As President of Unilever North America, I am proud to join the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. There has never been a more important time, especially for business leaders, to come together and do our part to address inequality in its many forms.
In the United States, Unilever employs more than 8,000 people and I am personally committed to providing a vibrant workplace where all employees feel valued, included and are able to succeed, irrespective of their race, sexual orientation, age or background. We strongly believe that diverse teams perform better and a diverse and inclusive workplace is critical to our growth as a company.
When I joined Unilever North America as President in 2011, our organization was already on the journey towards gender balance. We knew it was the right ambition, both for our employees and the consumers we serve — but there was much more to be done. We set ambitious targets, put an inspired training program in place and made steady, continuous progress. I am proud to announce that we recently reached our stated goal of being a 50/50 gender balanced organization. As a member of the CEO Action group, we look forward to sharing what we have learned with our fellow signatories and in turn, to learn from other companies what they are doing so that we collectively can positively change the diversity and inclusion narrative.
The CEO Action group provides a unique and powerful opportunity for business leaders to stand together against discrimination. As an example, Unilever, alongside many of our Pledge co-signers, has stood against legislation in multiple states that would discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community. As leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure organizations are places where—as we say at Unilever—“every voice matters and every story is celebrated.”
At Unilever, we are in business to serve society through our employees and through our brands. Ensuring we are creating an open dialogue around diversity and inclusion, and that each employee feels completely comfortable to be their true selves in the workplace, is not only good for business – it is unequivocally the right thing to do.
By signing the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge, Unilever North America is publicly signaling our unwavering support to the open exchange of ideas to drive this critical issue wider and deeper. We look forward to working in partnership with our employees and fellow signatories to amplify the moral and business case for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
In this series, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ signatory CEOs share their dedication to acting for workplace diversity and inclusion to make impactful changes that benefit both business and society. Follow along with #CEOAction and learn more at CEOAction.com