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Together we can build a fairer and more inclusive world

By 2022,?IKEA?aims to reach?50/50 gender balance in all boards, stores and everything in between

Carin Hammer Blakebrough, Country People and Culture Manager | IKEA

4 min read Partner content

At IKEA, we are committed to creating an inclusive culture where our customers and co-workers are all able to be themselves.

This past year has brought to light the increasingly unequal division of household work carried out by women. Recent research by the OECD shows women are doing up to three times more unpaid care and domestic work than men globally and this has only been exacerbated by the global pandemic. This unequal sharing of responsibilities at home has been proven to have direct implications for women’s economic positions.

In addition, a third of women in the key retail markets where IKEA is present say that their careers are held back because they do more in the home than men. We owe it to them to play our part in helping to address the imbalance, and equally to all our customers who expect us to help make a difference beyond the walls of IKEA.

Everyone will have seen and faced these same challenges of juggling work and home-life. But as we thankfully emerge from the crisis, MPs are better-placed than most to act and ensure hard fought achievements are not lost. 

A third of women in the key retail markets where IKEA is present say that their careers are held back because they do more in the home than men

In recognising the risk to progress on gender equality arising from the impact of COVID-19, Governments should continue to support businesses to offer more flexible working arrangements and remove barriers that exist in the workplace, including access to childcare. We’re already seeing movement here with the Minister for Women and Equalities coming out in support of greater flexibility, but we want to see even more get behind this.

At IKEA, we are passionate advocates for gender equality, which we see as a basic human right. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense.

We continually strive to help create a better everyday life at home, and we recognise that a better every day means an equal every day. Some examples of the steps we have made, which we would like governments to look to emulate and encourage, follow.

Our gender equality journey  

In the uncertainty of the early days of the pandemic, we made the decision to put people at the heart of our response, ensuring all our co-workers were paid in full, without accessing government support. We put our co-worker’s mental health and financial stability first and offered flexible working options for all, with a focus on supporting those with childcare difficulties or other caring responsibilities to continue working wherever possible, whilst always guaranteeing 100% contractual hours pay. We alsoworkec with RetailTRUST to introduce an IKEA COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

Our progress towards an equal split of men and women at every level, in every part of the business, continues through our Gender Equality Plan, with a 47:53 ratio of female to male co-workers at management level achieved in FY20 in the UK. This compares to an overall ratio of 51:49 female to male co-workers across the UK business.   

We are very proud of some of our global achievements and commitments to create a fairer and more inclusive world for our customers and co-workers, which include:  

·        Ingka Group reaching 50/50 gender balance in management positions.  

·        Gender equality is integrated into all of IKEA’s work processes, from recruitment to promotion and succession. In FY20, IKEA created new digital unconscious bias training, accessible to all co-workers and reviewed and refined its interview processes to mitigate unconscious bias.   

·        IKEA stands against gender-based violence; supporting those affected by domestic violence through its Employee Assistance Programme in all countries where it operates and helping women’s shelters through emergency community support measures.   

·        IKEA has committed to gender equal pay across Ingka Group by the end of 2021.   

·        By 2022, IKEA wants 50/50 gender balance in all boards, stores and everything in between.  

At IKEA, we are incredibly passionate about creating an inclusive culture where we are all able to be ourselves, contributing with our uniqueness and supporting others. Together, we hope to create a workplace that is as diverse as the world is, and as inclusive as the world should be.  


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