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Leena Nair

In her role at Unilever, ensuring true diversity and inclusion is key. In North America, her department have undertaken a variety of workshops, training and conferences, all aimed at understanding and improving the experience of ethnic minorities in the workplace. This is a template which is now being rolled out across the company globally. Externally, Leena has been actively involved in the youth employability space for a number of years. She led a collaboration between Unilever and the National Skills Development Corporation of India, with the objective of training 1 Million youth in employable skills by 2020. She also has a personal mission to reach 1 Million young women with a message of inspiration and hope. At over 300 speaking occasions, mostly in Asian communities, Leena has shared the story of her rise from humble middle class origins. She sees the tremendous feedback received as testament to the impact of role modelling on young Asian women. She is also a steering committee leader for the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Education, Gender, Work & Skills committees. She has been recognised by HRH Queen Elizabeth II as one of the most accomplished Indian Business Leaders in the UK and by, HR Magazine, Business Today, UK First Women, and as a LinkedIn Top Voice for her diversity and inclusion efforts.

Leena Nair

In her role at Unilever, ensuring true diversity and inclusion is key. In North America, her department have undertaken a variety of workshops, training and conferences, all aimed at understanding and improving the experience of ethnic minorities in the workplace. This is a template which is now being rolled out across the company globally. Externally, Leena has been actively involved in the youth employability space for a number of years. She led a collaboration between Unilever and the National Skills Development Corporation of India, with the objective of training 1 Million youth in employable skills by 2020. She also has a personal mission to reach 1 Million young women with a message of inspiration and hope. At over 300 speaking occasions, mostly in Asian communities, Leena has shared the story of her rise from humble middle class origins. She sees the tremendous feedback received as testament to the impact of role modelling on young Asian women. She is also a steering committee leader for the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Education, Gender, Work & Skills committees. She has been recognised numerous times by the FT, HR Magazine, Business Today, and UK First Women, for her diversity and inclusion efforts.

Leena Nair

Valuing diversity is at the core of Leena’s personal value system. The organisation started with gender and had good results and are now using the same model to show results in BAME Diversity too, particularly in North America. In 2016 they increased People of Colour representation at manager level and above, by over 22% and they now have eight active Business Resource Groups with over 2000 employees participating including Black Excellence at Unilever, Latin American and Asian American Business Networks. Leena was responsible for leading Unilever to become a Founding Sponsor of the Jackie Robinson Foundation which supports minority students in higher education. She also leads on their partnership with Executive Leadership Council where they have offered 15 scholarships to Unilever Black and Hispanic talent to attend a week long leadership development week. Externally, she has been actively involved in the youth employability space for a number of years; heading a collaboration with the National Skills Development Corporation of India with the objective of training 1 Million youth, by 2020 in Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian towns for practical training in employable skills.

Ukonwa Ojo

Ukonwa is the Senior Global Director for the Knorr Masterbrand at Unilever. Throughout her career, she has played an active role in identifying, recruiting, attracting and retaining BAME talent both formally and informally. She is also a seasoned external speaker and BAME advocate and mentor.
Ukonwa is passionate marketer and proven business leader with over 18 years of experience. She was recently named by Marketing Magazine’s Power 100 list of the most influential, inspiring and innovative marketers and Black Enterprise’s list of one of the top women in advertising and marketing. During her tenure at Knorr, she has been part of a team that has delivered the strongest brand performance in recent history, in addition to the vast majority of our markets globally maintaining or growing brand equity.
Before joining Reckitt Benckiser, Ukonwa worked at General Mills, where she successfully led iconic brands such as Betty Crocker, Progresso, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Cascadian Farm Organic.

Leena Nair

Leena is the Chief Human Resources Officer and sits on the Executive Committee, the senior most decision making team reporting to Paul Polman, the CEO. While there are 2575 employees in the HR function, Leena bears overall responsibility for the hiring, training, rewards and remuneration of all Unilever employees worldwide. She also oversees the Diversity and Inclusion agenda for the organisation and has the mandate to shape initiatives and processes that enable the workforce to be truly diverse and inclusive.
Leena is the first female and youngest ever CHRO of Unilever. She spearheaded the creation of a world-class leadership centre in Singapore and led the launch of key technology innovations. Prior to this, she undertook a wide range of HR roles in India, and as VP HR South Asia, she led the talent and organisation strategy that was a significant enabler in helping the business deliver its vision. She brought in a number of innovations, including the Career by Choice programme, which helps women who have fallen off the career ladder to re-join the workforce.
Since 1992, when she joined Unilever as a trainee, Leena has had many firsts to her credit, from being one of the first women managers to opt for a factory stint to becoming the first woman on HUL’s management committee and its youngest executive director.