Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer, has reached gender balance across top leadership roles globally. Forty-five percent of Ingka Group country CEOs are now women, and approximately half of the leaders across top management in 31 countries are female.
“At Ingka Group, we believe that gender equality at home and at work lie at the core of gender equality in society,” says Ulrika Biesèrt, Global P&C Manager, Ingka Group. “As we head into International Women’s Day, around the world, fair and equitable opportunities for women are, at best, stalling. We all must do more to achieve gender parity.”
Biesèrt attributes Ingka Group’s strong results to the company’s long-term approach to gender equality, which has been part of Ingka Group’s country business plans for over a decade. This means at Ingka Group there is a shared goal to achieve gender balance across all leadership positions, which is followed up annually.
Additionally, there is a clear strategic approach around inclusive succession goals.
Biesèrt says: “It’s important that we reflect the communities we serve at every leadership level. Not only is it the right thing to do, but the best thing for our co-workers, current and future customers, our business, and society.”
While Biesèrt is proud of the results, she says the company’s journey continues. “One key focus area where we now need to improve upon is removing the barriers for women from underrepresented groups to move into leadership positions,” she says.
Ingka Group has several new initiatives to reach that goal. The latest is a new programme to accelerate how Ingka Group reflects society in its leadership teams, with a focus on representation of people from underrepresented ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It is being piloted in Portugal, before rolling out to the rest of Ingka markets soon.
About Ingka Group
With IKEA retail operations on 31 markets, Ingka Group is the largest IKEA retailer and represents about 90% of IKEA retail sales. It is a strategic partner to develop and innovate the IKEA business and help define common IKEA strategies. Ingka Group owns and operates IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. It has three business areas: IKEA Retail, Ingka Investments and Ingka Centres. Read more on Ingka.com.
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