Diversity and Inclusion at Hindustan Unilever
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is committed to becoming a truly diverse and inclusive company. At HUL, diversity and inclusion are about embracing differences, creating possibilities and progressing together to build a sustainable business. HUL has always been a leader in driving change, breaking down barriers to inclusion, through purpose-driven brands, inclusive talent practices and livelihood generating community outreach programmes.
Building this belief and commitment further, the D&I Leadership Team of HUL, led by Sandeep Kohli, Executive Director – Beauty & Personal Care – HUL and constituting senior leaders from across all functions, have crafted a compelling vision and expanded its D&I charter to focus on inclusion of LGBTQ and persons with disabilities.
LGBT Inclusion and Pride Celebrations
On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17th May this year, HUL is taking a proactive step to launch a host of inclusive policies and benefits. HUL will now cover same-sex partners for all spousal benefits, extend gender transition support and invest in All Gender Restrooms across its offices in a phased manner. HUL has already begun tapping the LGBT talent pool and this is accompanied by a two-month long pride campaign in May and June to educate and sensitise employees on LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace. Besides a virtual campaign, there will be theatre-based interventions and Unstereotype conversations with LGBTQ role models.
The Pride campaign is the start of a journey to create a better understanding about the community, address challenges to inclusion and nudge the organisation’s culture even further by breaking down stereotypes about homophobia and transphobia that inhibit the expression of true identity.
Persons with Disabilities
Unilever’s Consumer Engagement Centre India continuously collaborates with non-profit organisations to hire individuals who are persons with disabilities (PwD). CEC India is an initiative under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan that aims to enhance livelihoods by creating employment opportunities for both persons with disabilities and socioeconomically underprivileged people. Today, CEC India has 5% PwD individuals and 31% from socioeconomically underprivileged backgrounds. HUL is also working on a project to enable employment for persons with disabilities through its brand Kwality Walls.
HUL is proud of its journey on gender balance, with more than 40% of managers being women, a significant achievement from 26% in 2012. In 2018, HUL shifted its cultural conversation through the launch of the Unstereotype Campaign during International Women’s Day and the activation of a forum for emerging women leaders.
Career by Choice continues to be HUL’s flagship ‘back to work’ programme for women returning from a career break giving them the platform to transition back to mainstream work by working on live projects while also allowing for flexibility.
Agile working policies, on-site daycare facilities at Mumbai Head Office & near office tie-ups in Bangalore, career break policy and excellent parental support programmes are essential enablers for gender inclusion in the workplace. All of these policies are gender-neutral in their approach and are applicable for all genders.
HUL launched two multi-faith prayer rooms at 99 East, its Learning Centre at the Mumbai Head Office earlier this month. These prayer rooms are an essential initiative for inclusion of employees from multiple faiths, providing them with a place to pray or indulge in quiet reflection, in a serene and distraction-free space.
HUL continues to consistently and meaningfully drive diversity and inclusion at the very highest level. The organisation believes in valuing people for who they are and thus, create high-performing teams that value different perspectives to build a sustainable business.