ICA is for everyone in society. If our employee makeup reflects our customers we have better opportunities to serve the market. The joint strength and collective knowledge that take us forward come from our differences, our diversity of perspectives and the strong commitment that exists among everyone who works here. ICA shall foster a secure environment where employees can dare to challenge, grow and develop – with opportunities to change and improve.
But we also know that things don’t just happen on their own. Which is why we drive initiatives to promote a better work climate in which everyone has the same preconditions. We are Europe’s most equal retail company: we are included on Allbright’s list of gender-equal company management teams and we are the recipient of the Swedish Marketing Federation’s newly established Senior Talent Award. We can never rest on our laurels on this matter; on the contrary, will be relentless in our successful work with inclusion and diversity.
Examples of activities
The LEAD Gender Diversity Scorecard is a survey that maps gender equality among European corporates in the retail and consumer products sectors. For the third year in a row ICA Gruppen earned a top score, with 51% women in leading positions, compared with the industry average of 36%.
New target for foreign backgrounds – ICA Gruppen is convinced that diversity contributes to a stronger and more dynamic company. To gain greater insight into the diversity make-up of employees and managers in ICA Gruppen in Sweden, during the year a study was conducted in cooperation with Statistics Sweden (SCB). The result shows that the breakdown of employees with a Swedish or foreign background reflects the Swedish population in general. The long-term goal is to achieve the same distribution among managers as well.
Active work is being conducted in all of ICA Gruppen’s operations to ensure equality among senior leaders. This work is being conducted on several, parallel levels. It involves tearing down structural barriers, uncovering unconscious biases and promoting personal development opportunities – regardless of gender.
The ICA 50/50 initiative is one noteworthy activity in this area. It consists of two networks – one for increasing and promoting the number of women leaders in senior positions in ICA Gruppen, and one for women with potential to serve in senior positions.
European Diversity Month, established by the European Commission, took place during the month of May. For the second year in a row we participated by drawing attention to inclusion and diversity in various ways, including talks on themes such as LGBTQ issues and neuropsychiatric diagnoses as well as an e-learning curriculum. In Lithuania, Rimi has been working with NGOs to promote inclusion of individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities.
Everyone is different – different is good. ICA is involved in a long-standing partnership with the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) and plays a key role in a collaboration to encourage children and teens to spend their leisure time in meaningful ways.
During 2021, in connection with the “Fotballsfest” fund-raising event that was conducted in conjunction with the UEFA European Championship, ICA Sweden sponsored its own football festival for inclusive exercise, where money was raised through sales of blue and yellow Swedish team–marked products on behalf of the Swedish Football Association’s Alla är olika – olika är bra (“Everyone is different – different is good”) initiative. A total of SEK 5.5 million was raised on behalf of the initiative, which provides funding to local football associations that work actively for equality and diversity in football.
Apotek Hjärtat participates in a number of initiatives aimed at helping newcomers find a path into the job market. Among other things, pharmacies offer internships and assistant positions to job candidates while they await validation of their educations and certifications.