#facethegap this IDAHOTB and Pride Month
This International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) and upcoming Pride Month in June, we’re building on our long-standing LGBTQ+ commitments with a call-to-action to close inclusion gaps within the workplace.
Despite decades of progress surrounding LGBTQ+ inclusion, too many within the LGBTQ+ community still do not feel included, in society, in schools and at work – a threat that we continue to see far too often in recent news around the world. This inclusion gap is one the most important challenges facing the community but is also a real challenge for businesses like ours who want to attract future employees, from all identities, backgrounds, and cultures and for all co-workers to feel they belong.
At IKEA, we want to be part of the solution, but also recognise that we don’t have all the answers. Using the headline, #facethegap, we’re inviting everyone to listen to people from the LGBTQ+ community and work together to close our own inclusion gaps, by developing meaningful actions with our LGBTQ+ co-workers at the forefront.
#facethegap comes following the results of our first IKEA global inclusion survey, which reveals our own inclusion gaps. Whilst we have lots to be proud of in the UK and Ireland with 81% of our LGBTQ+ co-workers feeling comfortable to be themselves at work, 24% still don’t feel a sense of belonging at IKEA. Additionally, a further 39% feel they need to downplay their identity and 33% feel barriers in advancing their career
“The results of the survey revealed that not all of our LGBTQ+ co-worker’s feel the same sense of inclusion,” says Darren Taylor, Country People & Culture Manager, IKEA UK and Ireland. “Whilst we have made positive movements within diversity and inclusion, it’s important that we acknowledge where we are today and listen, understand and build bridges to ensure all our co-workers feel included and represented, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
How are we planning to close our inclusion gaps?
Continue with a strong listening culture
We’ll be launching an internal LGBTQ+ Co-worker Resource Group to create a safe space for co-workers, leaders, and allies to come together to support our goal of championing co-workers from underrepresented or marginalised groups and foster a diverse and inclusive work environment.
Leveraging partnerships with leading LGBTQ+ organisations
We are working closely with partners Stonewall and Global Butterflies, to ensure our LGBTQ+ co-workers feel at home at IKEA – this includes training to upskill our leaders, implementing new working practices that supports trans and non-binary inclusion and more workplace relevant LGBTQ+ inclusion education for all co-workers to further develop a culture where all co-workers fee they can be their true authentic selves.
Career path and talent development
We want to see more LGBTQ+ representation across all levels of our organisation and a more diverse and inclusive leadership. To increase opportunities for co-workers from under-represented groups progression and development, we have launched a Win-Win Mentorship programme which pairs co-workers with a senior leader in the organisation for reciprocal mentorship. The aim is for the senior leader to lean into the lived experiences of co-workers and advocate for change to improve the everyday, and the co-worker to get support for development and career opportunities.
Safer working practices and wellbeing at work
At IKEA, we care about the physical, mental, and financial wellbeing of all our co-workers and are committed to ensuring our co-workers feel safe at work. We are taking a pro-active approach to refresh our policies as part of our always-on methodology to continually review and update our policies and processes to meet the evolving needs of our co-workers.
How your donations have made an impact
"Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust delivers services that aim to support, educate and inspire LGBT+ persons under the age of eighteen. Donations from sale of STORSTOMMA bags allowed us to take our members on a retreat to recover from the pandemic, away from home, school and day to day worry, to take part in workshops, build sense of community and positive self-esteem."
Łukasz Konieczka (he/him), Executive Director
"The donations we received from IKEA enabled us to reach 167+ LGBTQIA+ people and support them with their mental, physical, emotional, and sexual health and wellbeing by signposting them to services within The Rainbow Project. We provide this support because of financial support from organisations (like IKEA) who don’t just use the rainbow flag to show their support visibly but put the work into learning how to be better, more inclusive and supporting us in a tangible way."
Jayne Robinson, Sustainability Officer
The Rainbow Project
"We're so grateful to IKEA and their customers for their contributions to The Proud Trust. Donations over the last few years have been directed towards the rebuilding of The Proud Place, our LGBT+ Community Centre in Manchester City Centre. Based in the heart of the city on Sidney Street, The Proud Place houses our growing charity and serves as a community hub for the wider LGBT+ population across Greater Manchester and beyond."
Rachael Baker (she/her), Fundraising Assistant Manager
The Proud Trust
"We are incredibly grateful to the IKEA stores in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen for their generous donation in support of our work with LGBTI young people. Through our youth groups, one-to-one support, and national participation projects we work every day to change the lives of LGBTI young people. Everyone that purchased a STORSTOMMA bag has contributed to this wonderful fundraising effort, which will help us be there for young people when they need it most."
Dr Mhairi Crawford, Chief Executive
LGBT Youth Scotland
Additional ways we support our LGBT+ co-worker and customers
At IKEA we believe that equality is a basic human right, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and we’re passionate about ensuring that all LGBT+ people feel safe and are free to be themselves. Our vision has always been to create a better everyday life for the many people, and that’s why we will continue to use our voice, scale, and reach to send a loud and proud message that we will always stand with and support the LGBT+ community.
We’re using our size and influence to advocate for LGBT+ rights outside IKEA. Together with other companies, civil society, our co-workers and customers, we want to be a force for positive change by supporting legislation and investing in education and awareness campaigns that tackle LGBT+ stereotypes.
- We have a global LGBT+ inclusion plan, ensuring that our entire company creates a workplace and environment that welcomes people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
- We recently launched our global Transgender Inclusion Toolkit for managers that includes a global guideline for creating a trans-inclusive workplace and trans-inclusive teams.
- We continue to offer training for our co-workers about inclusion, unconscious bias and LGBT+ issues to further support allyship.
- We have joined Workplace Pride Foundation and Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champions programme, organisations focused on LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace. We have also co-created and endorsed the UN Standards of Conduct on tackling discrimination against LGBT+ people in the workplace and in the community.
- We are proud members of Open for Business in 2020, a business coalition for advancing LGBT+ inclusion and providing a response to the growing backlash against LGBT+ inclusion in many parts of the world.
- In 2020, we made a global business commitment to racial equality, which includes increasing ethnic, racial and national diversity at all levels of leadership in 30 countries, by 2024.