As a HR leader whose influence creates social change, what do you feel has been your most impactful action to date?
The LEGO Group is and always has been a family owned business; in 2032 we will be one hundred years old. The Family is routed in bringing play to children, this is our purpose and we have KPIs based on reaching children embedded in every colleague’s work. An example of how our purpose and values drives our work in Total Rewards is the current global roll out of benefits for parents. We discussed our plans with UNICEF, and by the end of 2022, all colleagues around the world will be entitled to 26 weeks paid parental leave for women, and eight weeks for men. In different countries around the world, our global policy has different impacts on creating positive social change - in many countries it is a significant difference. For example in Mexico, where we have factories, our male colleagues are used to only five days parental leave, and so our policy will create meaningful change for them and their families.
At the moment, in your industry, what do you think is the most exciting opportunity for HR to change the world?
At the LEGO Group, we’re all involved in sustainability, which is a key area of our Brand Framework. For us sustainability covers many areas of work, such as investing in solar and wind energy, ensuring there is no bullying on our digital channels, and reducing any negative environmental impact of our products. Sustainability is not a separate team or department, the innovation required is for all of us to lead on. Indeed, our Chief People Officer is also our sustainability leader - HR is a seat of influence in this vitally important area.
Which particular areas of social and environmental injustice are you most passionate about, and see that your role gives you the chance to create change?
I’m an advocate of equal opportunities and my role enables me to ensure all our colleagues are treated equally in their pay. We conduct analysis every year; we find around 40 discrepancies, which happen for both men and women. We look at the details and correct them; we put money aside every year so that we can sort out without budget issues. We work to ensure that people are not penalised. For example, in Eastern Europe, where there can be limited childcare infrastructure, a colleague may end up on parental leave for three or four years whilst they have their family; when they come back, we ensure their salary is adjusted. This also applies to insurance, and to bonus. We regularly review policy to ensure that nothing hinders equal opportunity.
How have you best used your position to create a more equitable and inclusive environment in ways that deliver your business goals?
I'm leading an investigation into what kind of glass celling might exist in the LEGO Group when it comes to women in leadership positions and when they want to advance. We’re planning on holding conversations with female colleagues to find out more from them about the barriers they feel are stopping them from living their purpose and advancing in the LEGO Group. Across the LEGO Group, we are approximately 55% men and 45% women; we promote equally, proportionate to our population. For the longer term of balance in our population, we’re investing heavily in digital, working to attract all genders, and all backgrounds, and removing barriers that stop people from applying.
What is the one specific action you would like to see all HR Leaders take to make a positive change for the world?
To ensure your company is clear on its purpose. A specific purpose; clearly articulated by the leaders. A clear purpose enables a culture of succeeding together, with trust. Experiments, mistakes, fixing them and progressing, they all rely on a culture of trust. If you have high levels of trust, in a sense you don’t need policies – people work together for the common objective. Because of our purpose, there are no silos at the LEGO Group, we’re all in the same boat and we succeed together.