Race

An image linking to Unilever page dedicated to race.

At Unilever UK & Ireland we are taking decisive action to improve racial diversity within our business as well as using our brands and voice to address systemic racism and discrimination. We believe business has a critical role to play in creating an equitable society which is intolerant of intolerance.

Here are a few ways we’re working to drive change:

Reflecting the diversity of society

We are working towards our target to be a business which fully reflects Black and Asian representation in the society and communities we are part of. Through partnerships and recruitment programmes, we are working to ensure our work experience and vacancies reach, and are accessible to, ethnic minority candidates.

As part of our U-Experience programme, we’ve partnered with The Amos Bursary, who are committed to reducing the unemployment rate for young men of Afro-Caribbean descent by connecting them to opportunities for mentorship and work experience. And at the top, we are looking at what more we can do to ensure better race representation in our leadership team.

Using our brands to accelerate change

We are also looking at what more we can do to leverage the power of our brands to be anti-racist through their own purpose and campaigns, so we can help to build a world where racism is not accepted.

We will also use our brands to drive industry change in marketing by demanding change to representation, both on and off screen, working only with partners and agencies who share these values and ensuring we un-stereotype 100% of our advertising.

Empower

We’ve established our employee race network, Empower, who will support internal momentum towards our race targets and commitments.

With the guidance of our Empower network we want to create a workplace community where our ethnic minority colleagues can be their authentic selves and thrive, where every culture is celebrated, but also to create a community for race allies to drive meaningful change across our full organisation.

Setting targets and commitments

As a Business In The Community member, we’ve signed the Race At Work Charter which holds us accountable for taking five actions to drive progress and positive outcomes for our ethnic minority colleagues and future colleagues. These include appointing an executive level champion for race, board level commitment to a zero tolerance of harassment and taking action that support ethnic minority career progression – all of which have been actioned.

We are also a founding signatory of the CBI’s Change the Race Ratio campaign, which calls for all businesses to set and publish clear targets for greater racial and ethnic diversity at board and senior leadership levels.

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Dipesh Patel

In the UK & Ireland our Empower network is championed by Dipesh Patel, our Data and Insights Director

I strive every day to ensure there is more racial equity across Unilever. Our business goal is to mirror the racial representation of the consumers we serve internally but also to leverage the power of our brands, suppliers and communities to lead the way in driving industry and societal change.

We are making really good progress in the UK and Ireland but we recognise we have more work to do – from small every day personal actions, broader and deeper education and awareness, to creating the conditions where more of the best BAME talent want to build long term careers with us. I’m really excited to be on this journey to break down barriers for ethnic minorities in our workplace and to create a fair and inclusive culture.

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