The number of women in management at Nestlé Middle East has risen to 30 percent from 16 percent back in 2011. The company said it is committed to enhance gender balance at all its offices around the region, through annual increases in the percentage of women managers and senior leaders.
“This year, we are focusing further on some pillars that we believe will accelerate our journey, starting with talent acquisition where we are actively working to find female talents for roles that aren’t usually occupied by women such as at our factories, or in sales,” said Yves Manghardt, Nestlé Middle East chairman and CEO, in comments celebrating International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8.
“We are also strengthening our succession and career plans to ensure we have prepared the female talents for future senior roles,” he added. “I am also proud to announce that we are launching the Next Generation Women Leadership Program that incorporates mentorship and coaching to equip female talents below 30 with the right mindset and support to grow in their careers.”
Long-standing policies at Nestlé Middle East already include flexible working arrangements and guaranteed access to breastfeeding rooms during working hours in all offices and sites, including factories.
Policies also facilitate opportunities for employees who plan to deliver abroad to work from any Nestlé office within the region or remote access for one month for both the father and the mother prior to maternity/paternity leave.
They also promote clear alignment with managers to ensure transparency and reintegration into job tasks once a person returns to work from maternity leave, with several women already receiving promotions prior to going on maternity leave.
“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,” a statement said.
“Let’s remind ourselves that diversity and inclusion go beyond gender, covering personality, age, skill set, world views, special needs to name a few, and also covers circumstantial situations and challenges in life. We always strive to be intentionally inclusive so we are not unintentionally exclusive,” said Manghardt.
Nestlé Middle East’s heritage goes back over 80 years to 1934 when the first import operation was set up in Lebanon. Today, Nestlé Middle East owns and operates 18 factories and provides direct employment to more than 13,000 employees.