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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Unilever

We’re committed to building an inclusive culture where everyone working at Unilever, without exception, feels able to bring their complete and authentic self to work. We want all our employees to thrive every day irrespective of race, ability, sexual orientation, or gender.

To grow the best teams and future leaders, and to serve shoppers with the best products, we need to build brands and teams that reflect the diversity of the world we live in.

Creating a more inclusive world through our brands and advertising

We want to drive equal opportunity and inclusion not only within our workplaces but also within the communities and society we are part of. One way we can do this is by leveraging the voice and reach of our brands and our continued commitment to un-stereotype our campaigns.

Through our brands and advertising we want to help build a more inclusive world by representing and celebrating diversity and fighting harmful stereotypes on screen. Off screen, we are committed to working with diverse talent and creators and playing our role in promoting a more equitable society.

As a founding member of The Unstereotype Alliance, which was co-convened by UN Women and Unilever for the first time in Cannes in 2017, we want to use the power of advertising and brand led content to reflect realistic, non-biased portrayals of women and men. The Unstereotype Alliance has recently launched in the UK, supported by Unilever UK & Ireland and our brands, with a primary focus on fighting harmful stereotypes by addressing the representation of marginalised groups, initially focusing on the experience of women of colour.

Here's some ways our brands are helping to fight stereotypes and create better inclusion for all

"We all need to play our part in the effort to create a more equitable society, free from discrimination of any kind. Both individual and collective action is needed to create sustained positive change. I believe that business has an important role in shaping awareness, given how much of our time we spend at work with our colleagues, and at Unilever we are looking at what more we can do to embed these values in our company, and use our voice to help drive wider industry and societal change. Increasing our diversity and inclusion remains an absolute focus across the business - we are committed to doing more and to doing better."

SEBASTIAN MUNDEN Executive Vice President & General Manager for Unilever UK & Ireland

Our Global Commitment

Within our global business, our diversity and inclusion strategy is driven at the very highest level through our Global Diversity Board, which is chaired by our CEO, Alan Jope, and championed by Aline Santos, Unilever’s SVP Marketing and Global Head of Diversity. The board provides the overarching vision, governance and target setting for diversity and inclusion across the global business.

To find out more on what we’re doing to address diversity and create a fair workplace as a global business please click here.

Social mobility

As well as doing more to build a diverse business, we want to diversify our recruitment and the reach of our work experience and mentorship opportunities.

We recognise that people’s paths to work start long before they start looking for a job and that this path is much easier for those from privileged backgrounds. We are committed to boosting social mobility by giving people from less advantaged backgrounds a route into the workplace, and by showing young people the variety of careers open to them.

Our stories

Jane Maciver and Shelagh Muir, VP R&D Oral Care, have been successfully job sharing for the past two years.

“I knew that I wanted to progress into a more senior role but was keen to do so with the flexibility to invest in myself alongside my career. Job-sharing has been a huge benefit in terms of my health and wellbeing. For me, it’s so important to make space for all aspects of your life and to focus on a more holistic sense of purpose. Job-sharing gives us the opportunity to benefit and enjoy the challenge of fulfilling a VP role with the support of each other, whilst having the space, time and capacity to invest in our personal purpose outside of the working environment. On my days off I benefit from the opportunity to completely relax without any internal conflict of what I’m missing at work. For our role there’s a real benefit to having two brains over one. We have similar values but different networks, styles of working and expertise. We approach issues differently, which makes our output greater. We’re also a great support to each other and can bounce ideas off one another, which adds to our strength and creativity.”

Jane Maciver

I’d been working in this VP role for a while by myself and saw a huge opportunity in job-sharing the role, both from a personal and professional perspective. For me, the benefit of job-sharing is that it allows me to invest my time in other aspects of my life where I want to have an impact. Currently, I’m involved in working with my community garden which gives me a great sense of fulfilment. At Unilever, everybody has been incredibly supportive and encouraging. We both work three-day weeks, with a cross over day on Wednesday. The key point is we form one entity. It’s very rewarding working so closely with Jane and gives me a great energy within my role.”

Shelagh Muir

David Tregidgo, Human Resources Director, decided to take an eight-month shared paternal leave to focus on his family and support the birth of his daughter.

Being able to make time for the things that matter most, such as family, is important. When my wife and I were expecting our third child we decided to split shared parental leave and so my wife went back to work after 4 months and I then had the next 8 months off with our baby. I've also chosen for the second time in my career to work part time for a while, working four days a week, so that I can have more time with my daughter before she starts school. Having such a broad range of paternity and flexible working options available has given me the opportunity to support my family. I feel very lucky that working at Unilever that we have these options and are supported to make the most of them.

David Tregidgo
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