Embracing Equity, Lighting the Future: Schréder’s Next Generation of Women
Established as a global name in lighting for over a century, Schréder has always been about finding the brightest talent to create great solutions for our customers. We also recognise that for too long, our industry has been male-dominated, with persistent stereotypes about engineering and urban planning.
We are breaking this cycle by building an inclusive, diverse company of innovators. At Schréder, respect is one of our values. Respect guides us to joining forces and be the change we want to see in the present and the future regarding gender equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging and diversity.
We already have role models internally - with women in the C-suite and female country directors, but we are working to improve this, with a goal to increase the proportion of women in Leadership positions to 20% by 2025.
This year, for International Women’s Day, we focus on the next generation: our young women professionals, who add immense value to our daily operations and give our future an enlightened perspective. Lighting, as an industry, is changing, so we asked eight colleagues across three continents how they #embracequity.
I firmly believe that a company that fosters an equal working environment without prejudice benefits everyone - not just women.
What does your role at Schréder involve?
As an HR Officer, I take pride in contributing to the organisation’s success by ensuring employees are satisfied and engaged. I’ve had to adapt to the changing needs of the workforce and find innovative solutions to support them through difficult times. My dedication, resilience, and commitment to the well-being of the employees have helped the company to stay on track and remain competitive.
Why is it important to value diversity and inclusion?
I firmly believe that a company that fosters an equal working environment without prejudice benefits everyone - not just women. When women feel valued and supported in the workplace, they are likely to contribute their best work and achieve their full potential. Knowing this, I am proud to work for a company that prioritises diversity and inclusion and promotes a culture of respect, fairness, and equality.
For me, the most valuable thing at Schreder is the working atmosphere, where I emphasise the values of respect and comradeship.
What does team work mean to you?
My day-to-day work at Schreder is managing production orders, based on the availability of components. The currently market situation, and stock availability pose a significant challenge. Still, I am always motivated to achieve our daily objectives and that comes from the working environment we have in the factory. There is a great camaraderie between everyone, and colleagues are always available.
What does our “respect” value mean on the ground?
For me, the most valuable thing at Schreder is the working atmosphere, where I emphasise the values of respect and comradeship. You see this in every department of the company, where teams always include women, which shows that the skills and aptitudes necessary to work in the group have nothing to do with gender.
Creating an inclusive and progressive culture in a company should not just be a great idea but a lifestyle.
Tell us about your work environment.
I am privileged to be part of an all-female finance team at Schréder in South Africa. Being mentored by this team of inspiring ladies has taught me that you will grow more when you celebrate each other’s success and approach each other with a kind heart and curious mind. They also taught me that you have something to offer, no matter how young or inexperienced you feel. So ask your questions and voice your ideas, and remember to listen to theirs in return.
What does that mean for corporate culture?
Creating an inclusive and progressive culture in a company should not just be a great idea but a lifestyle. I believe that if a company could understand the heights their company could reach when providing women with a platform where they can excel, the battle for gender equality would not even exist.
It is so crucial that companies value women and commit to an equal working environment without prejudice.
How has the onboarding experience been?
After joining the Logic team just 18 months ago, I’ve become an integral member in successfully delivering many of our connected solutions across the UK and Ireland. Although the problematic tasks may sometimes be daunting, I feel incredibly supported and empowered by my manager.
You’re working in a team with a lot of experience, how has that been?
Considering I am among the newest and youngest members with little exposure to the industry, I feel supported and that my advice and suggestions are respected and accepted without hesitation. Whether through positive feedback from customers, senior management, or colleagues, my work is valued at Schréder… It is so crucial that companies value women and commit to an equal working environment without prejudice.
Work shouldn’t depend on gender, but on each individual’s effort, commitment, and dedication.
What do you like about your role?
I value my work very much because I feel part of a great team that recognises my daily effort and dedication to deliver a good job. This shows that work shouldn’t depend on gender, but on each individual’s effort, commitment, and dedication.
What is the best piece of advice you could give?
Know that you are appreciated. The key to a happy career is having your work recognised emotionally, rewarded materially and scope to grow.
I feel that I have a voice and am free (and encouraged!) to propose new ideas and working methods.
What does your role involve currently?
My role involves dealing with multiple departments each day, so I learn a lot. What they all have in common is that they leave room for everyone to express themselves. I feel that I have a voice and am free (and encouraged!) to propose new ideas and working methods.
And what are your hopes for the future?
Schréder is actively working to get more women in management positions, which shows other women that it can be done. I also feel that, even though our company is in a predominantly male sector, men and women give other women space to grow within the company. Gender equality is not about the numbers but about giving women the same rights, resources, and opportunities in the workplace.
Schréder just proved that it takes gender diversity seriously by inviting me to participate in a Leadership Development Program while pregnant.
What attracted you to working in HR?
I always believed that happiness and fulfilment at work are the paths to a successful team and sustainable business. Being hired as Community Lead to create that same spirit and work environment every day at Schréder Hyperion is a professional dream becoming a reality.
What concrete steps need to happen to embrace equity?
I am embracing maternity for the first time. Maternity changes a women’s life and it can be scary as we worry about our career and having to take time off work. Schréder just proved to me that it takes gender diversity seriously by inviting me to participate in a Leadership Development Program while pregnant. This is the type of action that companies need to take to support women in their maternity journey. It not only reassures them but shows that the company is investing in their growth - and that is priceless.
It's so important to be equal, to have the right to work, to be able to apply your knowledge and skills, develop, and fulfil your potential - regardless of gender.
What does your role currently involve?
Every day, I put all my energy into being a good team player, despite harsh times for my country. I recently joined the R&D department - it was challenging from a technical perspective, but I took the chance. I’m really inspired by our local social activities and charity work; I always take the chance to participate or suggest some creative ideas.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
We are living in the 21st century, and if I look back through history, I can say, "thank God that I was born at this time." It's so important to be equal, to have the right to work, to be able to apply your knowledge and skills, develop, and fulfil your potential - regardless of gender.