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Equity, diversity and inclusion

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Equity, diversity, and inclusion

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are the pillars of a thriving, progressive society, and business. They signify a stronger world and workforce, bringing us closer to our customers as well as a fairer world.

To this end, we take a holistic approach that focuses on using our scale and reach to have the greatest impact: driving equity through our workplaces, our brands, supply chain, and communities. We continue to invest in the capabilities of our business leaders and all employees to support equity advocacy, diversity awareness, and psychological safety. Our goals are aligned with the global sustainable development objectives and many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

HUL Compass ESG Goals

  • Achieve an equitable and inclusive culture by eliminating bias and discrimination in our practices and policies.
  • Accelerate diverse representation across all levels of leadership.
  • 5% of our workforce to comprise people with disabilities by 2025.
  • Spend INR 2,000 crores annually on diverse businesses by 2025.
  • Increase representation of diverse groups in advertising.

Our journey so far

  • We have achieved a 46% women representation at the managerial level and are working towards strengthening the same further*.
  • In 2022, we added 650 women on shop floors and 1000 Ahilyas, women in the frontline.
  • As of 2022, we have recruited over 100 people with disabilities in our workforce through the levers of attraction, accessibility, and awareness.
  • We have worked with 16 suppliers mostly owned by women entrepreneurs, at an expense of INR 50.5 Cr.
  • We have developed a scorecard to track performance for Gender-based Un-stereotype Performance in our ads and are on our way to including other ‘un-stereotype’ matrices for tracking.
  • We have taken decisive steps to improve gender balance in our sales frontline and outer core (3rd party and distributor-led workforce).
  • We are making progress to improve the representation of women on the factory shop floor with the addition of over 850 women across our factories.
  • Our first gender-balanced site in Sumerpur has made significant progress to build 40% women representation by FY '23.
  • We have established an inclusive working culture with systemic infrastructural investments in 3-shift working, gender sensitization workshops, hostels, creche, safe & clean hygienic washrooms, and safety systems.

*As of March 2023.

Building a gender-balanced organisation

  • At HUL, we aim for faster progress by hiring the best women talent across work levels, providing career development and mentorship opportunities, agile working, parental support and return to work support through creche, day care and lactation facilities.
  • By 2022, we had achieved a gender balance of 46% at managerial levels* and inducted many female shop-floor employees at our Haldia, Garden Reach, Gandhidham, Sumerpur, and Kidderpore factories.
  • We extend flexible working, formal career breaks, and parental support to employees of all genders and sexual orientations.
  • We actively recruit members of LGBTQI+ communities, persons with disabilities, and other minority groups.

*As of March 2023.

Code of Business Principles (PDF 8.52MB)

HUL Women in STEM Fellowship

Image of HUL CEO & MD, Rohit Jawa at the HUL Women In STEM fellowship launch event at Bangalore
  • This Fellowship is designed to support top women scholars from leading Indian institutes, to pursue their higher education in STEM in areas that are aligned to Unilever’s Compass Goals and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The first edition of this Fellowship was announced with the Indian Institute of Science as our partner institute on Nov 27, 2023.
  • The selected HUL Fellows will receive an award along with a financial scholarship for 5 years each, which is benchmarked against the highly prestigious PMRF (Prime Ministers Research Fellowship).
  • In addition to the financial scholarship, these Fellows will also have access to senior mentors both from Unilever and from our External Ecosystem – addressing a major challenge around the lack of role models & mentorship faced by women in Higher STEM education.

Promoting women’s safety in operational communities

  • We hope to achieve sustainable growth by increasing awareness of sexual harassment, and gender-based violence and strengthening our grievance mechanisms.
  • Our key policies promote safety for women, in all the communities and supply chains we operate.
  • We published a Global Women’s Safety Framework in Rural Spaces (PDF 6.53MB) through our partnership with UN Women that works towards improving the safety of women in agriculture and tea supply chains in India.
  • The Women’s Safety Accelerator Fund addresses women’s safety and gender-based violence in the Indian tea sector. Its goal is to ensure that ‘all women and girls are socially, economically, and politically empowered in rural spaces that are free from sexual harassment and other forms of violence’.
  • It has benefitted over 2 lakh tea garden workers, mostly women, across 162 tea estates from 31 tea-producing companies in Assam and West Bengal with training and capability building.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were the first in India to formally launch a holistic, gender-neutral policy for survivors of domestic and other forms of abuse by offering them access to counselling, special paid leave for appointments with support agencies and solicitors, temporary/permanent changes to working hours and patterns, and more.
  • In 2022, as part of the #Unmute campaign, we conducted an education and awareness campaign around safety at home, at the workplace, and in public spaces.

*Recognised by the Economic Times 2022 as one of the Best Organisations for Women.

  • We encourage voluntary self-disclosure and reasonable accommodation policy to enable employees to maintain discretion and avail support.
  • We promote allyship through inclusion workshops, training, and by celebrating game-changers from the community.
  • We have also ensured the provision of gender-inclusive restrooms across our main offices.
  • Our experiential learning program SAKSHAM is an internship program with a Path to Hiring for Persons with Disabilities.
  • We have also completed an accessibility audit across nine factories in India. While the audits are ongoing at some of our sites, our Dapada unit is confirmed as fully accessible as per audit recommendations.
Hindustan Unilever inclusive workplace for PwDs

Access to training and skills

Glow and Lovely Careers

  • A programme to help women establish their own identity by availing career guidance, skill-based courses, and information on job opportunities.
  • The platform addresses multiple skilling barriers faced by Indian women, including limited access to transportation, lack of parental permission, expensive courses, and the lack of good local institutes.
  • The website offers skill-based courses in partnership with well-known ed-tech companies like edX, English Edge, Hello English, start-ups such as www.testbook.com and www.idreamcareer.com, and internship opportunities through our online training partner, Internshala.

Improving farmers’ livelihoods

  • As one of the largest FMCG companies in the country, we generate direct and indirect employment across our value chain, with our brand value helping us strive towards a socially-inclusive world.
  • SHFs enrolled in trustea* are trained in the conscientious/judicious use of agrochemicals, nutrition management based on soil analysis, and implementation of sustainable agricultural practices.
  • They also have access to formal training opportunities in sustainability associated with the environment, safety, and livelihoods.
  • We work with numerous farmers and suppliers to improve the environmental standards of our supply chains.
  • The Unilever Sustainable Agricultural Code, along with trustea and the Rainforest Alliance, has worked since 2010 to implement the best farming principles.
  • SHFs are trained in the Tea Board of India’s Plant Protection Code (PPC), with personal protective equipment (PPEs) benefiting them in terms of health and compliance.

*trustea is a multi-stakeholder programme, locally owned, and developed Indian sustainability tea code.

Expanding opportunities

Project Shakti

  • The project aims to financially empower and provide livelihood opportunities to women in rural India.
  • Our team of rural sales promoters (RSPs) coach and help Shakti Entrepreneurs manage their business.
  • ‘Shakti Ammas’ have vouched for Project Shakti in elevating their social status within their immediate family as well as the larger community.
  • By the end of 2022, the project had supported over 1,90,000 Shakti Ammas across 18 states and continues to drive exceptional growth in relevant fields.
  • We are upskilling Shakti Ammas on various social and digital outlines to remain future-fit. Our self-ordering retailer app, Shikhar, being used by nearly 50% of Shakti Ammas currently, is a testimonial of the digital advancement made through our upskilling efforts.
  • Shakti Ammas also act as agents of social change influencing nutrition, waste recycling, and hygiene aspects through dedicated training on health and nutrition.

Project Prabhat

  • Our sustainable community development initiative is closely linked to the Unilever Compass and addresses local community needs at the grassroots level, in line with India’s development agenda and the UN SDGs.
  • Our objective is to create sustainable communities in and around HUL sites through project interventions.
  • Through Prabhat’s 18 livelihood centres, women and youth are trained on vocational skills and entrepreneurship development, making them future-fit. Inclusivity is built by involving persons with disabilities (PWDs), transgenders, and other vulnerable communities.
  • Nearly 110,000people have been imparted skill development and training through Prabhat’s livelihood centres and almost 65,000 people have secured employment.

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