Global Consumer Trends 2023: Women’s Rights and Gender Inclusiveness

11:42:16 AM | 3/7/2023

Driving women’s rights is harder and stronger for positive changes in gender equity and inclusiveness all over the world. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have become core values that businesses and organizations are pursuing. Unilever has been constantly promoting the female empowerment across its operations globally and in Vietnam.

Break barriers, unlock opportunities

The World Economic Forum estimates that empowering women to participate equally in the global economy could add $28 trillion US in Global Domestic Product (GDP) growth by 2025.

Women’s rights is among top 10 global consumer trends in 2023. According to the 2022 Lifestyles Survey, 52% of women wanted products and services that are uniquely tailored to themselves. The survey Voice of the Consumer: Beauty and Personal Care Survey, 2021 from Euromonitor International shows that looking healthy, hygiene/cleanliness, inner confidence, good oral health/care, etc. are top female perception of beauty globally.

Therefore, facilitating females to thrive has become impossible to ignore and is opening opportunities for businesses both as employers and market players. This requires businesses to build a gender-equal and inclusive culture and working environment while developing, innovating, and delivering products – especially beauty, hygiene and health products – to fulfill the needs of consumers.

Good practice

A good practice in consumer goods industry is Unilever. The corporate has been recognized in Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index 2023 thanks to their efforts to support gender equality through policy development, representation, and transparency.

In Vietnam, Unilever has strived to promote the diversity, equity and inclusiveness culture for all employees through equal opportunities of learning, working and promotion with the gender balance at management and director levels. The business also ensures an equal and future-fit workplace through new policies on welfare and equality rights.

Unilever Vietnam's brands cannot stand outside and have conducted a range of programs towards women.

The program “My hair, my say” by Dove aims to erase stereotypes about beauty and foster body confidence by widening the representation of diverse hair choices, breaking down hair color stereotypes.

The program “Dreams too good to hold back” from Sunsilk spreads the motto to live to the fullest with passion and enthusiasm, motivating and supporting girls to determine and pursue their dreams. Recently, Sunsilk has also cooperated with Song An Career to organize an online event “Reaching career dreams” to guide young girls to find out their real interests and abilities, and the necessary conditions for success, and provide them with useful knowledge to become their more confident versions.

The program “Women do business” from Sunlight aims to accompany Vietnamese women to pursue their dream of business start-up through providing online and onsite courses to equip them with business knowledge and initial capital support for women to start their business.

Partnership to thrive stronger

For upscaling and influence expansion, besides building a gender-equity workplace and driving brands’ purposeful programs, Unilever Vietnam has closely partnered with the Vietnam Women’s Union for the past 17 years.

This partnership will continue to make efforts on and commit to facilitating one million Vietnamese women to develop and improve their quality of life through education and training in health, hygiene, nutrition, livelihood development, and access to business capital over the period from 2022-2027.

A 5-year action plan has also been established and implemented, including communication and education to raise women’s awareness about health care and environmental protection, supporting women to start-up with access to microfinance loans, and eliminating social prejudices in the community and families for the comprehensive development of women.

Recently, Unilever Vietnam, Sunlight, and the Women’s Unions have just completed a direct training program for more than 2,000 women in 10 provinces across the country, including: Bac Lieu, Ninh Thuan, Lang Son, Kon Tum, Tay Ninh, Nam Dinh, Ca Mau, Quang Binh, Bac Kan, Phu Yen.

Women participating in the program can propose business ideas directly to the organizers and have the opportunity to receive prizes and initial financial support to confidently start a business at the Wrap-up and awarding ceremony of “Women do business” program, which is going to take place this June.

In addition, on March 30, to celebrate International Women's month, Unilever Vietnam coordinates with the Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD Vietnam) to organize a campaign and seminar bearing the theme “Positive beauty, positive you” with the participation of social organizations, experts and activists.

The program aims to inspire and encourage women’s confidence in their positive and diverse beauty, as well as their own unique values without being influenced by social stereotypes or prejudices. This aims to contribute to removing gender prejudice barriers, support to build women’s capacity, help them confidently unlock their full potential, pursue good values and make positive contributions to the society.

With all those efforts, Unilever Vietnam has been honored at the prestigious UN Women’s WEPs Awards for 3 consecutive years. In 2022, the business won the category “Community engagement and partnership” in Vietnam and the Asia Pacific region. Previously, the enterprise also won in the category “Gender-inclusive marketplace” in 2021; and two categories “Leadership commitment” and "Gender-inclusive workplace" in 2020.

D.A (Vietnam Business Forum)