- Women now make up 50% of management globally at London-based consumer goods company Unilever, according to a March 3 announcement. The figure represents a 12% rise since 2010, when women made up 38% of management.
- Unilever highlighted female representation in historically male-dominated departments. Women make up 50% of its finance managers and 47% of its operations and technology managers. Its supply chain managers comprise 40% women, the biggest change, Unilever said.
- Unilever also reported women now make up 45% of its non-executive board.
This news comes as a “milestone follow[ing] a long-standing commitment to drive gender equality in the workplace,” according to Unilever. Its diversity and inclusion team has spearheaded initiatives such as a global diversity board and a diversity and inclusion champion network, it said.
The company has received outside recognition for its efforts, as well. Working Mother Magazine in 2018 named it the No. 1 employer for working mothers. And the magazine placed it in the top 10 of its 100 Best Companies list in 2019.
Unilever is among several visible companies to pursue gender equity and announce its progress. Nordstrom, for instance, said it reached 100% pay equity across gender and race in August 2019. It appears such efforts are not widespread, however. While 81% of companies in a recent Mercer report said diversity and inclusion is important to them, 42% of respondents said they have implemented a specific strategy to reach gender equity.
As HR grapples with questions concerning diversity and inclusion, it may be necessary to start with some self examination. Seventy-one percent of HR professionals are female and 65% are white, according to a report from Namely.