“Gender Equality is a P&G Citizenship priority and a Business imperative. As a Company that serves billions of women around the world, we are leveraging our insights to uncover gender bias and taking actions to spark conversations and motivate change.
We are doing this through our brands, with our corporate voice, and with our people and partners inside and outside of our Company. As a foundation partner of LEAD, we aim to achieve equal women representation & leadership in the consumer goods & retail sector in Europe.”
Interview with Béatrice Dupuy
(Sales Vice President, Procter & Gamble)
Can you tell us a bit about your organization and your role?
Procter & Gamble (P&G) is the largest consumer goods company in the world with annual sales of over $65 billion. We have over 80,000 employees, who design, make, market and sell some of the world’s best known brands like Ariel, Gillette, Pampers, Pantene, Head&Shoulders, Fairy, Olay, Oral B and Braun in over 180 countries, serving close to 5 billion people on the planet.
Our purpose as a company is simple, yet powerful – to improve the lives of the world’s consumers in small but meaningful ways every day. All our products are designed to give the best experience possible for every-day tasks and make life a little bit better or just a little bit easier.
My role is Vice President of Sales for P&G and I lead our business relationship with Carrefour, one of our largest global retail customers. I lead a multi-functional team who work in partnership with Carrefour in 33 countries, to make sure P&G brands are available for all Carrefour’s shoppers in stores and online. I am also global sales leader for our Diversity & Inclusion program, supporting a broad team of people who do wonderful work across our organization to ensure we are not only diverse in representation, but that we have a fully inclusive culture where everyone can bring their full selves to work, be at their very best and achieve their full potential at P&G.
Why is Diversity and specifically the advancement of Women, so important to your organization?
Diversity & Inclusion is vital for P&G. We aspire to be one of the most diverse companies in the world, which makes sense for a business like ours. The people who use our products every day are as diverse as the world is diverse – and the more we reflect them, the better we understand and serve them.
Our workforce represents 145+ nationalities. We operate in over 70 countries and employ more than 40,000 women. 45% of all our managers are female. In the past 15 years, we have doubled the % of female Directors in Europe and trebled the proportion of women on our Executive Board.
We are stronger because we have brilliant people from diverse backgrounds, races, creeds, genders, sexual orientations and people with disabilities driving our business forward. And we are more creative and make smarter decisions when we unleash the full potential of all our people and the array of styles, ideas and perspectives they bring.
Diversity is also a key priority for our sales function. We have made great progress on representation in recent years and are on track to reach our target of 50% female / male representation across the whole function by 2020 through our ‘Breakthrough By 2020’ initiative to support sales leaders in this journey.
Whilst vital, we know that diversity alone is just a set of numbers. We believe the game-changer is when we are fully inclusive – enabling employees to bring their unique selves to work each day, having a united commitment to bring out the best in each other, removing any conscious or unconscious bias that prevents people performing at their peak and achieving winning results because all our talent is used and every voice is heard.
Which diversity initiatives do you have in your organization?
We care deeply about the positive impact of diversity and inclusion on peoples’ lives – in and outside of P&G.
P&G people are our most discerning consumers and most valued resource. Understanding, valuing, and including the diversity of those we work with every day enhances our ability to understand consumers from all walks of life. The further we stretch toward inclusion, the more our employees are inspired, empowered, and fully enabled to make our business stronger.
We continually work to improve the everyday interactions that make people feel valued, included and able to bring their full selves to work. We always want more diverse leadership and viewpoints on our business and continually work to improve our recruitment, retention, support and development across our diverse employee base.
This work starts with the right policies and support structures for all employees – whether it be flexible working arrangements, return-to-work programs or succession planning and people development programs. We also run multiple training programs on inclusive leadership, recognising and managing unconscious bias and many other areas of D&I. Also – we have a very active program of female executive coaching, using great female leaders as role models to inspire younger generations and share advice from their experiences as well as male champions who support and encourage incredibly talented women in their organisation to raise their aspirations and achieve their full potential.
Specifically for our Sales function, we have a number of important D&I initiatives, but I will mention 3 big programs.
- Future Female Leaders. This is a dedicated program focused on attracting & developing women in Sales. It showcases what sales in P&G is and is not and addresses some of the perceived challenges for women in the function. It also creates awareness of possible roles and, at the end of the day, selected females get a job offer.
- IMEA Sales Women network, supported by the IMEA sales lead team, which gives the opportunity to all women in sales to connect, exchange ideas, develop their capabilities and get inspiration from female role models.
- Sales Diversity Symposiums. These are annual events for our sales organization aiming to continuously raise the awareness on D&I, increase accountability for creating a diverse and inclusive culture within teams, build D&I capabilities and build precise D&I action plans for the year ahead.
We also have wide array of Affinity Networks covering all aspects of diversity including our LGBT group, people with disabilities, and our Corporate Women’s Leadership team. The Networks meet regularly with executive leadership to address key issues and business opportunities. Our Corporate Women’s Leadership Team, committed to the development and advancement of women, is focused on balanced representation of women in all levels and in all areas of the Company as a top priority. We supplement this with support networks for new parents, mums returning from maternity leave and for employees who are acting as carers for elderly relatives.
Across the company, we encourage reverse mentoring, where senior leaders are mentored by a more junior member of the organization from the opposite gender. This is all about helping leaders of all levels recognise any unconscious bias to become more inclusive and more effective leaders of our organization.
We are the largest corporate partner for Lean In Circles with 4,000 participants worldwide and are a catalyst partner for Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) for advancement of women. We recently joined 150+ other companies in joining the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion campaign to raise the levels of dialogue and understanding, and take meaningful action to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace and society.
What role does LEAD play in reaching your Organization’s Diversity Goal?
We are delighted to support LEAD and the fantastic work you do. Diversity & Inclusion and, more specifically, Gender Equality is an economic opportunity but also a moral and social imperative. We want to play our part in driving progress and change across the world of business, starting with our own industry. LEAD is the ideal partner to do this. LEAD is a platform for exchanging ideas, best practice and inspiration as well as helping others find solutions to challenges they might be facing. We believe it can be a tremendous enabler for industry-wide progress and can drive change from leadership at all levels and all kinds of businesses. LEAD is a great platform to collaborate with our retailer partners on a different scope to our normal business and we’re confident it will help to strengthen these relationships and our business in the future.
What would you like your employees to take away from LEAD network?
I think there are two key areas here. First, I think our employees can take great pride from the work that P&G does in and outside the company to nurture Diversity and Inclusion and champion Gender Equality. They want to see us be active in external platforms and to help lead change in our industry and so LEAD is the ideal partner to help us do this. Second, I believe we can all learn a great deal too. We have made great progress and so some amazing work that we’re all very proud of… but we can always do more and do better – and the way to do that is be open to listen and learn from others. We are excited by the potential LEAD offers give us more insights and more ideas on innovative practices to help make P&G a more diverse and inclusive place to work.