What is the Young Professional Network?
The Young Professional Network is Ovako's network for young professionals under 40 years old. The initiative was launched in response to the realization that there was a need to support and retain our young talents.
The discussion about the network began in the executive management team in 2020 but was temporarily paused during the pandemic and resumed in 2022.
Why is the network needed?
We noticed that several recent graduates were choosing to leave the company, partly due to a lack of awareness of their own development opportunities, visibility and/or a strong sense of belonging. To learn from these insights and simultaneously counteract this trend, the decision was made to create a network to promote community, increase networking opportunities, and build friendships across our departments and units. This was seen as an excellent opportunity to showcase our young talents within the organization and learn from them with the ambition of developing Ovako and progressing together.
What is the purpose of the network?
The network's purpose is to engage and inspire our current employees while further developing their skills. By strengthening the sense of belonging within our company, we aim to create a positive and inclusive work environment, facilitate exchange and learning among employees, and enhance a stronger community
How are the meetings conducted, and what topics are discussed?
The network meetings are spread across our various business units and take place over two days on each occasion. They include activities such as company visits, presentations by the executive management group members, and discussions on topics such as Ovako's strategy and leadership, Marketing & Sales, Finance, productivity, and culture at Ovako. Each meeting has a specific theme, and participants prepare by engaging in discussions in smaller groups before coming together.
How are candidates selected, and how long does the program last?
Participants in the network are selected through nominations from local management and HR. The criteria for participation include being under 40 years old, having an academic background, and being identified as an individual with potential for future advancement within the company. The program spans over 16 months. In the ongoing program, we have 20 participants, including 10 women and 10 men. The upcoming program this spring will have 21 new participants, including 6 women and 15 men.
In the end, the Young Professional Network at Ovako is helping its young talents grow and work together. The group is becoming a strong community, where people from different backgrounds can share their experiences and make new connections. As the network moves forward, it's clear that Ovako is not just supporting individual development but also creating a friendly community that will make a positive impact. Looking forward, the success stories from this effort are inspiring, showing how much can happen when helping its rising stars shine!