We talked to Kerry Bommen, KONGSBERGs new Director Sustainability, about the future of the company
International Women's Day 2022

HOW TO CREATE AN INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE DEFENCE INDUSTRY

On 8 March, we have the opportunity to reflect on progress made and how inclusion and diversity is key factors in creating a sustainable future. We sat down and talked to our new Director Sustainability about the future of the company and her take on sustainability, diversity and inclusion within the defence and aerospace industry.

  • Text:Njål Frilseth

    Photo:Njål Frilseth / KONGSBERG

What is the link between diversity and sustainability?

“Diversity is embedded in the definition of sustainability. The ability to embrace diverse communities and the unique voices they support are an integral part of sustainability. With increasing challenges related to climate change, it is more important than ever that we work together to create and enable a more resilient world to address the challenges,” Kerry Bommen, Director Sustainability, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG) said.

Kerry, originally from Scotland, has spent 10 years on cruise liners travelling the world as an onboard Financial Controller. She moved to Norway 16 years ago and have worked in Business Controlling, Strategy and Global Program Management for R&D in the Oil & Gas sector, while she also pursued an MBA specializing in Leadership & Sustainability.

“Diversity to me is enabling and applauding people when they step out of their comfort zones to start having difficult and honest conversations – we need to develop ‘unlikely’ relationships to be open to different perspectives.”

Research show that companies that are more diverse, particularly at the senior level, are more innovative, and inclusive and diverse representation in critical operational and engineering roles are needed in order to meet ongoing growth and demand. To develop innovative technology for the future, KONGSBERG will continue to bring together people with different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences.

Why is inclusive and diverse representation important for sustainability?

“Diversity in a workforce is a strength, and by fostering an inclusive and diverse culture we nurture different perspectives, which in turn fully utilizes the diversity to create sustainable business results,” Kerry said when asked about diversity in the workforce. “I joined KONGSBERG early January 2022 in the role of Director Sustainability and I’m very excited to start this journey and to be able to work alongside talented and determined colleagues. Sustainability is becoming increasingly important, in all industries – and for KONGSBERG, I see tremendous opportunities for us to support the much needed ambitious targets set by the Global Community and be at the forefront in driving circular economy in the defence and aerospace sector.”

Kerry Bommen 1 D3 KDA_Credit Njål Frilseth.jpg

How can inclusion and diversity enable companies to achieve a sustainable future?

KONGSBERG is committed to achieve a sustainable development in operations, to strike a good balance between financial results, value creation and environment and climate, social and governance issues (ESG). Having a diverse team helps companies think through the various use cases of products, ultimately developing and delivering enhanced final results.

“We as a Company, are taking the climate challenges seriously. KONGSBERG has committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative along with over 2,600 more companies. The ambition is to develop innovative ‘greener’ technology. By improving and enhancing our current portfolio of products and processes, it will enable us to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage and deliver solutions and capabilities to meet the global challenges. Actions we take now as a company concerning sustainability and the environmental and social impacts of our business, will enhance and improve future generations. I, along with many of you, am excited about the future!” Kerry said.

Kerry Bommen 2 D3 KDA_Credit Njål Frilseth.jpgKONGSBERG is committed to bring out the best in its employees, and that is why its leadership is dedicated to fostering inclusion and diversity. The people are KONGSBERG’s greatest asset and strength, and is key to the continuous and sustainable success.

Kerry adds that “KONGSBERG needs everyone’s voices, with a full range of insights and ideas for how the industry can create sustainable change. We continue to build that sense of belonging, which creates an environment to grow the next generation of change agents. The more representation, inclusion and engagement there is in the workplace, the stronger the outcomes.”