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Unilever UK recognised for LGBTQI+ inclusion


Awarded Gold Employer (top 100) and 3rd place in the Retail/FMCG category by the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. Unilever has also been shortlisted as one of the ‘Top 10 inclusive companies’ by The British LGBT Awards.

Stonewall Gold Employer 2022

Unilever has been awarded Gold Employer by the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and shortlisted as one of the ‘Top 10 inclusive companies’ by The British LGBT Awards, recognising our work to further LGBTQI+ inclusion and create a safe and supportive space for LGBTQI+ employees in the UK.

Highlights include:

  • Growing our internal proUd network to over 300 employees across the UK and Ireland, including allies of the community. In 2021 despite the challenges of Covid-19, the network tripled in size and ran a series of virtual events from Drag Bingo to educational panel sessions. Already in 2022, proUd have run a series of events to mark LGBT+ History Month and are looking forward to a physical presence at Pride events across the country in June.
  • Launching new policies to support LGBTQI+ employees, including a new fertility policy that supports all employees experiencing fertility challenges, and is fully inclusive of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This includes Bupa support for the IVF medical process.

    Our transition/change of gender expression policy was launched in 2021 to ensure that we are giving employees who are trans and non-binary or questioning their gender identity, a safe space where they can be themselves and a workplace where they feel supported. Alongside the policy, Bupa support has been made available to colleagues and their families who require support on their journey.

    We have rebranded our paternity leave policy to a partner leave policy, in acknowledgement of all families and removing gender suggested norms.
  • Supporting the wider LGBTQI+ community through partnerships and advocacy: Unilever is entering its 3rd consecutive year of partnering with Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline, with over £100,000 being jointly-donated with Superdrug to the charity in the last two years. Unilever has raised awareness for this vital service by featuring Switchboard’s name and number on products like Close-Up, Vaseline, Lynx and Simple, that end up in thousands of homes across the UK.

    In 2021, Unilever signed on to be a member of TeamPride, a consortium of world-leading brands supporting the Rainbow Laces campaign to make sport more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community. Unilever has also signed up to the LGBTI+ Refugee mentorship scheme in partnership with TENT to support refugees in settling in a new country and progressing their careers in a new industry.
  • Diversifying our recruitment and supply chain: Unilever has been recognised for its work on recruiting diverse talent through our partnerships with myGwork, the LGBTQI+ Talent Network and National Student Pride. Unilever has also committed globally to spending £1.7 billion annually with diverse suppliers, including those that are LGBTQI+ owned.
  • Participation in workplace equality indices: Identifying areas where Unilever is leading the way in equity, diversity and inclusion, and highlighting areas where we are still able to improve further. In 2020 Unilever was identified as Workplace Pride’s ‘Most improved LGBTQI+ inclusive private-sector organisation globally’.

Tyler Lee, Chair of the proUd network said: “I’m so pleased that Unilever has been acknowledged externally as a Top 100 employer, helping us to recruit more diverse talent to the business. For the network this is incredible recognition of the work we do and will allow us to identify areas where we can continue to push and do more to support Unilever becoming a beacon of LGBTQI+ inclusion.”

Richard Sharp, Vice President of HR for the UK & Ireland said: “Diverse people and different points of view make us stronger as a business – they make our decisions better, they bring creativity and innovation, and they make our workplace a more interesting place to be. It’s great that our progress is being recognised and I hope this indicates to current and future LGBTQI+ employees that Unilever is a place that welcomes, supports and values you.”

Employee stories

About the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index

The Stonewall workplace equality index is a benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace. Unilever last submitted to the index in 2019 where we ranked 370th. However in 2022 we are delighted that we have moved to 59th in the UK as well as receiving a Gold Employer award. Unilever have also ranked 3rd in the Retail/FMCG category.

About The British LGBT Awards

The British LGBT Awards were founded in 2014 with the aim of shining a spotlight on role models, organisations & allies who are working towards bettering the needs of the LGBT+ community. Unilever has been shortlisted as a top 10 employer, with the winner announced at the awards ceremony in June 2022.

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