More perspectives on technology
Share this page on
  • More perspectives on technology

Per Nilsson
Kommunikations- och marknadschef
+46 (0)73 973 72 00

More perspectives on tech.

When most product developers are men, women’s perspectives sometimes seem to be forgotten. Semcon has put together an all-women team of product developers to add perspectives on technology that lacks it today.

Lots of things in our society have been developed with men as a benchmark. The crash test dummy, voice recognition and health apps are all examples of developments that have sometimes forgotten to take a woman’s perspective into account. But what other examples are there? And how would the products around us look if they were developed by women?

Semcon has put together an all-women team of product developers to add perspective to technology that lacks it today. Over the course of several weeks in spring 2018, we will be compiling suggestions for products that could work better for women. Then our team will choose one of the products and explore how a more inclusive alternative might look. The result will be launched later this autumn.

What products are lacking a woman’s perspective?

If we added women’s perspectives to technology that currently lacks it, would it make a difference?

Despite the fact that half of the technology users in the world are women, most of those developing the products are men. At Microsoft, 19% of the technology developers are women. At Google, that figure is 20% and at Apple it’s 23%. Of the members of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers, 26% are women and 74% are men. And at Semcon, every third employee is a woman. We don’t think that’s good enough and we aim to do something about it.

It’s about including women’s perspectives on products that have traditionally been developed using men as the benchmark. I believe that more perspectives are necessary and would benefit us all.

Markus Granlund, CEO of Semcon

Let’s meet our talented team:

Ida Borenstein - Communication, Malin Bengtsson – Mechnical Engineering, Sofia Elmestrand – Mechanical Engineering, Sara Nilsson - User Experience, Anette Norén - Product Design, Elmira Anbardar - Software Development, Sofie Askenbom - Technical Project Leader Product Information


Check out our Q&A and find out more about how Semcon works with product development, innovation and diversity.

Why are you running this campaign?

The more we understand different users, the better products we can develop. This could include age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or functional variation. Or, as in this case, the perspective that includes life conditions of women, which is unfortunately a perspective that is sometimes forgotten. This is an initiative to highlight this issue and inspire more women to enter the technology industry and Semcon. Diversity is essential to innovation.

Why have you selected an all-women team to revamp the product?

The majority of technology developers in the industry are men. And lots of products are still developed using men as a benchmark. We want to find out what happens if we do the opposite – when a team of only women add their perspectives to an existing product that is lacking these perspectives today. Of course, you don’t have to be a woman to make products for women, just as products for men don’t have to be developed only by men.

How does gender equality in the teams contribute to better products?

Our products should be able to be used regardless of whether the user is a man or a woman. This is why we need more women at Semcon and throughout the industry to bring more perspectives into our product development. We are better problem-solvers together and can develop better products for our customers. We can also create a more inspiring workplace. Research* shows that mixed working groups lead to increased efficiency, creativity and profitability.

Harvard Business Review

How will you choose what product to develop?

This is a special kind of challenge and the team’s skill sets have been combined without knowing what type of product they will be working with. What is important is that we see a clear need, where a woman’s perspective has been lost and where we can make a difference. Hopefully men will also benefit from more approaches to making products even more user-friendly. The idea is to develop an alternative solution and present it this autumn.

How do you develop products at Semcon? What are your processes like?

We always start with the end user’s needs and behaviours when developing products – how we can create the best user experience with technology. Since we are working in various industries, the methods can vary some. However, it gives us the possibility to utilize different experiences in order to develop the most efficient process for each customer – from user and design studies for innovation to early involvement of technical competences as well as product information.

Is Semcon a gender-balanced company?

Not yet. But our goal is to have gender balance (i.e. a 40/60 mix of women and men) in the Group as a whole and among management by 2022. This is an inspiring and essential goal. The current distribution between men and women at Semcon worldwide is 70% men and 30% women. All of our business areas across the globe are engaged in this and it is a key priority for the Group.

How are you working to improve gender equality at Semcon?

This is one of our focus areas – from recruitment and team composition up to management level. We have been working for a long time to become a more gender-balanced workplace. But now we are setting clear goals for the entire Group and working in a more structured manner to achieve them. Our CEO will be measuring our gender equality goals at the same level as our financial results.

Find out more about how we work with diversity and gender equality.

Related materials