On International Women’s Day, we look at the different ways Dove, SheaMoisture and Dermalogica are leveraging their brand purpose to promote equity for women and girls.
Unilever has committed to changing that by empowering 10 million young people with essential employment skills by 2030.
“Skills such as ingenuity, our ability to adapt and innovate, resourcefulness and resilience are the threads that will guide us toward a better future,” Nitin Paranjpe, Unilever’s Chief People & Transformation Officer, told 2,000 young leaders at this year’s One Young World Summit.
Here are four ways Unilever is developing these, at scale:
Resilience through self-esteem
Dove Self-Esteem Project
Globally, eight in ten girls with low body esteem will opt out of fundamental life activities. The Dove Self-Esteem Project’s education programmes provide free and to help the next generation reach their full potential.
To date, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has reached 94 million people. Its stretch target is 250 million by 2030. Courses have been designed to engage 10 million young people in India, Indonesia and Brazil. And digital e-learning platforms aim to reach 16 million 15- to 24-year-olds across India by 2025.
Why resilience matters: In the , resilience ranked third in its top ten core skills. “One needs resilience – a tenacious refusal to give up, stemming from a deep belief in our capacity to overcome obstacles and forge a brighter future,” Nitin says.
Innovation and problem-solving
Future-X Unilever Campus Ambassador Programme
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for 49.8% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product.
Unilever Nigeria’s nine-month Future-X Unilever Campus Ambassador Programme aims to harness that entrepreneurial spirit by teaching young people professional skills to encourage growth and innovation.
In 2023, Future-X Unilever Campus Ambassador Programme partnered with , an e-education platform, to give more students access to courses. The goal is to upskill 700,000 young people and reach 3 million over three years.
Why innovation and problem-solving matter: Creative thinking ranked second in WEF’s top ten skills. “The problems that plague our world are immense, but they’re also immense opportunities for the daring and the innovative,” Nitin says.
Using resourcefulness to mobilise climate change
DIG and the Global Volunteer Initiative
The partners aim to mobilise 1.1 million young people in India and Brazil to design and lead climate change campaigns on local issues.
Managing community volunteers requires resourcefulness. It develops transferable skills such as flexibility and communication and drives awareness among local people. The project’s goal is to reach 5 million through the impact of these actions.
Why resourcefulness matters: “If we embrace these challenges as opportunities, together, we can continue to shape a world that reflects the very best of humanity,” Nitin says.
Unilever’s Changemakers programme
Unilever is also working to develop its own talent via a 12-month development programme called Changemakers. Each year, 24 young leaders work in squads on four real-life business challenges, guided by in-house mentors. The goal is to use their skills to drive tangible impact and provide sustainable business value within Unilever.
Why ingenuity matters: “The current challenges we are addressing today require innovative solutions that encompass systemic thinking, given their complex interconnectedness,” Nitin says. “Yet, there is no reason to believe that we don’t have the ingenuity to do so. We certainly do. All that is needed is to channel our near-infinite resourcefulness. Work together. That is a force multiplier,” he adds.
Harnessing these qualities can pave the way forward, unlocking the potential for extraordinary solutions to the most pressing challenges of our times.Nitin Paranjpe, Chief People & Transformation Officer
Developing talent is a win–win
Upskilling young people is more than an investment in their personal development. According to WEF, it has the potential to . It also provides businesses like Unilever with diverse talent to develop more inclusive, sustainable economies. “Harnessing these qualities can pave the way forward,” says Nitin, “unlocking the potential for extraordinary solutions to the most pressing challenges of our times.”
Unilever partners with UNICEF in support of Generation Unlimited to provide over 1 million young people in India and Brazil with the skills they need for employment.
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