A key component of ensuring a sustainable gender balance within an organisation is creating solid links between women. Nestlé encourages the work of professional groups and committees within its companies that can collect shared experiences and develop female business leaders.
In Germany, for the past six years, we have participated in the annual CrossMentoring project, to help more women move into leadership positions. Around five women are nominated each year and supported in their professional and personal development with access to an experienced mentor, who is a leader from another company such as SEB, University Hospital Frankfurt, Deutsche Bahn or Deutsche Börse. Costing us around EUR 3000 (CHF 3609) per mentee, the programme has succeeded in helping women move into a first leadership role or in taking the next step on the leadership ladder. We are reviewing ways to increase the impact of the mentoring project internally, for example by inviting each woman who has been through the programme to become a mentor for a more junior female within our organisation.
In 2014, Nestlé Pakistan launched Kero Aitemaad (Believe inYourself). The initiative is aimed at challenging stereotypes, and listening to and tackling the fears of women who want to return to work. The programme is delivered exclusively by female employees at different levels of seniority. Kero Aitemaad gives support to women on how to navigate their professional lives. Through real-life case studies, they receive tips and guidance on how Nestlé Pakistan can support them. In 2014, Nestlé Pakistan also introduced the Nestlé Female Alumni Network, an initiative to help and inspire former employees and promote job opportunities. Today, the network has 60 members, who remain in touch through the platform.
In Switzerland during 2014, the Senior Women at Nestlé Group was created. It is a movement with a strong commitment to help accelerate Nestlé’s journey to becoming a gender-balanced company by 2018. Together, the group seeks to:
- Be role models to upcoming talent;
- Participate in high-profile projects, ensuring diversity and complementarity of thinking within the team; and
- Ensure Nestlé is recognised as an employer of choice for men and women in external speaking engagements.