IKEA Retail announces that it has met gender balance for its top leadership roles globally.
- Fourteen of IKEA’s 31 country CEOs are now women, which brings women CEOs to 45%, up from 28% a decade ago.
- Women also make up 56% of top retail management teams across its global footprint, up from 35% a decade ago.
- The International Labor Organization states that a balanced employment ratio is one where no more than 40% to 60% of employees are of the same sex.
Why it’s news
Gender parity is an important goal across corporate America, as businesses struggle to fill leadership positions with female executives. Not only is it a social goal, but it helps with the company’s image—attracting better workers, investors, and increasing sales.
Swedish furniture giant IKEA has officially announced that the company has met gender balance for its top global leadership roles having a nearly equal number of men and women in leading roles.
The company’s push to start being gender equal began in 2002 when the CEO at that time set gender equality as a priority, but the real action didn’t start happening until 10 years ago when the company’s first IKEA Women Open Network meeting was held in Sweden with top leaders from across the company, according to Forbes.
At the Women Open Network meeting, a woman leader within the company explained just how unbalanced the gender roles were within the company, and from then on, IKEA began making changes.
The company started making changes such as adding more women to teams, requiring all final job candidates for a position to require at least one man and one woman, and in 2021 the company banned salary-history questions from interviews offering pay based on job value and not previous income elsewhere.
Another way the company worked to meet gender equality was by offering equal parental leave. The leave time differs by country, but for example, in India, IKEA offers full salary and benefits for both women and men for 26 weeks, and in the U.S., it offers up to 16 weeks for mothers and fathers, in addition to paid disability leave.
Now the company has met gender equality in its top leadership roles and continues to fight for equality across the company.