Unilever tackles inequality: "Living wage for all"

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Unilever has put forward ambitious plans to help create a more balanced and inclusive society.

 

Climate change and social inequality

Unilever wants to take action in three areas. The FMCG giant wants to raise living standards across its value chain, create more opportunities for minorities and prepare people for the future of work.

 

“The two biggest threats that the world currently faces are climate change and social inequality. The past year has undoubtedly widened the social divide, and decisive and collective action is needed to build a society that helps to improve livelihoods, embraces diversity, nurtures talent, and offers opportunities for everyone." CEO Alan Jope stated in a press release.

 

Specifically, Unilever wants to ensure that everyone who provides goods and services directly to the company earns at least a decent living wage by 2030. By this the company means an income that not only covers basic needs, but can also cope with unexpected events. This objective primarily concerns the people in the value chain outside the company's own workforce, such as those in agriculture.

 

Tackling stereotypes

A second set of measures relates to increasing inclusiveness. Unilever wants to work towards a workforce that is representative of the population in the countries where it operates. The company is also looking beyond its own borders at its suppliers. By 2025, Unilever will spend 2 billion euro annually with companies owned by women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and from the LGBTQI+ community. This greater diversity must also be reflected in marketing campaigns: more people from diverse groups will be featured in advertising. In this way, Unilever wants to tackle prevailing stereotypes that are often confirmed in advertising.

 

Finally, Unilever wants to put extra effort into training and further education of its own employees and beyond. In addition to skills development, there will also be flexible working opportunities, such as adapted employment contracts with benefits such as pension schemes or extra leave to study. Outside its own organisation, Unilever wants to give ten million young people the opportunity to gain work experience by 2030.