Swedish home furnishing heavyweights just revealed in a statement that they will make gender equality a priority across their stores in India to make their workforce more diverse. The company already boasts that half of its workforce in India comprises of women and they want to open their doors to diversity and inclusion as the company expands in the country.
IKEA decided consciously to have 50% of women in the workforce
From operating heavy machinery to working in retail, women working in IKEA are employed in every sector, like the top management as well. Peter Betzel, CEO, IKEA India who is not Indian hopes that someday his successor will be an Indian woman, he spoke about this at the Bloomberg Equality Summit in Mumbai recently. He said, “We thought it is essential that India’s diversity is represented in our workforce. In India, we decided consciously to have 50% of women in the workforce. Generally, in India, the female workforce is very low. So, that was why we consciously decided to make a difference.” India is one of the most diverse countries of the world and with its 1.3 billion population that boasts different cultures, religions and more. Betzel also revealed the way in which the lives of their women employees have changed after working at IKEA, from their social life to their economic status as well as their families.
Women take decisions when it comes to setting up the home
“The biggest interest for home comes from women. It is natural that here the women are taking all decisions in the company. If we had men, it would have been only males doing all the discussion and taking the decisions. The experience has been fantastic,” added Betzel. This is not the first time IKEA has made headlines for taking positive steps to change the company, they are also integrating sustainability into the business and want to make an impact across their stores in the world, including India. Tolga Öncü, Retail Operations Manager, Ingka Group, said, “We want to grow the IKEA business in a sustainable way – we know that our future success lies in our ability to make a positive impact on people and planet. By taking this step to integrate sustainability into every aspect of our retail operations, we can accelerate the transformation of the business to become even more affordable, convenient and sustainable for our customers.”
Image credit: The New York Times