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Introducing Ms. Michelle Wilkinson Chief Talent Officer

“Ensuring a positive working environment for our employees, regardless their gender, is a top priority and one of our fundamental responsibilities as an employer.”

With the EWoB Gender Diversity Index score of 0.54, Denmark is ranked Nr.10 out of 18 European countries included in the STOXX Europe 600. 57 % of the Danish companies that are in both 2019 and 2020 datasets, indicate an increase in GDI since 2019. As a result almost half of them have a score equal to or higher than the GDI average. We feel honoured to introduce to you the Danish gender diversity best practice leader, ranking Nr.12 out of 600 companies listed in the STOXX 600 Europe, with the EWoB GDI score of 0,94 – Pandora. (GDI Index ranges from 0 to 2, with 1 as the ideal value. Zero index value would mean no women in leadership and the value of 2 would mean no men in leadership).

Pandora, in a short period of time has made an exceptional journey from a local Danish jeweller’s shop to a world leading, global jewellery company, present in more than 100 countries on six continents. The company employs more than 26,000 people.

Inclusion and diversity are essential parts of the Pandora brand, as the company aims to secure an inclusive workplace for all employees, gender parity in leadership and reflect societal diversity in the customer engagement. Pandora’s inclusion & diversity strategy is comprised of three focus areas, each with its own set of targets. Gender parity leadership is clearly one of them.  Company has already gender parity at Director level, however, Pandora aims to achieve a gender balance in all recruitments and promotions into leadership at VP+ level as well, in order to achieve one third of women in leadership by 2025, and reach full gender parity no later than 2030. In order to support these goals, specific targets will be added to the Long-Term Incentive Programme for leaders as well as individual I&D targets for leaders commencing in 2022. All hiring and succession shortlists for Directors and above will have gender balance and a proportionate share of candidates from underrepresented groups for geographies that allow diversity data registering.

It is our great pleasure to introduce to you Pandora´s gender diversity leader Mrs. Michelle Wilkinson, Chief Talent Officer, responsible for Pandora’s inclusion & diversity agenda.

  1. What is your company organization´s history? When and how it became diverse? Is gender diversity something your company consciously aims for or do you see the change happening naturally? Do you have strong gender diversity company leaders and what was/is their role?

Per and Winnie Enevoldsen started Pandora as a small family jeweller in Copenhagen in 1982. Over the following decades the business grew and Pandora is today the world’s largest jewellery brand.

Pandora sells high-quality, hand-finished and affordable jewellery. Our jewellery is for the many, not the few, and inclusivity and diversity are very important values for the brand and our company. As such, attracting, developing and retaining diverse voices and representation is important to us.

Like many organisations, increased awareness around this topic in recent years has led us to take a closer look at our efforts.  A couple of facts from our organisation today:

  • Our total workforce is made up of 90% women
  • Our Board of Directors has a 50-50 gender split
  • We have gender parity in leadership up to director level. Our senior leadership (VP+) is made up of 23 % women.

We want to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles at Pandora.  For us it’s about building the right culture to naturally support this. 

2. How would you describe your company culture when it comes to diversity? Do you have Gender & Diversity agenda specific to the executive and board levels? Do you have        any gender diversity measures in place?

As mentioned, the Pandora brand is in its essence inclusive. We are addressing a very broad market and this is also reflected in our company culture. Our purpose is to “give a voice to peoples’ loves” – and those loves can be many things.

In 2020, we completed a company-wide inclusivity and diversity survey. We asked our 26,000 employees and conducted more than 3,000 customer interviews to gauge their views on what is going well and where we collectively need to improve. The survey results informed our new I&D strategy which was introduced in September 2021. The strategy focuses on creating an inclusive workplace, securing gender parity in leadership, and ensuring societal diversity in how we meet our customers.

Among our commitments, I can mention that we will have gender balance in all recruitments and promotions going forward, so that by 2025 one third of our leadership (VP and above) will be women, and by 2030 we will reach full gender parity. 

We also aim to achieve a proportionate share of underrepresented groups in our company, where local legislation allows us to collect such data.

And we will work to reflect societal diversity in how we address consumers by ensuring that 30% of our brand ambassadors in our global communication are from underrepresented groups. We will also place at least 30% of our branding content budget with suppliers owned by women or underrepresented groups. 

We will also measure the inclusivity of our company through regular inclusion surveys and scoring.

3. How does gender diversity impact decision making in your company? Are there any differences in management and leadership levels?

We are at the start of the journey, but I can point out a few things:

  • • At Pandora, we base all hiring, promoting and rewarding on merit, qualifications and behaviour only, and we do not accept discrimination. This is specified in our Diversity Policy and our Code of Conduct.
    • We have a female CMO leading the charge on our marketing efforts. We take care to reflect inclusivity and diversity in our communications.
    • Through our Chief Talent Officer Program our leaders are reviewing talent and succession through a diversity lens, i.e. we are building in education on unconscious biases when hiring, assessing and promoting talent and this includes gender diversity.

4. Do you think gender diversity has an impact on company performance indicators? Can you give us specific examples? What measurements do you use?

Studies show that having meaningful female representation in leadership is positively correlated with enhanced company performance and greater gender diversity across the organisation. We firmly believe in this. Ensuring a positive working environment for our employees across manufacturing, retail, distribution, and in our offices is a top priority and one of our fundamental responsibilities as an employer.

Our commitment to equal rights and opportunities for all employees is reflected in our policies and programmes. Our responsibility also extends to respecting the dignity and human rights of those touched by our business.

5. Do you plan some further actions to support gender diversity short and long term?

We have just announced our new targets (see above) and we are quickly moving into implementation mode.

6. What actions would you recommend to other companies to achieve gender diversity in decision making?

  • • A key success factor is to bring the awareness of gender diversity to the leaders – using facts and data about why, what and how it can impact the company
    • Ensure leadership team engagement – leaders need time to get comfortable with this topic if they are not so familiar or versed in it, and be educated. This is key and will make a difference
    • Lead by example and be inclusive in how you identify the areas to focus on and co-create solutions with all employees. Giving them a voice via employee resource groups and together shape the gender diversity agenda across the entire company
In the name of EWoB and its followers, thank you to Mrs. Michelle Wilkinson, Chief Talent Officer, for sharing her inspiring thoughts with us.

Congratulations, Pandora, for scoring among top 15 out of STOXX 600 companies according to GDI 2020. It is an exceptional achievement!