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Unilever UK recognised for LGBTQ+ inclusion


Unilever UK has today received recognition from Stonewall for its commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ employees and consumers.

Stonewall LGBTQ+ Inclusive Employer Gold Award 2023

Unilever UK has today secured a top spot on Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list, ranking 16th place overall in the Workplace Equality Index – a climb of 43 places since last year.

In addition, Unilever UK has received Stonewall’s Gold award status for being a leading LGBTQ+ employer, and status of ‘Highly Commended Network’, for our LGBTQI+ employee network, proUd UKI.

Stonewall is Europe’s largest charity for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people. The charity fights for the rights and inclusion of all LGBTQ+ people at all life stages. The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index is a tool for organisations to benchmark and measure their LGBTQ+ inclusion practices against other organisations.

Helping our employees bring their best self to work

After achieving Top 100 Employer status last year, with Unilever UK being 59th place in the 2022 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, we have undertaken significant steps to further improve our inclusive working culture, including:

  • Continuing our support, through Unilever and our brands, of LGBTQ+ charities and events – for example, our Switchboard campaign in partnership with Superdrug which celebrated its fifth anniversary in June 2022, or being headline sponsors of Gloucester and Croydon Pride marches.

  • Our commitment to inclusive talent recruitment by supporting incentives such as MyGWork and National Student Pride, the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ careers fair.

  • Launching and adapting policies to support LGBTQ+ employees, including our fertility policy which supports all employees experiencing challenges, and is fully inclusive of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

  • Education and understanding – we offer training modules on our internal learning platform, including guidance on inclusive language and becoming an ally. Our proUd network also hosts regular events with guest speakers for employees to learn more.

For many of us, the majority of our time is spent at work, so if we had to hide who we are it can take a huge personal toll. Creating environments where we can all feel comfortable makes our workplace a safer, better and friendlier place for everyone.

Nancy Kelley, CEO of Stonewall (she/her)
People marching in the road, holding rainbow banner saying Croydon Pridefest

Our employee network: recognised by Stonewall

Our proUd network seeks to be a beacon of inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community and allies and has 1,200 members globally. The UK and Ireland proUd network has 400 members and has grown by 100 members in the past year alone.

Here are some of the activities our employee-led proUd network have organised over the last year to promote inclusivity and support for the LGBTQ+ community and allies:

  • Summer series of intersectionality events with other internal networks to highlight and give a platform to marginalised communities through panel events with engaging speakers to discuss issues and challenges faced by these communities and the support we can give. The webinar series included topics such as ‘Being Trans and Non-Binary in the Workplace’ and ‘Creating Cultures of Belonging Through the Lens of Disability and LGBTQ+ Identities’.

  • Training sessions given to network members to help build wellbeing and resilience and promote active allyship.

  • Storytelling training offered to proUd members to help share individual stories and build changemakers of the future.

  • Continued engagement in mentorship and wider supporting for the community, such as the TENT LGBT+ refugee mentorship scheme and supporting Just Like Us young ambassadors in their storytelling journeys.

Austin wearing a black t-shirt and smiling at the camera

"Myself and the whole network are absolutely thrilled with these results and all the hard work it represents for us to reach 16th place in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. To also receive Highly Commended Network status this year is amazing and is testament to the strong community we’ve built and continue to grow here at Unilever UK, so that everyone can bring their authentic selves to work."

Austin Key, proUd UKI Co-Chair (he/him)
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