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Expert POV: Susanne Jud, Chief People Officer Ringier AG & Malta Fazzari, Head HR Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG

Ringier and RASCH have received EDGE Assess & EDGEplus certification for the first time. The certification measures and evaluates companies in various areas, including recruitment, flexible working models, parental leave, and management’s strategic prioritization of gender issues.

How did the business case for gender balance DE&I evolved over the last 18 months?

Susanne Jud, Chief People Officer Ringier AG:

Both Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland are convinced that diversity and inclusion are core values and success factors for any company. Thus, Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland took this topic a step further by setting up a Diversity & Inclusion Board in 2020. Four out of seven members of the Group Executive Board are part of it which underlines the importance given to the topic.

We believe that diversity and a respectful company culture are the key drivers of creative and engaged collaboration. Our ability to deliver excellent results is based on the diversity of our ideas – and therefore also our employees. The Diversity & Inclusion Board’s key tasks are to set priorities for diversity and inclusion within the company, measure progress and report on this regularly. The overarching aim is to make diversity and inclusion an integral part of the corporate culture and of daily life at Ringier.

The first step was to sensitize employees to the issue, generate visibility and set an example of DE&I. One premise here was that employees should be involved in the process. We held several workshops with our employees to get their input, their point of view and suggestions. Recently several working groups consisting of employees  have been established. Currently they are covering topics such as gender, age, LGBTQIA+ and origin/culture.  What we consider to be particularly important is awareness of the unconscious bias we all have, which is why we launched unconscious bias training. Besides this we also changed our job advertisements to be more inclusive and to attract the best talents.

Malta Fazzari, Head HR Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG:

Since we work very closely together on DE&I  topics and the Diversity & Inclusion Board is a joint body, I can emphasize that it is very important that DE&I is not treated as an HR issue only. For resounding success, the topic must be lived and driven forward at all levels. Luckily we see that DE&I is a concern that is relevant to our employees and with our approach we ensure that it is supported and that we can all develop further together.

EDGE Certification brings visibility and credibility to the change happening inside the organization. At the same time, it creates the premises for diverse talent to thrive at work. Tell us some stories about how your employees benefit from the EDGE Certification journey of your organization.

Malta Fazzari, Head HR Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG:

We consider DE&I as a central topic.  EDGE provides us with its external and objective view and is helpful on how to approach topics where we have room for further development. We want to make sure we do not have blind spots. As part of the EDGE certification, we have committed ourselves to taking a closer look at the fields of equal pay, unconscious bias and personal integrity and to elaborate on them . In doing so, we create even more transparency and a more  inclusive environment that is free of judgment and prejudice and that all employees feel comfortable in.

We are convinced that the EDGE certification has brought us further and that it encourages and supports us in our commitment to continue working on these topics. After all, we want to continue to improve.

What do you think workplace gender balance, diversity and inclusion mean to the next generation ?

Susanne Jud, Chief People Officer Ringier AG:

Regardless of which generation we’re talking about, I think it is important that people are at focus with their talents & strengths (not their gender, origin etc.)  and that we talk about work-life-inclusion which goes beyond families.

Malta Fazzari, Head HR Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG:

We observe that the next generation expects equal opportunities for all – regardless of external criteria and we’re working hard to meet that goal. To achieve this we have to offer flexibility and provide  flexible working models. We experience in our everyday work how this is demanded and even lived naturally.

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