#BreakTheBias This Women's Day at Unilever Nepal Limited
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Unilever Nepal Limited (UNL) celebrated the 111th International Women’s Day this March 8th, 2022 commemorating invaluable achievements and contribution of women economically and politically till date and a reminder to march towards a more gender equal world. Committed to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace free of gender-based bias, stereotypes and discrimination, the event was marked with the central theme #BreakTheBias.
The event was held at UNL Corporate Office, Kathmandu in gracious presence of three remarkable women who have demonstrated to be trail blazers in their respective fields: Barsha Shrestha – Business Head, ICRA Nepal and first female GM in Nepalese Banking sector; Upasana Poudel – CEO, United Insurance Co. (Nepal) Ltd and Bhawana Ghimire – Director, Bat & Ball Foundation and former and first CEO of Cricket Association of Nepal.
The event started with a message from Amlan Mukherjee, Managing Director UNL honouring the centrality of women in everyday life and importance of women in leadership. Mathan Raj, General Manager – HR,HUL also attended the program virtually from Mumbai and highlighted the company’s priority in creating a gender balanced workforce followed by video montage celebrating UNL’s vital women employees who are driving the company’s production as well as sales functions. Out of the total UNL employees, there are 18% female employees in the blue collar and 20% in the white collar segment currently. UNL envisions to increase the percentages to 21 and 25 respectively by 2025. UNL believes in creating women friendly workplace that allows them to grow and thrive as professionals without emulating a man’s way of working. Hence, it has policies and facilities like Menstrual Flexible Working Policy, IVF Treatment Facility and Stem Cell Banking Facility. UNL also has a revised Parental Leave and Maternity Transition Policy covering a maternity leave of 26 weeks.
The event also called attention to “Project Asha”, a corporate social responsibility initiative of UNL launched in December 2021 with collaboration of Maiti Nepal, working together with the intention of enhancing employability for marginalized women of society, especially those who are at risk for human trafficking or domestic abuse.
The focus of the event then centred around inspirational personal stories of the three guests of honour who shared their individual journey of struggle as well as success as they shaped the leadership of their respective organizations, all for the first time as female counterparts in their respective sectors. The guest stories were the highlight of the event which showcased their immense courage in breaking the metaphorical glass ceiling within a largely patriarchal corporate ecosystem. The guest stories were then accentuated through video submission of UNL employees celebrating the women in their lives who dared to #BreakTheBias.
Final section of the event included enthusiastic participation of attendees in various fun activities including Zumba session, Flash Mob, gift distribution among others. For gift hampers to the valuable guests and colleagues this Women’s Day, Unilever Nepal tied up with Danfe Works Enterprises Nepal to support their vision to maximize the use of local raw materials, as well as the indigenous knowledge and skills of local artisans from Nepal’s marginalized rural populations, in order to create designer “Made in Nepal” clothing and accessories.