Unilever - champion of gender equality

Unilever works to create a better future every day. We help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with our brands and services. Operating in over 100 countries, employees and sales in more than 180 countries, Unilever products are used over 2 billion times a day by consumers everywhere. A few of Unilever’s brands include: Knorr, Dove, Lipton, Becel/Flora, Blue Band/Rama/Country Crock, Wall’s/OLA/Langnese/Ben&Jerrys, Hellmann’s, Calvé, Unox, Pond’s, Lux, Axe/Lynx, Sunsilk, Vaseline, Rexona/Sure, Omo, Surf, Cif, Signal and Glorix/Domestos.

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan outlines our goal to grow the business while reducing our environmental footprint and increasing the positive contribution which we make to society. It is vital that Unilever has people with the right talent, skills and creativity to support our growth ambitions. Unilever believes that having a gender-balanced engaged workforce reflective of our consumer base is a critical element of our long-term growth strategy which strengthens our company, maximizes our shareholders’ investments, and prepares us better to lead in the 21st Century. Unilever’s diversity and inclusion strategy is embedded in Unilever’s culture, allowing full and fair consideration and development of our 179,000 employees regardless of gender, nationality, race, creed, disability, style or sexuality.

In recent years, Unilever has increased its focus on gender balance and it is one of the key business goals and commitments for our Global Diversity Board which is chaired by our Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman.  It is this commitment that continues to drive Unilever’s ability to identify and develop the best talent, create an inclusive culture where our workforce can thrive. Unilever has implemented several initiatives notably its leadership immersion programs, mentoring, and agile working to engage our global workforce.

At Unilever we are seeing good results, with improvements in women representation in senior positions and the overall diversity of future talent.  Since 2007, the proportion of women in senior positions has risen to 29%. Forty percent of Unilever managers are women and more than 50% of our graduate recruits are women, but continuous improvement is key to reach our target of a truly gender balanced (50/50) workforce in 2015.

We are proud to be a champion sponsor of BITC Opportunity Now.  Unilever aims to leverage this partnership to better connect with organisations who play an important role in women’s development, sharing experiences and lessons learnt to further drive gender diversity into Unilever’s everyday working life.

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