IKEA, the Swedish multinational company known for its low-priced yet stylish home furnishings, has achieved a significant milestone in its gender diversity efforts. The company announced on Monday that it has nearly reached gender parity in its top leadership roles across the globe. Currently, 45% of its 31 country CEOs are women, while 56% of the top retail management teams across its global footprint are female. This is a significant improvement from a decade ago, when only 28% of the nation’s CEOs were women and just 35% of its top retail management team was female.
IKEA’s push toward gender equality started in 2002, when the company’s then-CEO made it a priority, but it began in earnest 10 years ago. In recent years, leaders such as Susanne Pulverr and Doris Lan were appointed to run the company’s India and Denmark operations, respectively, contributing to the tipping point of gender parity. The International Labor Organization states that a balanced employment ratio is where no more than 40% to 60% of employees are of the same gender.
The company’s efforts towards gender balance in leadership roles have included organizing Women’s Open Network meetings, where top leaders across the company come together to discuss and address gender equality issues. These efforts have paid off, with IKEA being recognized as a leader in gender diversity by organizations such as Forbes and the European Economic and Social Committee.
IKEA’s focus on gender diversity is part of a larger push towards creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace. The company has also implemented policies such as equal pay and parental leave and set ambitious sustainability goals to reduce its impact on the environment.
The achievement of near-gender parity in leadership roles at IKEA is an important step towards creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace and serves as an example for other companies to follow. By prioritizing gender equality and creating opportunities for women to advance into leadership roles, companies can benefit from a wider range of perspectives and experiences, leading to better decision-making and overall success.