Girls take over K Group – responsible international purchasing enables a better future for girls and women around the world

Girls around the world challenged and took over the roles of political, societal and business leaders on 11 October, the International Day of the Girl, as part of Plan International’s #GirlsTakeover. At K Group, President and CEO Mikko Helander was challenged by the 18-year-old Ronja Holopainen.

The aim of #GirlsTakeover is to draw attention to the discrimination faced by girls around the world and to the power, potential and possibilities girls represent. This year, special focus in Finland was on the role and influence of Finnish companies globally. Although great strides have been made in gender equality around the world, many girls and women are still outsiders in many ways: 62 million young girls are not able to attend school, and often girls do not get to decide on matters that affect their lives.

“The success of both Finland and K Group is in large part due to the fact that women are full members of society. As K Group is a big operator also on an international scale, we have considerable influence when it comes to the promotion of women’s rights,” notes K Group’s President and CEO Mikko Helander.

“We were happy to have Ronja come and challenge us. For K Group, this is not just a one-day event, as we want to constantly and ambitiously strive towards responsibility and sustainability in our operations,” says Helander.

At Helander’s side, Holopainen got to meet and challenge K Group’s top management, especially on ways in which K Group can ensure supply chain sustainability and consequently the promotion of girls’ rights. As a consumer and future member of the workforce, Holopainen also shared her views on what actions are truly important for a trading sector company and employer that has a strong focus on the future.

“The best thing about Girls Takeover is the chance to provide a young perspective on the importance of children’s – and especially girls’ – rights and social responsibility. I expect this year’s takeovers to result in actual decisions and changes to the ways companies operate,” says Ronja Holopainen, who is also a member of Plan’s Children’s government.

More information on #GirlsTakeover can be found on Plan’s website

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