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
In the most recent study conducted by the LEAD Network Gender Diversity Scorecard, a survey that maps gender equality in European corporates in the consumer goods and retail sectors, ICA Gruppen earned a top ranking, with 51% of women in leading positions, compared with the industry average of 35%.
ICA Gruppen is firm in its belief 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, in 2021 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.
Work on identifying opportunities and obstacles continued in 2022 and resulted in the start of a pilot project, Språkfika (“Language break”), a conversational programme aimed at strengthening Swedish language skills among employees who don’t yet speak Swedish or are currently learning.
Active work is being conducted in all of ICA Gruppen’s operations to ensure gender 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.
In May ICA Gruppen celebrates European Diversity Month, established by the European Commission. In 2022 this included a series of talks in Sweden on neuropsychiatric diagnoses. In Lithuania, Rimi communicated the company’s diversity work with respect to age, nationality, and people with functional and physical disabilities.
ICA is a long-standing partner with the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) and one of the founding initiative-takers behind an effort to encourage children and teens to spend their free time in meaningful ways. Through the Alla är olika – olika är bra (“Everyone is different – different is good”) initiative, funds are donated to local football associations that want to make a difference in equality, diversity and democracy issues.
ICA is a long-standing partner to the Glada Hudik Theatre. The theatre group consists of – as it describes itself – both intellectually disabled and normally disabled actors working together. Their mission is to change people’s way of seeing, thinking and relating to people with functional disabilities.