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People & Culture 5 February 2020

Why does embracing diversity make sense for Ingka Group?

Ingka Group has set a big target for itself. The company is embracing diversity and wants to create a workplace where everyone has equal opportunities, feels included and thrives.  

For Ingka Group, a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, equality is a fundamental human right and it believes the commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion is essential to the success of its business.

“It enables us to attract and retain top talent, serve a diverse customer base, and contribute to a positive change in society. We want to be activists for social change and to inspire and enable co-workers, customers, and communities to become change-makers for equality,” said Sari Brody, Global Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Ingka Group, while speaking at the Womenomics Mid-Year Event in Copenhagen in January, sharing Ingka Group view on how it integrates equality into the business. 

True gender equality means having a gender balance (50 percent share of women) in all levels and functions of an organisation. Ingka Group is committed to achieve gender balance in the leadership of all functions, locations, boards, and committees by 2022. Today, 49.7 percent of its managers are women. 

Ingka Group is also joining hands with others to promote equality. This includes signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles, and joining Business for Inclusive Growth, a business coalition launched at the G7 summit aiming to tackle inequality and promote diversity in workplaces and supply chains, among others. The company is also working with the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the New Equality and Inclusion Agenda, which aims to set a new global agenda for equality and inclusion. 

“Signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles helps us to keep equality top of mind, to hold ourselves accountable and to be transparent about our progress or challenges. Even when we’re doing a good job today, we must not lose focus or we could go backwards. Having the Principles as our guide helps us to continuously improve,” Brody said in the company’s Annual Summary & Sustainability Report for FY19, which was released on Jan. 28, 2020.

Ingka Group is a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, operating 374 IKEA stores in 30 countries. In what could be a ground-breaking move for gender equality in the Japanese workplace, IKEA Retail Japan introduced equal hourly pay for full-time and part-time co-workers. In Japan, people who work part-time often receive a lower hourly wage.

IKEA Retail Japan has also started child care provisions in its buildings, so working parents can feel comfortable knowing their children are nearby. The purpose of child care was to help women return to the workplace after maternity leave, but now it is being used by fathers as well.


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Pic: Sari Brody, Global Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Ingka Group

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