Unilever has long been a vocal champion of diversity and is now pledging to do more to ensure its budgets are spent with suppliers and agencies who share its corporate values.
To date, the FMCG has been a champion of diversity in its own staff as well as its advertising. It has been a leading voice behind the Unstereotype Alliance movement which is putting an end to gender-based stereotypical roles in advertising. One common example is the trope of mothers typically portrayed in ads doing the washing up and hoovering.
Now, Unilever is taking a bigger step to let the advertising, marketing and publishing worlds know that it plans to devote its massive budgets to working with media partners that look after their staff and encourage inclusivity.
By 2025 Unilever pledges to spend €2bn a year with suppliers owned and managed by people from underrepresented groups. This will incorporate firms run by women, ethnic minority groups, people living with disabilities and those within the LGBTQI+ community.
Additionally, by 2030, Unilever will only work with businesses that are paying the living wage. It has been doing this itself in the UK since 2015.
It has to be stressed that these measures do not only apply solely to media partners but throughout Unilever’s extensive supply chain. However, in terms of media companies, the announcement will serve as encouragement to pay staff at least the living wage and to boost diversity.
Media businesses considering embracing these goals may take heart from research by McKinsey. Its figures show diversity is not only an admirable aim, it can increase the chances of outperforming rivals by 21% (for gender diverse companies) and 33% (for ethnically diverse companies).
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