case study

How Sydbank built a culture of inclusive awareness with Develop Diverse

Sydbank
Sydbank
industry 2
industry

Banking

location-circle 2
location

Denmark

user 2
number of employees

2200+ employees

Sydbank

About Sydbank

Sydbank is a nationwide, full-service corporate and advisory bank building on relationships between people. We find solutions where they are – quickly and efficiently. This is the basis of the day-to-day work at Sydbank, which has grown through mergers and acquisitions into one of Denmark’s largest banks.

Sydbank has a solid financial foundation that offers room for more business with new customers as well as existing customers. Our growth will be built on a firm and sound footing. Sydbank wishes to remain a bank operating on its own terms and we aim to be the preferred business partner. 

Louise Kielstrup

“We refer to the tool (Develop Diverse) as The Diversity Machine because it easily helps us represent everyone regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, disability and more. Even the top management in Sydbank were surprised and excited about how simple working with diversity could be."

Sydbank

Louise Kielstrup
Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications

Why Sydbank came to Develop Diverse

As one of the biggest banks in Denmark we felt obligated to do something that made an actual difference. We already have specific goals to increase the numbers of female participants in our internal talent program and women in leadership positions.

But the communications team wanted to do something different and become front runners within the organization on this topic. I teamed up with a colleague who during a research session found Develop Diverse. It almost seemed too good to be true so we quickly arranged a meeting to find out how this tool might help us.

Sydbank

What Sydbank solved with Develop Diverse

“The biggest challenge was that we rarely thought about inclusion. We were biased in a lot of ways but not often aware of it. And even when we were, we didn’t know exactly how to work with it within the team. For example: How do you write about investments without excluding women? How do you write about savings without excluding young people? And how do you write about the workplace and the employees without excluding people with disabilities? Develop Diverse didn’t fix this for us, but by using the tool we have become far more conscious about specific words and formulations in the writing process.

“This is important to us because we want to reflect society in all our communication products. Not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because we are chasing a brand awareness goal as part of the companys strategy. To achieve this, we can’t be biased on our website, in emails, on social media, in marketing materials etc. And we are on track.

Recently Sydbank became third in a diversity index that ranks Danish companies on how good they are at reflecting society in text and pictures on their website and on social media.” 

“The most important thing that Develop Diverse has given us is the ability to have professional discussions about inclusive writing. We have many important talks within the team that we didn’t have before. Diversity is now on the agenda in our weekly content meetings.

I even made a physical exclusion list with exclusionary words and hung it on the office wall to make sure that we keep on talking about words and formulations every single day. We know that the words we use matter. And working with diversity requires repetition and takes time.” 

“The top management in Sydbank were surprised and excited about how simple working with diversity could be. Using the tool frequently makes us conscious about our own biases. And it generates good and constructive conversations that make us grow as a team and as human beings.”

Sydbank
Louise Kielstrup

"The biggest challenge was that we rarely thought about inclusion. We were biased in a lot of ways but not often aware of it. And even when we were, we didn’t know exactly how to work with it within the team."

Sydbank

Louise Kielstrup
Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications

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