Guldvågen founders Sophie Lokko and Ellinor Ekström. Photo: Christian GustavssonGuldvågen founders Sophie Lokko and Ellinor Ekström. Photo: Christian Gustavsson

New award celebrates most gender equal Swedish bureau

Publicerad: 14 October 2015, kl. 11:57Uppdaterad: 03 February 2016, kl. 15:03

Ellinor Ekström and Sophie Lokko has had enough about the gender inequality in the communications industry.

Adam Jönsson

‘‘This is an industry that supposed to keep pushing forward and stay current. But when it comes to personnel issues it’s very far behind,’’ says art director Ellinor Ekström.

The duo hopes to put focus on the issue by establish a new award. The Guldvågen award aims to celebrate one bureau that has shown progress in its work to highlight and reward employee skills regardless of gender.

Seventy bureaus have been nominated. Fifty of the top Swedish bureaus were automatically nominated by Ekström and Lokko. to put pressure on these big players. The auto nominations will only be in effect this year. Starting 2016, every bureau that wish to have a chance of winning most nominate themselves.

Every contestant will have to submit a survey – put together by research firm Add Gender – which is to be filled out by the CEO of the bureau. An additional, shorter survey is to be answered by the staff.

A five-person jury consisting of industry experts will go through the surveys and come up with a winner.

‘‘The basic idea is that this becomes a competitive edge for the highest-placed bureaus,’’ says Ekström. ‘‘Our sponsor, Add Gender, will hold some sort of lecture about equality and help the winning bureau to be even better.’’

The winner will also be given a trophy designed by Elin Lindström at Beckmans designhögskola.

Ranked one of the most gender equal countries

Sweden is consistently named one of the most gender equal countries in the world. The country is ranked in fourth place out of 142 countries in the The Global Gender Gap Report 2014 published by World Economic Forum, scoring 0.817 out of a possible 1.

At the end of September, the Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven spoke at the festival Global Citizen in New York City where he said he was proud to represent the first feminist government in the world.

But the communications industry is not that equal. For one thing, men are still most frequently in charge at bureaus across Sweden, according to a report by Add Gender and trade-publication Resumé.

‘‘It’s great that Sweden is as equal as it is, but statistically and culturally within the companies it’s not equal,’’ says Ekström. ‘‘It’s really that simple.’’

In coming years, Guldvågen hopes to expand to include other areas, for example nationality and countries of origin.

There’s no set date when the first-ever Guldvågen will be handed out. The winner will most likely be announced in late November, Ekström says.

But the bureaus that will be placed in the bottom of the field need not to worry, she adds.

‘‘This competition is about celebrating bureaus that do a good job. It’s not a pointer for those who are bad,’’ Ekström says. ‘‘We won’t be throwing dirt at anyone. This is a positive thing.’’

[Correction Oct. 14: A previous version of this article said the name of one of the co-founders was Sophia Lokko. Her name is Sophie Lokko. Smashdig regrets the error.]

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