Gender Inclusion Plan

Ruden As is an SME consisting of 12 employees and a wide network of external collaborators. Currently, the gender ratio (women/men) in the company stands at 58.33/41.66. For a technology and science company, the gender distribution within the company is truly exceptional. Our gender inclusion guidelines and practices are informed from experiences, awareness and research on the topic. The guidelines are listed below:

Gender Equality in salary negotiations

In several countries and professions, research shows that women perform worse than men in salary negotiations [1]. We are aware of this gender discrepancy, and at Ruden, employees receive salary raise strictly based on their performance, and not their bargaining frequency and capacity. Norway’s collective bargaining through unions also helps with equal distribution of wages across genders, and we encourage our employees to be part of unions.

Gender Equality and work life balance

Women, on average, have more family responsibilities than men [2]. Due to this reason, overtime work is likely to inconvenience women more than men. The company policy is that overtime work is not allowed in the company without prior permission. In case it is required during field activities, the employee has the right to claim adequate pay and time off as per the Norwegian Law. This policy mitigates the consequences of gendered house-hold responsibilities. In addition, we grant flexible work hours and work-from-home possibilities to all employees, and especially to parents of young children to accommodate their schedule according to child-caretaking needs.

Gender Equality in senior technical and upper management roles

Across countries, access to senior management or technical positions remains challenging for women [3]. At Ruden AS, the employees are encouraged to take up challenging technical and leading responsibilities that they find of interest, regardless of their title. This cultural practice has led to a team where several of our senior technical employees and team leads are women, and several employees share both technical and administrative tasks.

Regarding management, Ruden AS’s CEO is a woman. Presently the board of Ruden and the middle management consist of more 67% women and 33% men. We are aware of this discrepancy, but given that the gender ratio is reversed with regards to our external collaborators-most of whom are men, steps needs to be taken to retain women in leadership roles. In the near future (3-year), we plan to work on the following actions (i) The company’s management will continue to encourage all employees to step in and take leadership responsibility in ongoing projects, thereby making leadership roles attainable for most employees, regardless of gender. This work culture helps counter gender discrepancy in the glass ceiling that women face in career progression. (ii) We have encouraged all our female employees to join the Global Female Candidate Pool, which is an initiative to increase female participation in tech boards, leadership and advisor roles across companies.

Gender statistics Water4All team composition

The current composition in the Water4All RESCUE project team consist of 67% women and 33% men when considering Ruden employees. However, the overall composition of the Rescue project is nearly 50-50. Since Ruden AS is a small company of 12 employees, it is challenging to achieve 50-50 gender balance in teams that are only comprising 2, or 3 individuals, often multitasking across teams.

Status and future projections

Given the strong participation of women in this company in across roles, we believe that Ruden will achieve 50-50 composition is all domains within the next 5 years. The current status and projections are given in the table below.

Table gender equality

Overall gender composition within the company: 58.66/41.66. Although there are more women than men in the company, our external collaborators are mostly men. The gender composition in the technical collaborations therefore balances out to nearly 50/50.

Action plan for further improvement

We follow guidelines and are open to training opportunities on the language of discrimination, stereotypes, biases, the question of belongingness for all genders and ethnic minorities, from experts in the fields. The educational material can be found in Career Equally [4].

References

[1] Seierstad, C., & Kirton, G. (2015). Having it all? Women in high commitment careers and work–life balance in Norway. Gender, Work & Organization, 22(4), 390-404.

[2] Amanatullah, E. T., & Morris, M. W. (2010). Negotiating gender roles: Gender differences in assertive negotiating are mediated by women’s fear of backlash and attenuated when negotiating on behalf of others. Journal of personality and social psychology, 98(2), 256.

[3] Ezzedeen, S. R., Budworth, M. H., & Baker, S. D. (2015). The glass ceiling and executive careers: Still an issue for pre-career women. Journal of Career Development, 42(5), 355-369.

[4] https://www.careerequally.com/

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