathered together to meet her fingers. She was just one among the 100 girls that were welcomed to Nokia facilities in Cairo.
In 2019, our collaboration with greenlight for girls (g4g) continued on a multi-year journey now reaching a total of 4964 girls around the world. This year, five global locations were selected to host a Nokia-g4g day: Bangalore in India, Ottawa in Canada, Cairo in Egypt, Nanjing in China and Antwerp in Belgium. Four were brand new country launches. In addition, our team took part in g4g events in Krakow in Poland and in Brussels in Belgium, which is g4g’s largest event of the year involving all of their global partners, reaching even more girls to encourage their STEM studies and share the work of Nokia.
The g4g days are all about showing girls that anything is possible. The girls are invited over to our premises, and the g4g professionals provide them a fun and educational day around STEM topics through interactive workshops. Employee volunteers join the events as STEM professionals, mentoring and inspiring the girls in the world of science.
"Part of the mission of our g4g-Nokia partnership is to introduce STEM concepts and technology that the girls may not have ever seen before but that may be found in their everyday life – and to show and experience Nokia’s innovations. In doing so, we have the opportunity to remind them that the impossible is indeed possible – and they can design their future career in any way they dream with STEM. Just believing that anything is possible is the necessary mindset for invention and innovation to begin!”
–Melissa Rancourt, Founder and Board Chairman of greenlight for girls
Achievements in 2019:
In 2019, 255 of our employees across 7 cities on 5 continents had the opportunity to work with and inspire 1290 young women between the ages of 11 and 15. And the results speak for themselves. As demonstrated with all g4g events, 94% of the girls state that they wish to pursue their STEM studies after attending an event, particularly when it involves getting to know role-model engineers, such as the our employee volunteers
International Women’s Day
We celebrate International Women’s Day in line with the IWD 2021 theme #ChooseToChallenge
We signed the Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) pledge of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) to show our support for embracing every aspect of diversity and for promoting inclusion in the workplace.
Other Inclusion & Diversity Initiatives
Our leadership is diverse and advocates for global anti-discrimination practices.
Our employees represent around 166 nationalities doing work in over 118 countries. And we are pleased to have ten of these nationalities represented on our highest-level global leadership team.
No limits to opportunity
Three Nokia employees share their stories: On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 ‘Inclusion at Nokia’ puts its focus on people with health impairments. It’s important to remember what the World Health Organization has stated: Almost everyone will be at least temporarily impaired at some point in life. Disabilities range from physical impairments to psychological problems, and most of them are not visible at all. While disability correlates with disadvantage, not all people with special needs feel disadvantaged or are equally disadvantaged. Much depends on the context and environment in which they live, and whether they have equal access to health, education and employment, among others.
Black Economic Empowerment
In South Africa we are committed to good governance practices, transparency, and compliance with all Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) codes of good practice.
Priority deliverables of the five BBBEE elements:
- We strive to comply with the minimum requirements of these priority elements)
- Ownership – We continue to maintain our effective black equity ownership with 31 percent black women ownership.
- Enterprise development – We continue to contribute to the development of smaller black businesses to help them grow, ensure their sustainability and assist with job creation. We have a committee that continuously review the impact of our interventions/support and the success of those businesses.
- Skills Development – We established a dedicated and sustainable skills transfer program aimed more importantly at developing women with potential for advancing in leadership roles within the company. We have implemented learning programs for blacks including black women and disabled learners. We have also established a bursary program through which we provide bursaries to black students attending at Higher Education Institutions to advance their Education.
- We also strive to implement a targeted procurement strategy geared to increase procurement spend from companies which have made significant progress in the area of BBBEE. Our community investment activities are managed by a dedicated committee to manage the initiatives linked to the socio-economic development ofSouth Africa’s disadvantaged communities.
We also have targets to increase the ratio of blacks in the company and we continuously measure achievement, equally importantly, women in leadership positions. As per our plan, we want to ensure we achieve our targets through our recruitment process and internal promotions. To achieve our target, we have a local Vetting Committee which evaluates and manages the appointment of new employees according to our BEE Management Control plan. We have also put in place targets for a women’s graduate program as a plan to improve our women ratio and ensure a robust women talent pipeline.
LGBT+ equality. We were awarded with “Best Places to Work for LGBT+ Equality” by Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index with a score of 100%. The HRC Corporate Equality Index is a US national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBT+ employees.
EQUAL! is an educational and support group for our employees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT+) or who have family, friends, or colleagues who are LGBT+.
Workplace Pride. We became a member of Workplace Pride so we can work on further improving LGBT+ inclusion globally at Nokia.