How come you started to work at Essity? 

– There were several reasons. After pursuing an academic career as a researcher within the field of gender and organization, and then having led the global inclusion and diversity work at Volvo Group and Skanska, I felt ready for a new challenge. As I did my due diligence on Essity I found that the company’s beliefs and behaviors resonated with me, and that DEI was at the core of several of Essity’s products and brands. It’s exciting to work for a company where DEI is equally important from a marketplace perspective, as it is from a workplace perspective. On top of that, I was intrigued by the focus on innovation and sustainability. To be able to work with a leading global hygiene- and health company that is actively working to break social taboos and stigmas relating to hygiene and well-being, felt like an offer I could not resist. 

Can you describe your role? 

– Again, Essity has already a good foundation in place when it comes to diversity and inclusion. But my task is to ensure we move from good to great in a systematic and globally aligned way. When I started at the company in 2021, we also presented three global DEI ambitions. The first one is to ensure an inclusive workplace, the second is to have gender-balanced leadership, and the third is to accelerate the transition to reflect underrepresented groups. My overall task is to support our business leaders and managers to make this happen and also to make sure that we address this in line with local expectations and needs. 

Why would you say that DEI is important for a company like Essity? 

– There are so many reasons, but I believe that it works to activate our purpose, beliefs & behaviors and strengthens the core of what we want to be. In addition, diverse and inclusive teams drive innovation and inclusive leaders positively impact engagement and performance. But DEI also makes us a more attractive employer since the talent of today wants to be in an inclusive and diverse environment. Last but not least, DEI is also an important part of our sustainability agenda.

Why would you recommend someone to work for Essity?  

– Personally, I find it very rewarding to work for a company that makes a difference. Our products and the brands really live up to our aim of breaking barriers to well-being. In other words, they make the lives better for people all around the world on a daily basis, and we also actively work with breaking taboos and stigma related to hygiene, health, and wellbeing. But apart from that it is also a very open and diverse workplace. It is a truly global company with employees of many educational backgrounds and experiences. 

She adds: 

– I think Essity is a company with unique development opportunities, and where you are constantly challenged to consider new perspectives.  

Writer: Ola Claësson

Name: Pia Höök

Titel: Vice President Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 

Education: PhD in Business Administrations, Stockholm School of Economics