Unilever has strengthened its commitment to disability inclusion by becoming an official partner of the Business Disability Forum.
In gaining advice and training from the forum on recruiting and retaining disabled employees, Unilever has said it wants to become the number one employer of choice for persons with disabilities by 2025.
As part of this, Unilever has worked with Business Disability Forum to develop a global disability inclusion programme that aims to engage and equip colleagues working across the 190 countries in which it operates.
Unilever also plays a leading role on Business Disability Forum’s Global Taskforce which helps businesses develop and implement disability inclusion strategies at a global level.
Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum, said: “We are incredibly proud to be announcing our partnership with Unilever today. With 15 per cent of the world’s population living with a disability, it is vital that global businesses, like Unilever, recognise the value of disabled people as employees and consumers. We applaud Unilever for the firm commitment it has made to become a leader in disability inclusion and look forward to working with them to turn their ambitions into a reality.”
While Aline Santos, EVP global marketing and chief diversity & inclusion officer at Unilever commented: At Unilever our vision is to build a diverse and inclusive environment, where every person is free to bring their full and authentic selves to work. We strongly believe that our teams are strengthened by diverse experiences and with more inclusive teams, we can better represent society and our consumers.”
Adding: “With more than 25 years of expertise, we are sure Business Disability Forum is the perfect partner to help us in building our physical and systems accessibility. Through this partnership, we are reinforcing our commitment to be the #1 employer of choice for persons with disabilities by 2025.
Richard Sharp, VP HR for Unilever UK & Ireland, concluded: “Our vision at Unilever is to be a fully inclusive and accessible employer for our disabled colleagues and potential colleagues. In order to serve and support society as best as we can, we need to continue to build a business which reflects the diversity of our customers and echoes their needs.
“Partnering with advisory groups such as Business Disability Forum is invaluable in helping to drive progress and momentum towards our ambition to be the number one employer of choice for disabled people. We welcome working together to create a fully inclusive environment for our disabled colleagues.”
The move means Unilever is joining a growing number of Business Disability Forum Partner organisations across the private and public sectors.
Anglo American and Ministry of Justice became Partners earlier in the year with Microsoft, Sainsbury’s, American Express, Royal Mail and the BBC among Business Disability Forum’s longstanding Partners.