H3. Employees

Essity comprises on average 46,385 (42,149, 39,951) employees in some 50 countries, of whom 34% (32, 31) are women. The employee turnover rate is 14% (13, 11). The majority of Essity’s employees are permanent/full-time employees and a minor share, about 5%, are temporary/part-time employees.

Individual development

In 2017, 92% (90, 96) of white-collar employees participated in performance management reviews. The corresponding number for blue-collar employees is 80% (85, 85).

In all the reporting countries, Essity pays above the legislated minimum salaries. France, Germany and Sweden are three of the wholly owned Essity subsidiaries with the most employees. In France, female managers’ salaries ranged between 96% and 109% of men’s. For women on non-managerial levels, the corresponding figures were 105–114%. In Germany, female managers’ salaries ranged between 86% and 89% of men’s. For women on non-managerial levels, the corresponding figures were 99% and 129%. In Sweden, female managers’ salaries ranged between 86% and 96% of men’s. For women on non-managerial levels, the corresponding figures were 96% and 104%.


In 2017, 127 people participated in the mandatory one-day onboarding program for all newly appointed managers. 312 participated in Core 1, a six-day program to develop managers who have been in their role for six to 12 months. 80 managers participated in Core 2, a leadership program to develop people’s capabilities to lead in a complex environment, engage people and drive change. Creating Value and Driving Business Performance are two courses with the aim to further strengthen participants’ capabilities in strategic leadership areas. In 2017, 65 people participated in these programs.

Other programs include the Hygiene Academy, which offers branding training, and the Digital Academy. Essity also has sustainability training programs in place that focus on innovations, messages and communication. The aim to improve the understanding of sustainability’s impact on products and services, customers and consumers. In total, 1,415 people participated in 47 different training sessions in the programs.

The average number of training hours per employee was 17.


In 2017, the proportion of women among Essity’s top management was 36% (33, 35) Among senior management, the proportion of women was 27% (25, 24) and 23% (27, 29) among senior/middle management.

Senior management comprised 18 (21, 28) different nationalities and the corresponding figure was 36 (32, 42) for senior/middle management. Encouraging greater diversity is part of Essity’s leadership platform and succession planning.

Leveraging a strong winning culture

Essity carries out All-Employee Surveys on a regular basis for all employees. The latest survey was conducted in 2015, and received a response rate of 88% (86, for year 2013) of the workforce. The next All-Employee survey will take place in 2018.

The survey covers a total of 47 aspects in nine dimensions. The results are expressed as indexes for leadership, innovation, customer orientation and engagement, as well as an overall Essity index. The Essity index for 2015 was 72 (70, for year 2013) on a scale 0–100.

All managers prepare action plans together with their employees based on the outcome of the survey. The next employee survey will be carried out in 2018.

Employee relations

Union involvement varies among Essity’s countries of operation, but on average 61% (54, 58) of Essity’s employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

In addition, there are health and safety committees on which representatives of about 86% (87) of the workforce serve.

WASH pledge

As a hygiene and health company, Essity wants its employees to enjoy first-class standards when it comes to workplace hygiene. Essity reported its WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Pledge for the first time in 2016. The pledge is an initiative linked to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). By signing the pledge, Essity undertakes to comply with a prescribed workplace WASH standard for its wholly owned units within three years. This includes areas such as workplace sanitation and health issues, as well as training to improve employees’ awareness. By the end of 2017, 79% (61) of Essity’s wholly owned hygiene products’ production sites complied with the standard.

Senior and middle management by nationality 2017

Senior and middle management by nationality 2017 (pie chart)

Senior and middle management by gender 2017

Senior and middle management by gender 2017 (pie chart)

Age distribution 2017

Notes to non-financial information – Age distribution 2017 (pie chart)