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Equality for all in our everyday life

8 March, International Women's Day

We recognise that equality lies at the heart of human rights. That’s why we are working to create inclusive environments in all kinds of communities, from the home to the workplace and across society, so that everyone can live their everyday life in equality. IKEA calls for equality, so that everybody can live in a society where they are free to be themselves.

Video message—Working towards equality for all in our everyday life

    For International Women's Day, we are happy to share a video message on gender equality. In this video, co-workers at IKEA Japan and the CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer, Petra Färe, give their perspectives on the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion to achieve a society where everyone is equal at home and in the workplace.

    We've released a video message of our co-workers discussing equality, diversity and inclusion at IKEA. They speak from different perspectives about the importance of an equal workplace where they can work the way they want to and an environment where diversity is accepted.

    Gender equality at IKEA​

    IKEA aims to ensure all co-workers, regardless of gender, can work in an equal environment. IKEA supports women-oriented housework and childcare throughout the company. Equality starts at home!​

    For International Women's Day, we'll be launching story sharing for IKEA Japan co-workers between Tuesday 1 March and Tuesday 8 March 2022, in order to create more opportunities for learning and thinking about equality, diversity and inclusion. Also during this period, we'll be running sessions on gender equality for co-workers' children, and sessions on equality in the home for co-workers and their partners by Representative Director Tetsuya Ando of the NPO Fathering Japan.

    ©The Yomiuri Shimbun​

    “A better life begins with the creation of an equal home” - Mikako Tanaka (IKEA Kohoku Communications & Interiors Manager)

    ©The Yomiuri Shimbun​

    “In July 2021, the proportion of female managers at IKEA Japan reached 51%. This is an incredibly high number in Japan, but it's certainly nothing special in itself.” Tamae Asayama (IKEA Japan Country People and Culture Manager)

    This year, as part of our efforts to promote gender equality, IKEA is taking part in "SDGs in Everyday Life " project (The Yomiuri Shimbun) that support children's education, which is one of the key sustainable development goals (SDGs).

    • As a business founded in Sweden, a country known for its progressive stance on gender equality, IKEA has been involved in the production of a pamphlet titled “SDGs exploring book - Let's talk about Gender Equality” (The Yomiuri Shimbun Education Network Office), aimed at elementary and middle school students to encourage them to think about what they can do to improve gender equality in their everyday life at home and at school. This pamphlet includes examples from Sweden and initiatives undertaken by IKEA to create inclusive environments that embrace diversity in the workplace, in businesses and society, in order to explain gender equality in a way that can be easily understood by schoolchildren. IKEA hopes that by reading this pamphlet, many people, regardless of gender, will find tips on things that they can do to help bring about gender equality in society, and provoke them into considering gender equality as a personal problem to them, too. In December this year, roughly 70,000 copies of this pamphlet are planned to be distributed to approximately 160 elementary, middle and high schools across Japan. See the digital version here.

    IKEA held three special classes on the theme of gender equality at three different elementary schools to coincide with Human Rights Day. The young students are encouraged to think about gender equality as a problem that they should be personally invested in.

    ©The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Here's what some of the students had to say:​

    ​“I understand the importance of moving towards a society where everyone can live equally, no matter what their gender, nationality or race is.” “I think we have to make a society where people aren't "girly" or "manly", but can just be themselves instead.”

    ​“Even if someone thinks differently to me, I want to respect their opinion. Also, I want to become someone who recognises that we are equal as people, and who can value the people around them.”

    “I'm male, so I probably won't encounter much prejudice. But I think that's all the more reason that I can't just say 'it doesn't matter'. Instead I have to be proactive and do something about it. I think it's a shame that men have a hard time taking part in looking after kids, and I want to bear that in mind in the future.”

    “I've really got the impression that certain people aren't more or less suited to certain roles; everybody who's been born is equal.”

    “I think we can make gender equality a reality by making places where men and women aren't segregated but can accomplish the same things. Whether they want to do it or not is up to the individual, but I think we'll come a bit closer to gender equality in Japan if we can set up places where they can accomplish the same things.”

    “I thought a lot about what we can do right now about problems in society.” ​

    Equality actions at local communities

    Taking part in HAPPY WOMEN FESTA AICHI 2022IKEA

    Nagakute will be taking part in HAPPY WOMEN FESTA AICHI 2022, on Tuesday, 8 March. Yoko Makita, the Market Manager at IKEA Nagakute, will deliver a message on the importance of gender equality, and a co-worker wearing yellow IKEA shopping bags will appear as a special guest at a fashion show.

    The IKEA Family Children's Fund

    IKEA is working to promote equality and diversity for children and families living in the most vulnerable communities around the globe, respecting human rights in everything that we do. ​

    At IKEA Japan, we donate ¥10 to this cause every time a customer presents their IKEA Family member number at checkout. These reserves form a foundation by which we are able to donate IKEA products to facilities that support child development, most of which are local to IKEA stores. And we help out with everything from the interior design to the installation. ​

    In FY2021 (September 2020 to August 2021), IKEA stores in Japan raised a reserve fund totalling ¥54,701,610. Thank you for your support! ​

    Of all the projects that we were able to get off the ground using these funds, we would like to highlight two initiatives in particular.

    We decorated and helped to furnish the interior at the Nagakute North Children's Centre in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture. We contacted the centre ahead of time to find out what they needed, and created a number of indoor spaces that made the most of each room's characteristic traits to allow children to have fun and grow up well. ​(IKEA Nagakute​)
    We undertook a project to build a children's area at every library in each of Osaka's 24 wards. Construction for Miyakojima Library and Ikuno Library, two of the eleven total libraries, was completed in FY2021. (IKEA Tsuruhama​)

    In order to realise our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, IKEA Japan has become involved with a number of different good causes. For more details about the projects that we have undertaken so far, please see here

    IKEA Family Children's Fund

    Equality at work in IKEA

    At IKEA, we feel it is important for all co-workers to be respected for their diversity and treated with equality. ​Our co-workers at IKEA are offered equal opportunities regardless of their position, age, gender or nationality.​

    IKEA Japan: definitions and leave systems for partners

    At IKEA Japan, we define partners as either spouses, or persons who are not spouses but have been registered as residents of the same address for over 12 months. Regardless of whether they are part of a legal marriage, common-law marriage or same-sex marriage, all partners are able to receive the same family benefits. Co-workers can receive special consecutive paid leave after their partner gives birth or, alternatively, for cases where they become a guardian to a child who would not otherwise qualify them for childcare leave, special leave for childcare (unpaid, with return-to-work compensation).

    Regular part-time employees system

    Our hope is that our co-workers can increase their potential and grow as people through their work at IKEA. We strive for a working environment built on equal pay and equal working conditions, in which co-workers at all stages of life can work in a way that suits them, and continue to work with us over the long term with peace of mind. To this end, IKEA Japan introduced the regular part-time employees system in September 2014, making all of our co-workers permanent employees (excluding students and those on part-time contracts). The growth structures at IKEA include improvements to unlimited-term contracts and employment benefits (such as defined contribution company pension plans).

    Internal job posting system (OPEN  IKEA)​

    We encourage each of our co-workers to build a career that suits them. With no fixed career paths, they can choose their next challenge to suit their current life stage and desires. Co-workers can apply for all kinds of positions, not just in Japan, but around the world.

    Achieving a gender balance 50/50 in Management Positions​

    IKEA is working to establish a diverse, inclusive working environment. We aim to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by granting equality of opportunity to both men and women in all countries, at all levels, and in any position (including the board of directors and committees). We believe that achieving an equal gender balance will benefit everyone. In July 2021, the proportion of female managers at IKEA Japan reached 51%.

    Other Initiatives

    There are many structures and supports in place to continue giving co-workers equal opportunities, including expansion of our women's network and mentoring system, and DAGIS (on-site childcare facilities) at our IKEA Tokyo-Bay and IKEA Nagakute branches.

    Our jobs offer equal opportunities.
    No matter someone's age, gender, nationality or anything else, everyone works together.
    We offer benefits that suit people at all stages of life.

    Equality awareness survey

    In 2020, IKEA conducted a survey on the topic of equality. We learnt that there is a large gap in awareness of equality when comparing Japan to the rest of the world, and there are also differences in awareness between genders.

    Source: IKEA Retail (Ingka Group), Survey Period: 28 July to 28 August 2020

    Current picture in Japan

    Are you satisfied with the level of equality at home, in the workplace and in society? 

    At Home

    In the Workplace

    Across Society

    Differences between Genders 

    Do you think that Japanese society still has a long way to go in improving disparity between men and women?

    How much of the housework are you responsible for?

    Japan and the World 

    Does all of the family get involved to help achieve shared goals?

    Should housework be divided equally between men and women?

    Life at Home Report 2021

    Every year, IKEA sends out surveys to thousands of people across the globe in order to understand what is needed for people to live a better everyday life at home, and publish the results in a report. Home is the most important place in the world. That's why IKEA is serious about making the home a better place.

    The theme of the 2021 report was mental wellbeing. We learnt from the survey results that it's important for people's mental wellbeing for them to find balance in their life at home. We'll introduce key points across five themes including relationship for a balanced life at home. Read full report for more.