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Meet the girl who took over KONE for a day

The United Nation’s International Day of the Girl, celebrated on October 11, is also the day of the global Girls Takeover event. In 2018, KONE President and CEO Henrik Ehrnrooth joined the cause to bring attention to the position and rights of girls and women in the global workplace.

October 12, 2018

The Girls Takeover, organized by the children’s rights organization Plan International, is a campaign that highlights both the opportunities and discrimination that exist for girls. With a series of events around the world, the highlight of the day is when young women step into the shoes of political, corporate and financial leaders. Taking over as KONE CEO was 17 year-old Evilla Lumme.

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development agenda and goals include a commitment to achieving gender equality in the world. Girls and young women still remain outsiders in many ways, even lacking the opportunity to attend primary or secondary school. This limits their options, including their ability to choose a profession.

“I am particularly passionate about education,” says Evilla. “I wish that in the future, girls and women globally have better access to education and the jobs and leadership roles they want, because women are just as good as employees and leaders as men.”

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There are no men’s jobs and women’s jobs – just jobs

Addressing the top management and European employee representatives, Evilla raised the question of gender in choosing or advancing a career. “We need to encourage children and young people from an early age to follow our dreams and not care about what other people think. By helping more girls get an education, we will give them the opportunity to work at any job they want in the future, for example as an engineer, technician or perhaps a manager.”

When entering the working life, fair employment practices are crucial. “It’s important that the possibility of maternity or paternity leave doesn’t prevent career advancement. I know that KONE already offers good and equal opportunities for training and career advancement, but I ask that you continue to work on these things so that the world becomes more equal,” she concluded.

KONE is an equal opportunity employer

“Girls Takeover is a great way to bring awareness to the importance giving girls and women better opportunities – which I believe that has a significant impact on societies around the world. From a business perspective, diversity is not only right, but also good business,” added Henrik Ehrnrooth, as he welcomed Evilla to KONE’s corporate offices in Espoo.

KONE's business is changing fast with new products and services such as Residential Flow, 24/7 Connected Services and People Flow planning and consulting. As a consequence, the company needs people with new skill sets: data scientists, behavioral scientists, and service designers, to name just a few of the roles in demand.

Over the years, we have achieved a slight improvement in the proportion of women to men working for KONE, both as operatives as well as in management positions. “I am absolutely convinced diverse teams make business decisions. On the other hand, our customers and equipment users are diverse, so to really understand them and their needs we need to be diverse. Despite the progress, we are not where I’d like us to be, so this is certainly something in our focus,” Henrik emphasized.

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