World’s Nutrition, Health & Wellness leader celebrates International Women’s Day with update on Gender Balance commitment and impact
Beirut, 8 March 2017: Nestlé Middle East is “stronger, more creative and more productive because we entrench Gender Balance in the workplace to promote diversity and the inclusion of expertise and insight from men and women of all generations,” said Christine Geary, Human Resources Director at Nestlé Middle East, in comments celebrating International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th.
Gender Balance at Nestlé Middle East, one of the key pillars in the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, shuns quotas in favor of a system that hones talents and creates favorable conditions to ensure employees of all ages have equal opportunities to evolve their careers within the company.
“For us the equation is simple: We need the talents of younger and older men and women of all backgrounds, who can only really thrive in work environments that allow them to best manage their personal lives,” said Geary. “This is why we have extended both maternity and paternity leave and established systems that allow both new moms and new dads more flexibility in managing their schedules.”
Gender Balance at Nestlé Middle East involves several initiatives, including support to employees who plan to deliver abroad by providing the opportunity to work from any Nestlé office within the region or remotely accessed for one month for both the father and the mother prior to maternity/paternity leave. Maternity leave is up to six months, three paid and three optional part time or unpaid; and paternity leave is five days with an additional five optional unpaid. Lactation rooms are also available at every entity across the company; and comfort packs with information on breastfeeding as well as a breast pump allowance are provided to new mothers.
The commitment to “be a gender-balanced company by creating enabling conditions in our work environment to achieve annual increases in the percentage of women managers and senior leaders” was announced in the 2015 Nestlé in Society report for the Middle East, and is on the agenda of the company’s top management.
All senior managers at the company receive training on Diversity and Inclusion awareness and leadership, to help eliminate unconscious bias and promote an environment that embraces diversity and fosters an inclusive culture. In 2017, this will be rolled out across the organization.
A mentoring program for men and women was launched in 2014 to support personal and career evolution, so far mentoring 50% of high potential female managers.
All this has led to significant progress in the percentage of women in total managerial positions in the region, rising from 16% in 2011 to 26% at the end of 2016. In addition, today five women are part of the senior leadership team at Nestlé in the Middle East.