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Building a diverse and inclusive workforce for the 21st century

How partnering with Schneider Electric, recognised as one of the world's most sustainable companies, helped build a better future

Female project manager at a solar farm reviewing panels and holding laptop

Working with Schneider Electric

SThree sources people for companies across many sectors who need to reduce their carbon footprint. We also partner with sustainable energy equipment manufacturing clients, helping them source hard-to-find STEM specialists.

Schneider Electric, the world’s most sustainable corporation*, designs and manufactures sustainable products that help households and businesses use energy more responsibly, resulting in less wastage. Schneider Electric sees a 25-billion-euro turnover annually and is home to over 137,000 employees.

The company is passionate about diversity, equality and inclusion because it attracts quality applicants, widens the talent pool, improves retention and lifts people’s performance.

“At Schneider Electric we recognise that it is the people and culture which makes our business successful. Diversity is important, and we recognise people by gender, experience and background impact our ability, performance and growth – and it is these people that build the best culture and place to work," said Ana Pinto, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner, Schneider Electric

“Diversity is important, and we recognise people by gender, experience and background impact our ability, performance and growth.”

The company is passionate about diversity, equality and inclusion and has set itself some tough diversity targets to meet by 2025: for women to form 50% of new hires and 30% of senior leaders, up from around 43% and about one-quarter respectively now. SThree was one of the agencies tasked to help make it happen.

A talent partner since early 2020, SThree has placed a number of people into roles in the firm’s engineering team. When Schneider wanted to recruit a new engineering team leader, they came to us.

Computer Futures, one of SThree’s recruitment brands, recommended Kathleen Dunham for the position of engineering team leader. She was appointed in October 2021, the first time a woman has held an engineering leadership role at the company.

“It was fantastic, from the first time I engaged with SThree, they were very helpful in conveying to me what the role would entail and I have to say, the role is aligned to what they explained to me,” said Kathleen.

Ana explained what it’s like to work with SThree: “We’ve established a good open relationship, discussing the challenges that we have. It’s a partnership. They’ve put in place a team that can support us in high volume vacancies in highly technical roles.”

“SThree has been great at questioning our hire-manager mindsets about skillsets and profiles so our managers are more open to candidates they might not have previously considered,” said Ana. “Everyone at Schneider Electric recognises a diverse team is a better team, these people help shape the culture, performance and growth of our business and it’s critical we create a workplace where we all want to be.”

“From the first time I engaged with SThree, they were very helpful in conveying to me what the role would entail.”

Once hired, candidates are put onto retention schemes that continue to promote diversity. Like SThree’s IdentifFy+ female leadership programme, Schneider has a process for identifying high performing females and fast tracking their career pathways. Managers are also appraised on the progress of team members from underrepresented gender and ethnic groups.

Schneider Electric increased its chances of recruiting diverse candidates by being quick to embrace hybrid working. It also doesn’t insist on a certain number of office days a week. That enabled SThree to find specialist talent across the UK for Schneider’s west of England manufacturing plant, greatly widening the pool of candidates.

Kathleen added: “It was fantastic, from the first time I engaged with SThree, they were very helpful in conveying to me what the role would entail and I have to say, the role is aligned to what they explained to me.”

* Schneider Electric ranked number 1, out of more than 8,000 corporations assessed for 2021 Global 100, in a prestigious annual list compiled by Corporate Knights, a media and research company focused on corporate sustainability performance.

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