More than 1 billon people – that’s 15% of the world’s population – live with a disability. Of this number, 386 million are working age. Yet according to the International Labour Organisation, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities in some countries is as high as 80%.
For a global employer, that’s a significant untapped talent pool. A diverse talent pool brings diversity of thought and new points of view, thus sparking innovation. This enables business to better serve the needs of consumers.
“Having a diverse and inclusive environment where every person can bring their full and authentic selves to work is something we want Unilever to be famous for,” says CEO Alan Jope.
Our aim is to be No.1 employer of choice for people with a disability and to have 5% of our workforce represented by employees with disabilities by 2025.
On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, here are four ways we’re working to make Unilever more inclusive of people with a disability.
We’re creating a culture where everyone can thrive
We want to provide an inclusive, positive workplace culture that makes all employees feel valued and welcomed. To promote more understanding of disabilities we are sharing the success stories of employees who are currently in Unilever and doing fabulous work while living with a disability.
Amna Raheel is just one of our hero pioneers who has shared her story. Amna works in e-commerce, has muscular dystrophy and is a wheelchair user.
“My role is not affected by my disability,” says Amna. “The digital world has made everything accessible for people with physical immobility. I run campaigns for e-commerce and execute them via online platforms such as daraz.pk and hummart.com. There’s plenty of strategic thinking involved, and the results I get are not impacted by the fact that I create campaigns in my wheelchair.”
Alongside real-life case studies we are offering staff access to a full suite of learning pathways via our in-house training platform to help build knowledge and more inclusive behaviours.
We’re improving our physical and digital accessibility
We’re working to create good accessibility in our systems and our workplaces and now have global guidelines to ensure accessibility in IT, recruitment, communications and workplace design.
As an example, it is now possible to explore the software that is available to overcome certain common disabilities such as visual impairment and cognitive disorders and even request specialised software.
We also have a commitment to make all our sites accessible by 2025.
We’ve engaged expert help
Working with the Business Disability Forum, a disability inclusion expertise organisation, we are making sure that we are bringing the latest thinking and frameworks as we design and deploy our global disability inclusion programme.
We’ve launched Enable@Unilever to promote change
Enable@Unilever is a global employee support network for our colleagues with disabilities and allies. It offers mentoring and advice on how to overcome any physical or emotional barriers preventing people from reaching their full potential at Unilever.