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Unilever has achieved gender balance in its global management team, while a new report says the gender employment gap costs the European Union €360bn a year.
The consumer goods giant reports that half of its 14,000 managers are now female, up from 38% in 2010.
“Women constitute the majority of our consumers and we owe a lot of our success to them,” said Leena Nair, Unilever’s head of human resources.
Meanwhile, a study from the EU’s Eurofund agency, which tracks trends to inform policy-making says the gender employment gap costs the European Union €360bn a year, or around 2% of its total economy.
The report shows Italy, Malta and Greece are at the bottom with a gender gap of around 20% in 2018. Lithuania, Sweden and Finland were the best EU countries, all below 5%.
On Thursday, the EU’s executive European Commission will present a new gender equality strategy for the 27 member countries, including policies to counter gender-based discrimination and improve women’s access to the labour market. The strategy is for the first time expected to recommend the introduction of a legal obligation to report on the gender pay gap across the bloc. “Where there are legally binding measures, the situation improves,” said an EU official working on the plan.