Unilever finalist in Opportunity Now Awards

Unilever has been recognised for its efforts in making gender equality a business priority by being put through to the Finalist stages in the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards 2015.

Unilever is a finalist in the Global Award, in partnership with UN Women UK. This award is given for a programme or initiative with a global focus. Now in their 20th year, the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards recognise and celebrate the public and private sector organisations that are leading the way in creating workplaces that work for women through best practice, innovation and individual achievement. Opportunity Now is the gender equality campaign from Business in the Community.

Kathryn Nawrockyi, Opportunity Now Director, Business in the Community, said: “Congratulations to Unilever on being a finalist in the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards 2015. The standard of entries was incredibly high and all finalists demonstrated strong leadership and a commitment to transforming workplace culture, which lifted them above the rest. By taking the lead on women’s progression, moving it from a diversity initiative to a core business priority, they are at the forefront of driving change to create workplaces that work for women at all levels, across a wide range of sectors.”

Nationwide is generously sponsoring the Opportunity Now Awards. Tony Prestedge, Chief Operating Officer at Nationwide Building Society and Opportunity Now Board member, said: “Unilever offers an outstanding example of best practice and we would like to congratulate them on their success. 

At Nationwide, we believe that gender balance at all levels strengthens teams and improves performance – benefitting not only organisations but also the communities, customers and clients they serve. Supporting and developing talented people irrespective of their gender or background is intrinsic to Nationwide’s culture and doing the right thing is at the heart for everything we do. We are delighted to be sponsoring the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards for the second year running.”

The winners will be announced at the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards Gala Dinner, which takes place on Tuesday 21st April 2015 at the London Hilton on Park Lane during Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Week.

A full list of the shortlisted organisations in each of the nine categories is available via the Opportunity Now website.

Uzma Hamid-Dizier, Trustee, UN Women UK, said: “The competition is clearly growing and I think Unilever’s success is a good indicator of how organisations are thinking more strategically about how they can harness the collective potential of their female workforce and communities for good, and to benefit their value chains. I look forward to judging this year's contenders for the Opportunity Now Global Award.”


Notes to editors

For more information:

Katya Bridges

UK & Ireland Media Relations Manager, Unilever

T: 01372 945925 / M: 07785 450287


About Unilever:

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013). 

Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands, 14 of which - Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx - now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined nine commitments, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living.

Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP’s Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2014 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the fourth year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn’s third most sought-after employer worldwide in 2013.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.co.uk.

About opportunity now

Opportunity Now is the gender equality campaign from Business in the Community. Opportunity Now has defined three priorities that are critical to business in achieving the potential of people, teams and organisations. These are: a better gender balance for leadership progression; unbiased recognition and reward for all; and, agile work cultures that are fit for the future. For information about Opportunity Now's work on equality, diversity and inclusion please see http://opportunitynow.bitc.org.uk/.

About business in the community

Business in the Community is a business-led charity committed to shaping a new contract between business and society.

We have over 30 years’ experience forging better relationships between business and society, driven by a unique collaboration of business leaders. We stimulate action by challenging and supporting thousands of businesses to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future – through our local, national and international campaigns.

Business in the Community is one of The Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is president www.bitc.org.uk

Opportunity Now media contact: Laura Cooney, E: laura.cooney@bitc.org.uk T: 020 7566 8653

Katya Bridges - UK and Ireland Media Relations Manager

T: 01372 945925
M: 07785 450287


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