StrongHer: Closing the gender gap in technology

StrongHer is an inclusive employee network aiming at a company where women have the same opportunities as men and are well represented in all business domains and functions. Initiated and led by employees for employees, StrongHer is a multi award-winning initiative which contributes to women’s empowerment, helping them unleash their potential and magnify their business contribution, and increase the representation of women at all levels and in all job functions in our company. The network is a grassroots movement created in 2011 by six female employees in France and is open to all employees, men and women, executives and non-executives.

Statistics as of January 2019:

  • 3 000+ members
  • 70 countries on five continents
  • 43 active chapters led by a community of 90+ leaders
  • 24 percent male membership.

StrongHer advances gender diversity by offering networking opportunities, personal development, and a think-tank on leadership and management. It also provides exposure to diverse role models for women and men, along with business contacts within and beyond the technology sector. StrongHer has been an eye opener on the many causes for low representation of women in the ICT industry and in leadership roles. There is not just one glass ceiling, but some often occuring explicit or more implicit patterns and reasons that are encountered at various stages of women’s lives and careers, caused by others and women themselves.

Women are a minority by number within the Information and Communication Technology sector and at Nokia, but StrongHer does not want women to be exceptions or feel isolated. Through its activities and the commitment of its members, StrongHer acts to change the way people think about gender and talent.

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“StrongHer is a great asset for Nokia. Employee initiatives like this, leveraging all talent, are an integral part of our success.”

Barry French,
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO),
Nokia

 

“Diversity enriches our teams, our thoughts, our performance, and the way we work. StrongHer is a fantastic tool to allow our company to improve in diversity.”

Federico Guillén, 
President of Fixed Networks, 
Nokia

Dare

Give a voice to women in the company. Promote visibility and ambition. Explore new domains.

Act

Reveal and expose role models. Partner with managers to promote women’s success. Invent and apply innovative approaches.

Inspire

Share best practices. Nurture and develop networks. Offer business-relevant content. Partner with major international organizations and gender diversity forums.

What is unique about StrongHer?

Grassroots
StrongHer is a movement initiated and led by employees. It allows employees’ entrepreneurial spirit to emerge and become a source of self-empowerment.

Global
StrongHer initiatives connect men and women at Nokia across all levels and functions. StrongHer reaches 70 countries through a network of local chapters.

ICT savvy
StrongHer initiatives connect men and women at Nokia across all levels and functions. StrongHer reaches 70 countries through a network of local chapters.

Influential
StrongHer initiatives connect men and women at Nokia across all levels and functions. StrongHer reaches 70 countries through a network of local chapters.

Heart

What is unique about StrongHer?

Map

3000+

Members

70+

Countries

43+

Active chapters

24%

Male membership

Surf

Global activities

StrongHer works on three axes: DARE, ACT and INSPIRE.

To ensure impact on the three axes, StrongHer builds and deploys its emblematic worldwide programs in partnership between its network of worldwide chapters, Nokia Diversity & Inclusion organization along with the support of Nokia Executives:

  • StrongHer Awards to spotlight talented women role models
  • Knowledge, Information and Wisdom for employees with KIW-e Mentoring program to help employees promote innovation through the creation of an expert community to share business issues and improve visibility
  • KIW-e webcast where executives and experts shared business relevant knowledge
  • A charter for managers to explicitly walk-the-talk on gender balance, to publicly commit to take gender inclusive actions and become certified champions of the StrongHer values.

In 2018 StrongHer organized 120 local events with attendance by 5 600 employees worldwide, notably events in collaboration with external companies or networks including Capgemini, Deloitte, HP, Randstad, Renault, Sanofi, EDF, Nestlé, Sodexo and customers like Vodafone and AT&T.

StrongHer awards
Following the GEM-TECH Award received from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and United Nations Women (UN Women) community, StronhHer has been invited to be part of the Advisory Board of EQUALS (formerly GEM-TECH) Award since 2017. StrongHer was awarded in 2018 DonaTIC award for Women in IT in Spain, an initiative from the Government of Catalunia (Please see P&P report page 140).

KIW-e mentoring
Employees cross fertilize the innovation through the creation of an expert community to share business issues and improve visibility. Global program with mentors and mentees from different countries, different organizations and from all level of the company.

Charter for managers
Managers explicitly walk the talk on gender balance and receive a StrongHer label. Managers commit to take actions in 3 domains of people contribution, people management and manager behavior.

KIW-e webcasts
Executives and experts share business relevant knowledge and leadership experiences in interactive sessions with employees. World-wide webcast, recorded for replay, consisting of 1-hour session with short presentation and Q&A.
 

Kenya

Recognition and awards

Our work has been acknowledged by organizations beyond Nokia and throughout the world.

GEM-TECH Global Achiever Award

Following the GEM-TECH Award received from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and United Nations Women (UN Women) community, StrongHer has been invited to be part of the Advisory Board of the EQUALS (formerly GEM-TECH) Award since 2017.

UNESCO partnership

Nokia and UNESCO are teaming up to promote gender diversity through partnerships with universities, social networks, and corporations. The partners are using best practices developed by StrongHer to increase the representation and participation of women across all industries.

2018 Dona TIC award

StrongHer was awarded in 2018 DonaTIC award for Women in IT in Spain, initiative from the Government of Catalunia.

Voices of StrongHer members

See what StrongHer means to its members and supporters.

“With the growing StrongHer Network, we are not only thinking and talking, we are making things happen. Expanding the circles from companies to the countries, we can change the world!”
Ayhan Kutlu, Nokia Turkey

“StrongHer is a forum for diverse women and supportive men whose initiative is to support, motivate and inspire each other for a better and stronger woman in the organization and society”
Susan Wangeci, Nokia Kenya

“The StrongHer movement has reminded me to consistently work on supporting others in their growth as well as continuing to invest time and effort on my own development.”
Carolina Castro, Nokia USA

“StrongHer gave me the opportunity to know people around the world engaged to build equality in the world, we sum our dreams, share experiences and learn together to maximize our impact inside and outside our work”
Geraldine Francia, Nokia Peru

“StrongHer represents Open Innovation at its best: bottom-up employee driven, life-changing and society impactful”
Federico De Juan Huarte, Nokia Spain

KIW-e

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