Diverse working community

The foundation of our operations is our professional and committed personnel. We provide them with diverse career and development opportunities in various positions.

We are committed to promoting equal opportunities and non-discrimination in all of our operations. We aim to be an innovative and evolving working community in which every employee is accepted as they are. 

We focus especially on developing corporate culture, employee experience, competence development, leadership, and employee wellbeing.

Nearly 60% our employees work in Finland

In 2020, Kesko had an average of approximately 17,629 (2019: 20,852) full-time equivalent employees in seven countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. 59% of the personnel were based in Finland and 41% in our other operating countries.

Towards a new career

Internal job rotation opens up opportunities for various careers options. In 2020, 2,093 internal transfers were made in Finland (2019: 2,604) and 689 in the other operating countries (2019: 2,124).

A "New Job" operating model is used in Finland for situations where an employee's work capacity is permanently reduced compared to the requirements of the current job, and the employee is no longer capable of returning to their former job. The model provides a low-threshold way to search for a job and supplements the vocational rehabilitation supported by earnings-related pension providers.

By the end of 2020, with the help of this operating model, 13 persons had been employed in new jobs within or outside the Group or were in vocational rehabilitation or training.


We promote equal opportunities and diversity

Zero-tolerance for discrimination

Equal opportunities, fairness, non-discrimination and equality are important principles that are observed at Kesko. Kesko Corporation and its subsidiaries in Finland draw up statutory company-specific HR, training, equality and nondiscrimination plans and define objectives for improvement.

Kesko has established an Employee Equality and Diversity Group in accordance with a non-discrimination plan, which handles matters related to non-discrimination and equality within the Group. The Employee Equality and Diversity Group includes representatives of the employer, personnel and labour protection functions. Based on the working group's
initiative, in 2020 we drafted guidelines on how to react when a customer or a member of the working community speaks in a racist or otherwise derogatory manner. 

In 2020, we acted as one of the key partners in the Suitable Work for All project organised by the Finnish Association of People with Physical Disabilities and were involved in various events related to the project. No cases of discrimination were reported to us in 2020.

Diverse working community

In 2020, we prepared a programme for diversity and inclusion. As part of the preparation, in early 2020 we carried out stakeholder surveys on our customers, personnel, students, administration, investors and external experts on matters related to this. Based on these surveys, we outlined the main goals and potential development activities of our programme to build a more diverse and inclusive K Group.

We identified, for example, the need to develop practices for the inclusion of foreign language speakers and to continue the work to promote the conditions for persons with partial working capacity to continue in working life. We will continue to work on the programme in 2021.

According to the diversity policy of Kesko's Board of Directors, Kesko seeks to have a balanced representation of genders on the Board. At the end of 2020, women accounted for two out of the seven members of the Board of Directors, and two out of the eight members of the Group Management Board. In 2021, the number of women on the Group Management Board will increase to three as the new Executive Vice President in charge of corporate responsibility and public affairs will join Kesko.

To reduce the impact of language on gendered working life, we prepared a change in HR to stop using gendered job titles and terms. 

In the future, immigrants will be an increasingly important target group for recruitment into service positions in the retail sector. At present, the highest number of immigrants are employed in the stores and warehouses of K Group. 

Employing people with an immigrant background will require new operating methods – for example, the needs of people whose first language is not Finnish must be taken into account in guidelines and management.


Read more in Kesko's Annual Report.

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