Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.


The best of solutions journalism in the sustainability space, published monthly.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

Vikas Vij headshot

How P&G Prioritizes Diversity, Inclusion and Gender Equality to Create Global Impact

By Vikas Vij

Companies with a global footprint have an opportunity to foster an environment where diversity, inclusion and gender equality can become the catalyst for building a better world.

Global packaged goods company Procter & Gamble published its 2018 Citizenship Report last week, which highlights its commitment to these priority areas. We took a look inside the report to find out what P&G is doing to promote diversity and equality around the world.

Diversity and inclusion

P&G’s global workforce is an amalgamation of people from over 145 nationalities. Upholding strong values of diversity within its own organization and driving action outside allows the company to win the hearts of consumers worldwide. Here are a few examples of P&G diversity initiatives that took off.

“The Talk” Sparks Conversation: In 2017, P&G created a short film focused on “the talk” that many black Americans have with their kids about racial bias in order to protect, prepare and encourage them. Since its launch last year, the film has generated intense dialogue on social media and millions of online views. The film also won 2018 Creative Arts Emmy and 2018 Cannes Grand Prix Lion awards.

Herbal Essences designs packaging for visually impaired: People with visual impairments find it difficult to differentiate shampoo from hair conditioner while in the shower. P&G's Herbal Essences brand will soon introduce a category-first “visual impairment aid” through raised indentations on every bottle, the company said.

Changes to the Flex@Work program: P&G's signature workplace flexibility program, Flex@Work, gives employees agency over their work days—including the ability to work from home, compress the work week, or work less than full time. The company plans to further modernize the program to accommodate employee needs such as single parenting, supporting a special needs child, caring for aging parents, or navigating same-sex parenting, according to its report.

Inclusive playgrounds from P&G Germany and REWE: P&G has teamed up with REWE, a large German grocery chain, to build inclusive playgrounds. The first such playground is now opened in Cologne, where children with and without disabilities can jointly experience new games and adventures every day, according to P&G's report.

P&G Latin America Hosts LGBT+ Conference: In 2018, P&G Brazil hosted the first P&G Latin America GABLE Conference to raise awareness about diversity and LGBT+ issues with a lens on business impact. More than 70 P&G employees from 10 countries, along with 40 invitees from local academia and business, attended the conference, according to the company.

Gender equality

P&G continues to invest time, money and human capital to promote equality for women and girls around the world. Here are a few highlights, as detailed in P&G's report.

Dispelling workplace myths: This year, P&G and Seneca Women presented a thought-provoking interactive exhibit, “Women at Work: Myth vs. Reality,” to bust false gender notions that become hurdles to women’s advancement in the workplace. The exhibit was first shown at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and is now appearing at events around the world to challenge outdated beliefs.

Fueling girls’ aspirations with Sesame Street characters: P&G partnered with Sesame Street Workshop to create TV shows that explore gender equity issues in child-relevant ways. The episodes will air around the world with a goal to set new expectations that value a girl’s education as much as a boy’s, P&G wrote in its report.

$100 million commitment to non-U.S. women-owned businesses P&G says it prioritizes women’s economic empowerment, and it created a program that supports women entrepreneurs across its supply chain in the U.S. Now, the company is extending this effort globally and committed to spend $100 million with women-owned businesses outside of the U.S. over a three-year period.

Generation of Firsts P&G’s Always brand launched a “Generation of Firsts” campaign earlier this year, which celebrates women achievers in Saudi Arabia. The film, produced with an all-female Saudi cast and crew, has generated a flurry on social media and garnered more than 1.5 million views.

“Our aspiration is clear. We want to be a force for good, a force for growth,” David S. Taylor, P&G’s president and CEO, wrote in his letter to the stakeholders. “We know that the more we integrate and build citizenship into how we do business, the bigger the impact we can have on the people we serve, the communities where we live and work, and the broader world that surrounds us."

Images courtesy of P&G and P&G Pakistan

Vikas Vij headshot

Vikas is an MBA with 25 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience. He is the author of “The Power of Money” (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas runs a digital content development company, and personally loves to write on global sustainability issues.

Read more stories by Vikas Vij