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Feature for Camilla Overodder

May 3, 2017
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Feature for Camilla Overodder
  • Name, age, nationality, occupation and title?
  • Camilla Overodder, 48 year old, Head of Commercial Management Region Middle East & North East Africa at Ericsson
  • What are your views on women’s empowerment in the UAE?

 

UAE is a great example for empowering women as key partners in leading the drive towards sustainable development and occupying the highest positions in the executive, legislative and judicial sovereignty authorities as well as having a strong presence in the Arab, regional and international women’s arenas. The opportunities are abundant.

 

  • Tell us about your journey in the cooperate world and specify whether you work for the public or private sector? (First job, experiences, rights as a women in the work place etc..)

 

I have worked in Sweden, for Ericsson a Swedish international company for most of my career. Ericsson is a technology company where the majority of the workforce consist of men (appr 75% today). Personally, I have never encountered any gender related issues during my career. One should note that Sweden is one of the most “equal” countries in the world and that I believe has been a benefit for women wanting to make a career in Sweden.

 

The social legislation in Sweden is very supportive for parents in terms of providing maternity & paternity leave as well as offering affordable Child daycare support allowing parents to pursue equal career opportunities.

 

Being the mother of two daughters, I have to admit that I have taking these benefits for granted to some extent but I can see some of the challenges working in an international environment.

 

  • What institutional and societal changes need to be made to empower women?

In this region, it all stems down to education – there is still this misperception that women can’t be family oriented and empowered businesswomen, however, more and more companies are sensitive to the fact that women in business, at certain times in their lives, require certain flexibilities – and they can be incredible powerhouses when afforded that flexibility.

We support STEM education for all, with a special focus of inspiring girls into ICT careers. We recently introduced the ICT Professional Foundation Program in our region, with gender diversity as one of the primary goals. To date, we have enrolled 441 students in the program, achieving a promising 42 % female participation rate. The successful students of this program will be kept in the pipeline for our internship and graduate program. Every year, we also celebrate Girls in ICT day around our various offices throughout the region.

Moreover, it is important that the complete social system progress to support the women enhancing in their career.

  • In your opinion, how should men be involved in the empowerment process?

In this day and age, the conversation is moving away from gender segregation to gender inclusion in terms of the best way to serve the global workforce. Organizations are increasingly involved with raising awareness, adjusting their processes and facilitating the dialogues between both men and women.

 

The rapid pace of the industry’s evolution provides opportunities for everyone to demonstrate their capabilities. Technical skills cannot be assigned to one gender more than another. While tech-related industries were traditionally reserved for men in the past, gender equality has clearly taken hold of the ICT industry in particular, and there are women leading the way across numerous aspects of this highly diverse sector.

At Ericsson we believe in diversity and inclusion – we embrace our differences and appreciate the equal value of everyone throughout our organization. To strengthen this culture, we have implemented a gender Diversity and Inclusion program across our organization, in an aim to boost the number of women in our workforce to 30% by 2020.

  • Are you or have you been a part of any initiatives or programmes that aim on empowering women?
  • I am very proud to be the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) sponsor for the Middle East region at Ericsson and I am amazed by the engagement and energy the way our D&I team is driving the outlined activities to increase awareness and moving the needle to further reach the gender target we have set for ourselves.

 

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