Hindustan Unilever Ltd is in a strong position to help empower women around the country – over 70% of our consumers are women and they play essential roles in our value chain. We also engage women as growers, distributors, and factory and office employees. Since 2009, HUL has been committed to building a gender-balanced organisation and we have a clear ambition to have 50% women in management positions by 2020. We have come a long way and have improved our gender balance from 19% in 2010 to 36% in 2017.
We have been able to achieve this through a holistic approach –
- Leadership commitment – Clear gender diversity targets are set across functions and leaders are held accountable for delivery of the same. Regular diversity dialogues are held with leaders to create buy in and demystify any myths and biases related to gender balance.
- Enabling infrastructure and policies – Our policies are gender neutral and hence have created a larger impact on all employees across the organization.
- We have a state of the art day care and best in class maternity, paternity and adoption leave policy (in place since 2006, before the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act came into being in 2017) to provide adequate support to new parents.
- We also have an online portal for employees and their line managers to help smooth transition during the crucial period of parenthood. 100% women proceeding on maternity leave come back to resume their roles at HUL.
- Agile and flexible working policies, career break policy, career by choice program which enables talent to deliver key business outcomes while working flexibly have been the other key enablers for creating a more inclusive and conducive work environment.
- We have also introduced concierge services and elder care support for our employees in an endeavour to help them take care of their families and maintain a better work life balance.
- We have policies around safety for women and stringent policies against sexual harassment at the workplace.
- Building an inclusive culture – The softer elements of culture and inclusion involve building leadership capability on inclusion through training interventions, organisation wide communication and leadership interaction. We also recognise inclusive mid senior line leaders (male and female) who drive a simple, flexible and respectful ways of working in their teams