2016 is a historic year for Ericsson as it marks 140 years since the establishment of the company. This successful journey would not have been possible without the invaluable contributions made by our employees; it is their commitment that has made Ericsson one of the leading ICT companies in the world today. Attracting and retaining great employees is no mean feat - and Ericsson takes great pride in its global employee engagement efforts. The company considers its brand, and ability to provide meaningful career and growth opportunities as a key differentiator.
ICT, as an enabler, has empowered a greater financial inclusion for trading, commerce, improved access to health and education. At Ericsson, we have been privy to the immense transformation digital communication has inspired, giving billions of people the chance to reap the rewards of this phenomenon. This includes more opportunities to share ideas, obtain knowledge, and identify a wider variety of means to improve the quality of life.
These are the transformational factors that we credit for the creation of the Networked Society, which would not have been possible were it not for the 115,000 Ericsson professionals in 180 countries, as well as our valued customers.
As an organization, Ericsson plays a strong role as a responsible corporate citizen and the vital role that it plays in society, sustainability, and human development.
Since its establishment in 1876, Ericsson has directed its businesses through the evolution that the various markets and technologies have undergone. Human capital has always played a unique role in driving innovation - which Ericsson credits for the achievement of its many milestones - and has done throughout the last 140 years, from launching the first telephone set in 1882 to now introducing 5G networks throughout the globe and particularly in the Middle East. Ericsson considers the contribution and commitment of its employees as the key contributors to the success of the organization.
Ericsson continues to inspire its people through a variety of programs. The Employee Volunteer Program, for example, is being rolled globally, and offers employees three different options to play a greater role in contributing to global initiatives. The basic engagement model allows all employees to volunteer during normal work hours for one day a year. Projects enable employees with specific skills to engage in dedicated tasks, and Ericsson Response involves volunteers with high levels of commitment, relevant skills and mission readiness to participate.
The company also engages employees by creating viable career paths for them, and through other initiatives including its diversity and inclusion program, and its training and mentorship programs.
The nature of the ICT business is transformative itself. As Ericsson continues its journey of technological advancements to be the leading ICT company in the world today, it relies on the feedback from all its stakeholders, including its employees. Positively, almost all Ericsson employees in the region (96%) say that they are proud to work for the company while 80% attribute their satisfaction at work to our sustainability and corporate responsibility efforts.
Time and time again, we witness companies that are making investments into their human capital benefitting from a favorable outcome with their business endeavors, as they continue to recognize that individuals are driving the engagement. At Ericsson, we hold this mantra in the highest regard, and appreciate our employees' role in the long-term success of our business.