It’s exciting when different people come together. With this in mind, Scania has introduced the Skill Capture concept to make sure that all its employees can contribute their points of view. Jean Jönsson’s job in all of this is to help her colleagues integrate diversity and inclusion into the company’s culture.
Jean Jönsson is convinced: getting to know other perspectives is well worth the effort. The 32-year-old joined Scania four years ago as a diversity and inclusion specialist, an area known as Skill Capture within the company. “Employees should be given the chance to contribute with their points of views and ideas,” Jönsson explains. No one should be discriminated and especially not because of things they cannot control, like their gender or ethnicity.“ I believe that everyone should have the same opportunities.” For her, that also means accepting people exactly as they are and allowing them to have success in the company in their own special way. Ultimately, that benefits the company as well: “Firstly, it makes us more attractive as an employer. Secondly, diverse and inclusive teams tend to perform better, especially when it comes to innovation.”
Born in Uganda, Jönsson was one when her family moved to a small town in Sweden. They relocated again when she was 16, this time to London. Back then, the move came as a culture shock to the teenager, but looking back she is grateful: “It was an amazing experience. Living in London, I developed a truly international outlook and made friends from every corner of the world and from different cultures.” After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management (Accounting), she began her career working in financial services. When her employer decided to expand to Sweden and was looking for someone who could speak the language, she grabbed the opportunity with both hands, returning to the place she grew up in. Once again, the move was a culture shock — something she struggled with at first: she didn’t feel at home in a small town and without her friends and family. Things only got better when she moved to Stockholm. Before settling in Stockholm she did her master’s in Corporate and Financial Management at Lund university before starting to work as a financial consultant. “I discovered time and time again that lots of management teams were homogeneous,” Jönsson explains. “That got me thinking: what can I do to help change that?” She had the idea to help more women in business to get into management. Jönsson decided to start her own business and founded SheSupp. She set up her company to coach female founders and to raise awareness in the corporate world and get companies to hire more women. It was this role that brought her and Scania together in 2018: “My mission originally was to convince the company to hire entrepreneurial female founders to work part-time,” Jönsson recalls. Scania liked the idea and invited Jönsson on board to pilot the initiative. “I realized that I can do a lot at Scania to further my cause,” she explains. When the company offered Jönsson a full-time role, she took it. “My job now is to support Scania with strategies, tools, and training opportunities for diversity and inclusion.”
Jönsson has one other colleague in her team. “But there are over a hundred ambassadors working with Scania around the globe. They help us to customize and implement our strategy in each business unit,” she continues. Jönsson’s team also constantly swaps ideas with colleagues from other TRATON GROUP brands. “Skill Capture plays an important role for the Group as a whole,” she explains. Each brand uses the concept in a way that fits in with its individual requirements. “We regularly share experiences and best practices and develop processes that can be used by everyone. We also coordinate how we can improve workflows across the entire TRATON GROUP.”
Jönsson’s favorite thing about international projects is the diversity of opinions and perspectives that come together. “You learn so much about yourself when you interact with other people.” Jönsson explains that while Scania does things the Swedish way, “when we talk to people in Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia, or anywhere else in the world, we learn a way to see things differently. I think that this is a very enriching experience.” She also prefers to be around other people in her free time: “My husband and I are very sociable: we love to host and to have friends over for dinner.” On top of that, Jönsson is an active member of her local church and dedicates a lot of time to volunteer work, for example collecting clothes for those in need. Her main task, however, is looking after new members joining the church and helping them to settle in. Another great opportunity to get to know other people and their points of view.