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Unilever’s top female leaders share their career journeys

In 2016, for the first time in Unilever’s history, there are three women on the Leadership Executive team: Ritva Sotamaa, Chief Legal Officer; Leena Nair, Chief HR Officer; and Amanda Sourry, President Foods & Refreshment.

To mark International Women’s Day, they answered questions – from Unilever employees around the world – on their career journeys: the challenges and highlights, and what they have learned along the way.

In this inspiring interview, Ritva, Leena and Amanda discuss a range of topics, including what they think are the unique skills women bring to the workplace, how they have balanced their professional and private lives, and the advice they would give their younger selves.

CEO Paul Polman says: “Gender-balance in an organisation helps power creativity and innovation, deepens the talent pool and allows us to better serve our diverse consumer base. Equally, empowering women in the value chain represents an enormous business opportunity. If women were to play an identical role in labour markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26%, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025. That’s why Goal 5, dedicated to achieving gender equality, permeates all of the Sustainable Development Goals – it’s critical to economic growth and ending poverty by 2030.”

Alan Jope, President, Beauty & Personal Care, adds: “We have a huge opportunity to make a real difference both for our business and for women in society. When we succeed, we will be a catalyst for transformational change in what will be the first century of genuine equality.”

How will you help create a gender equal world? Make your commitment with #HeforShe