Celebrating Diversity@SFS

Diversity is about overcoming all the differences between us: the obvious physical as well as subjectively perceived differences. These differences can range from gender, ethnicity and religion to age and even a person's lifestyle. An integrated diversity management can not only contribute to a more positive overall atmosphere in the company, but also represents a success factor. At SFS, whose international structure already reflects its rich diversity, there are many examples in the various companies and individual teams where a very diverse range of people are working together and benefiting from the lived diversity.

Added Value

  • Promotes a positive corporate atmosphere
  • Lived diversity as a success factor
  • New perspectives thanks to different perceptions
Gruppenfoto Roof&Cladd
Team Roofing & Cladding of division Construction

One team, six nations

The team Roofing & Cladding at the site in Heerbrugg (Switzerland) currently consists of seven members and represents six different nationalities. Besides Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein, there is also a Cameroonian, a Kosovar and a Taiwanese national on the team, which is part of the Construction Division.

Team manager Martin Rüdisühli from Liechtenstein deliberately maximized diversity on his team and sees nothing but advantages in doing so. A wide horizon and an openness to different cultures and ways of thinking are indispensable given the international environment in which SFS operates.

New perspectives thanks to different viewpoints

The international profile of Roofing & Cladding is reinforced by the diversity of the technical specialty fields on the team. Its seven members are employed as technicians, mechanics, developers, marketing specialists or sales specialists. “That diversity is our best guarantee for successful international product management and enables us to be authentic and competent in our dealings with business partners and customers. Working with the other members of the team is very enriching and the differing viewpoints often lead us to new perspectives.”

Resolving conflicts through open communication

A conflict or minor issue can arise from time to time and these are always resolved thanks to the team's culture of open communication. Linguistic misunderstandings are not uncommon, but misunderstood linguistic expressions typically lead to a collective laughing fit that only helps to strengthen the team's positive working environment.

Nina Spirig
Nina Spirig, constructor in Heerbrugg (CH)

Women in a profession dominated by men

Women who work in a field typically dominated by men are another example of the lived diversity at SFS. Two examples here are Diana Scholefield, Managing Director at SFS Group Fastening Technology Ltd., Riveting Division, in Keighley, United Kingdom, and Nina Spirig, a cold forming design engineer at SFS headquarters in Heerbrugg, Switzerland.

Gender is (not) a decisive factor

Nina's flair for math and analytical thinking guided her towards a technical career right from the beginning and at SFS she found the perfect place to pursue her career ambitions. Nina can recall a few situations in the past when customers displayed some prejudice against a woman in an engineering role. “Sometimes they asked for a second opinion from a male coworker, but that hardly ever happens now,” she is relieved to say. Most of Nina’s coworkers are men and she gets along very well with them and especially appreciates how direct and uncomplicated they are. The design engineer believes that everyone can learn more and develop more talent by working on a diversified team.

Diana Scholefield
Diana Scholefield, division Riveting

From engineer to site management

After earning a degree in mechanical engineering, Diana began her career at GESIPA® as a project engineer. At first it was a challenge being a woman in the traditionally male-dominated field of engineering. “But as soon as you’ve proven yourself, you are accepted,” she says.

Today she is in charge of country operations at the SFS site in Keighley (United Kingdom). Diana is currently the only woman on the divisional management board Riveting. Her coworkers’ conduct towards her has always been fair and respectful, though, as the team concentrates all of its attention on the business. Like Nina, she too is convinced that a team is “more rounded” when both men and women are on it, giving the team a more diverse range of perspectives and talents.

Contact & Services

Christina Burri