Taking a step towards Inclusion
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) recently hosted a roundtable on Inclusion and Advancement of Persons with Disability in partnership with Sodexo, who have been trailblazers in this space globally. This was HUL’s first ever external event on Inclusion, exclusively dedicated to Persons with Disabilities, who make up ~1.3 billion of the world population.
The 2 ½ hour session hosted by Sandeep Kohli, Executive Director & VP, Beauty & Personal Care, South Asia, who also heads the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Team at HUL, at our Mumbai HO, opened with heart-warming personal stories of Disability Inclusion and acceptance at the workplace by our external speakers - themselves persons with Disabilities.
Dev Bajpai, Executive Director, Legal, HUL shared his journey of driving his purpose - to make the world a better place for children with autism. The hallmark of the event was that it was truly inclusive, with a sign-language interpreter for the attendees who were persons with hearing impairments.
In addition, there was a networking engagement before and after the event, with 40+ NGO’s who set up exhibits on assistive devices, advancements and technology / tools available for persons with disabilities to help them succeed and thrive in the workplace and agencies who can help tap this talent pool from the India Business Disability Network including the Indian Armed Forces- Paraplegic Rehab Centre, DEOC, Sarthak, Youth4Jobs, etc. Over 120 delegates from different companies, braved the Mumbai rains and actively and enthusiastically engaged on the subject of diversity and inclusion.
Building a Culture of Change
Aakriti Chandra, General Manager Talent and Organization, Unilever South Asia said, “The Roundtable on Inclusion and Advancement of Persons with Disabilities proved to be an excellent platform for collaborating with thought leaders from across companies to become the change agents we need, to make a difference in this area. We are looking forward to partnering with our industry colleagues and hoping the discussion sparks great ideas, conversations and meaningful actions.
“The key goal of the event was to inspire and ignite leaders for action on inclusion of persons with disabilities. Through the panel discussion, we will have also built a platform for companies to share their view on topics like the top challenges we could face in becoming more inclusive at the workplace, and how to overcome them” says Sunita Wazir, Wellbeing and Inclusion Lead South Asia.
We are excited to share that Hindustan Unilever is on a journey of enabling the workplace and making it so much more inclusive for Persons with Disabilities.