Case Study

Unilever

Moving from Awareness to Action at Unilever

In 2016, LCW and Unilever began working together to develop and launch unconscious bias programs for their U.S. teams. As awareness of unconscious bias increased, the CPG company wanted to go a step beyond this and develop tools to address the deeper systemic biases at play in the organization. To bridge these skill gaps globally, we partnered with Unilever to develop innovative learning programs that continue to drive behavior change and impact the way employees communicate with each other and their consumers.

Services Performed

Bias Training Inclusion Training Cultural Competence Training D&I Strategy

The Challenge

Like any global organization, Unilever’s D&I journey is as complex and diverse as the markets it serves. Leaders first came to LCW for a strategy to deliver unconscious bias training throughout diverse locations in the United States–including headquarters, supply chain and manufacturing. The US team became increasingly aware of unconscious bias, but driving behavioral change at scale remained a challenge. While globally leaders were committed to creating a more equitable environment, across the organization there was a demand for deeper culture-specific programming to move the organization beyond awareness into action.

Our Approach

When LCW first worked with Unilever in 2016, we developed a highly tailored version of Managing Bias in Talent Management for face-to-face and virtual training of people managers, supervisors and team leads. We then created a blended solution for all US employees that included Introduction to Managing Unconscious Bias eLearning and other Microlearning modules.

Concurrently, Unilever sought in-depth training for senior leadership teams that targeted systemic biases undermining inclusion in key business units. From this LCW launched Unstereotype Bootcamp: Building Inclusion for Intact Teams to upskill senior leaders in the US, Mexico, Europe and India with the inclusive leadership behaviors needed to break down these biases within their own teams.

Most recently, Unilever partnered with LCW to create Cultural Immersions geared toward helping marketing employees increase their cultural competency. LCW worked closely with volunteers from Unilever’s BRGs who provided critical input and feedback into each Immersions program. As the initiative enters its third year, LCW continues to improve the curriculum by incorporating feedback from post-training surveys and focus groups with BeU members.

“We searched for a solution that went beyond traditional training—to dive deep into the journey of what it’s like to be Black/LatinX/LGBTQ/Muslim in America today, grounded in US historical context, and immersed in real experiences, voices and stories. Not finding a solution, we took great care with LCW to create it in the form of Cultural Immersions.
— Mita Mallick ,  Head of Diversity and Cross-Cultural Marketing

The Impact

5,000 local and global employees from Unilever and its partner agencies have experienced Immersions – and sessions are always full.

After the success of Understanding the Black Experience in America, the Cultural Immersions program now includes the Latinx Experience, LGBTQ+ Experience, and Muslim Experience, with a new Experience being added every year.

Unilever continues to partner with LCW to ensure a culture where every voice matters and managers are equipped with the tools to managing inclusively, leading the way with innovative solutions such as What You Need to Know about Managing Black Talent.

Read more in Center for Talent Innovation Report Highlights Unilever and LCW’s Cultural Immersions Programs over at the News & Insights page.