It should be completely normal to see a great female leader
8th March is International Women’s Day and we checked in with Paula Sweetman from Ikano Bank in Norway, who is truly passionate about achieving gender equality, both within the financial services industry and in general.
Paula Sweetman has been with Ikano Bank for 3 years, currently working as Customer Insights Lead in the Global organisation. Paula is originally Irish, she has previously lived and worked in England and Switzerland but is now based in Norway.
Paula believes that equality as a whole, and gender equality, gives a framework which we can use for all types of discrimination and all types of unconscious bias.
Having worked in a number of organisations and a number of different countries, it is a pleasure to work in a business where I see so many inspiring female leaders and so many great role models across the organisation.
She gets especially passionate when talking about Ikano Bank’s target for female management.
I am really impressed that Ikano Bank has set a goal for gender equality in management across the organisation. Within the financial services industry, other global organisations set targets like 30 % female management. At Ikano Bank, we are looking to get 50 % of our managers female. I think that is really important. It should be completely normal to see a great female leader.
In her time at the Bank, Paula has also contributed to our sustainability efforts and to the 2021 Sustainability Report. However, she feels there is still so much to be done, especially related to equality.
While it is fantastic to see great results here, we can always do better. Whether that is in sharing our wins or showing the rest of the industries what a good representation looks like, there is always more we can do.
Paula’s goals are ambitious yet reasonable, considering the diverse world we live in. She points at several specific areas and initiatives.
I would love to see us thinking more about unconscious bias. It would be fantastic if we could look at the streams and roles that we have female managers working within. To look at where we have opportunities and for what specific roles we need more great female talent. I think that equality as a whole, and gender equality, gives a framework which we can use for all types of discrimination and all types of unconscious bias.
Her ambitions being high, Paula is confident that we will succeed and has a radiant enthusiasm around her when looking into the future.
I look forward to having a way in which we can look at the decisions we make about what people we hire. How we support those people in their jobs and how they do a good job. How we can make better decisions for our people and support all types of people. We have done some great work, and I am happy to be part of Ikano Bank and see the great progress that we are making.
Read more about Ikano Bank under Our businesses.