Norwegian pension fund Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) has pledged to increase the proportion of female employees in its investment arm to 40% by 2023.

The NOK675.6bn (€69.6bn) provider’s investment management arm, KLP Kapitalforvaltning, has 70 employees. The percentage of female staff has “remained stable in the upper 20s” for many years the company said – but the company now plans to actively seek out the best female candidates.

Håvard Gulbrandsen, chief executive of KLP Kapitalforvaltning, said: “We are doing this because it is good for the company in the long term. If we don’t do something, we will miss out on expertise and will not get an optimal working environment.”

The company, which manages pensions for staff at most of Norway’s local authorities, said it would actively look for more female candidates. If none in the recruitment process were suitable, the chief executive would ask managers to find more.

“We are also afraid of becoming outdated if we do nothing,” Gulbrandsen said. “We must reflect society, and diversity in general.” 

KLP said one of the measures it would take to achieve its gender-diversity goal was to run a paid internship scheme with 10 available places, in which it aimed to include both male and female candidates. The goal of the scheme was to present investment management as an attractive career for women.

“We want to encourage young women to think this is exciting,” Gulbrandsen explained. “This is how we will be showing our premises and that it is a good place to be. And when we do find good talents, we hope it will be contagious.”

He added that KLP was an inclusive workplace adapted for people who have – and are starting – families.

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