The ‘me’ generation, social media opportunists, lazy and hard to manage. These are just a few of the choice traits that some social commentators and researchers have sought to pin on the millennial generation, born between 1980 and the year 2000.
Such social stereotyping can be hard to readdress, especially if there is a weight of media stories, statistics and social behind it.
However, as an organisation, Unilever was and is determined to do its bit to address these negatives head on.
The result was a campaign called #Putitright which addressed these stereotypes and sought to correct them. It launched with a video looking at the myths and realities of millennials in the world of work
The success of the campaign also encouraged us to continue the good work. To this end we followed eight young leaders across the business and captured their change-making ideas and how they put them into practice in their roles in the business.
Why we wanted to #PutitRight
“We want to empower and inspire people everywhere – to show that change is possible, if you’ve got the drive to make it happen,” says Unilever Chief HR Officer, Leena Nair.
As well as showcasing their work and talents in the video, each of the eight young leaders has written a blog sharing their role at Unilever and how they’ve used their skills and drive to create change and shape a career with purpose within the business.
Making a difference
Ram Huigen is one of the young leaders featured. In his blog he writes honestly about why he decided to work with Unilever and what the result has been.
“When I graduated from university in 2012, I knew I was looking for an employer with three key features: one who would challenge me to my limits, develop me to my maximum potential and be a driving force in making the world a better place,” he explains.
“As a Unilever senior brand manager working on deodorant brands like Axe and Dove, I have helped craft marketing for products with environmental significance (dry shampoo, compressed deodorant), and help drive societal change through the Dove Self-Esteem Project.
“I’ve also had the opportunity to collaborate on side projects with wonderful organisations like the World Food Programme, Voedselbank, Waterspaarders, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Save the Children, Movember and Amsterdam City Swim,” he adds.
A career that provides challenge and the chance to shape change has ignited Ram’s personal and work ambitions.
“As Mandela said: ‘There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.’ I found this in Unilever,” he says.
A natural fit between millennial values and Unilever’s vision
“In the coming years, millennials will have a major impact on our business as well as the wider world,” says Chief HR Officer, Leena Nair.
“There is a natural fit between their values and our sustainability vision,” she continues. “We should all support this generation to fulfil their purpose and achieve even greater things.”
If you’re a millennial and you are interested in showing the world the fantastic things you can do when your purpose is fuelled, check out our careers and LinkedIn pages and take your chance to create a #careerwithpurpose with Unilever.
Read the stories of some other young leaders.