To achieve Orkla’s business goal of growth in a global market, the company is dependent on attracting competent individuals and developing a corporate culture based on a broad range of experience and expertise. The Group’s view is that ensuring a diversity of experience and perspectives among management and employees enhances the quality of decisions, and is important for the companies’ value creation.
Diversity and non-discrimination remained an important focus for Orkla in 2011. During the year, the Group’s internal standards in this field were clarified in the revision of Orkla’s directives on corporate responsibility and business ethics, and through the elaboration of a special policy on human rights for the Group.
Orkla’s businesses aim at achieving a more even gender balance among its employees, and attaches importance to this factor when recruiting new staff. At the end of 2011, the Group had 9,913 women employees, equivalent to 33.3% of its workforce. The corresponding figure for 2010 was 34.1%.
Orkla has collaborated with the nonprofit organisation, Alarga, for several years on helping young people of minority origin gain easier access to the labour market. In 2011, a representative of the Orkla Group headed Alarga’s Advisory Board, and the Group gave an educational grant to one of the students in the Alarga programme. Through this partnership, Orkla has provided grants for four students in the period 2007-2011. The Group is also engaged in a partnership with Ambisjoner.no, a career and education web portal for persons of minority background.
Pay and working conditions
Orkla aims to ensure that all employees are paid in accordance with the pay targets and collective wage agreements drawn up by employers’ organisations and other bodies in the relevant countries. Orkla emphasises expertise, the complexity of the position, performance and competitiveness in the market, regardless of gender, ethnicity or disability. Another factor considered important in promoting gender equality is measures that make it easier to combine a career with family life.
In 2011, the results of Orkla’s Groupwide employee opinion survey, which was conducted in the autumn of 2010, were broken down and discussed by the companies. The purpose of the survey was to understand how employees assess their work situation, identify areas for improvement and implement relevant measures to ensure good organizational development and profitable growth.
Promotion and development opportunities
Orkla aims to increase the percentage of women in leading positions. The proportion of women among the Group’s senior executives is stable. In 2011, 22% of the Group’s 465 top executives were women. The proportion of women among all managers at all levels of the Group’s businesses was 25%, on par with in 2010. Examples of measures to increase the proportion of women include a special focus on female managers in the annual management evaluations, giving women priority in connection with leadership development courses, the requirement always to identify a female candidate for senior positions, and the measurement of gender-balance trends.
To promote a wider range of international backgrounds and experience among Orkla’s managers, there is emphasis on broad geographical participation in leadership development programmes. Twelve different nationalities were represented among the 24 participants in the Orkla Senior Management Programme in 2011.
Protection against harassment
Orkla does not tolerate any form of insulting behaviour, harassment, discrimination or other conduct that colleagues, business contacts or others may find threatening or demeaning. All employees are entitled to fair and equal treatment. The topic of discrimination is included in the general training provided on the working environment, and discrimination is defined as a risk factor. There are established procedures for dealing with harassment, in the form of a whistle-blowing service on Orkla’s website. This service is intended to give employees and others the opportunity to alert the Group’s governing bodies to possible breaches of the Orkla Code of Conduct in cases where a matter cannot be resolved at the local level. Procedures have been put in place for dealing with such notifications.