Diversity and inclusion are an integral part of Nestlé’s culture. Nestlé Pakistan champions the strength that lies within every woman, believing that opportunities lead to empowerment, and that empowerment leads to gender equality. It is for this reason that we have launched several initiatives to help women in our society to make choices that can improve their lives, and the lives of their families. These initiatives show our commitment towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals particularly SDG 5, Gender Equality.
Gender balance in our workforce
Whilst we strive to support and inform the women of our communities, Nestlé Pakistan firmly believes in practicing what we preach within our very organization as well. Enabling women to help balance work and family is the key to retaining talent. We therefore offer a comprehensive maternity protection policy and encourage our female employees to avail their 6-month maternity leave. We also have daycare, nursing rooms, pick and drop facilities and flexible working hour options to help accommodate the work-life balance. Gender balance is a key component of our approach to diversity and inclusion, which is why we have laid out a plan to accelerate efforts to increase the number of women in senior executive positions.
Efforts to help the women within our organization feel comfortable, empowered and valued helps keep the whole company working in synergy. And it is the importance of being motivated to build a career that inspires our ‘Kero Aitemaad’ initiative. Seminars, competitions, internship and job opportunities as well as apprenticeships give young women a platform to begin their careers, and to do it all with Nestlé. Reaching out to different institutions enables us to speak to the game-changers of tomorrow, and motivate them to challenge themselves.
Nestlé bisp rural women livelihood program
Nestlé Pakistan partnered with Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) to provide livelihood opportunities to BISP beneficiaries. Launched in 2008, BISP is the largest social safety net program launched by the Government of Pakistan. The BISP Program is a targeted unconditional cash transfer program in Pakistan focusing on the underprivileged, excluded, marginalized and vulnerable women of Pakistan. This selection criterion of these women is solely based on economic depravity. The Rural Sales Program focuses on graduating BISP beneficiary’s out-of-poverty. This transformative collaboration has enabled BISP beneficiaries to earn a dignified livelihood for themselves and their families. To date more than 450 BISP beneficiaries have been enrolled as Rural Sales Agents across 12 districts of Punjab and Sindh. This partnership highlights our commitment towards attaining the SDGs particularly focusing on No Poverty; Zero Hunger and Good Health & Well Being. Furthermore, we are empowering rural women through improving nutrition knowledge and practices. This is part of Nestlé Pakistan’s Healthy Women Program targeting rural women. The content of these nutrition sessions aims at improving nutrition and health through awareness on healthy diet at different stages of life, from adolescent girl to old woman. We reached out to more than 1000 beneficiaries in 2018.
Watch Rani Begum, Nestlé Rural Sales Agents success story here.
Knowing the contribution of rural women to the well-being of the family and communities, Nestlé Pakistan has been extending support in the lives of women associated with the rural dairy sector in Pakistan. In 2018, approximately 2500 rural women were trained on Best Farm Practices through village meetings. Moreover, the program builds capacity to better support women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. So far, 11 women entrepreneurs were developed through this program. Moreover, 300 female milk suppliers were also made a part of Nestlé’s milk collection value chain.
Watch Zubaida’s story of agripreneurship with digital financial services here.
Healthy women program
Nestlé Healthy Women Program is a comprehensive nutrition program which was launched in 2014 with the belief that women play an integral role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of the entire family. Our goal is to empower young women with basic nutrition knowledge so they make smart nutrition choices and adopt a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their future generations. Women are a key to achieving food and nutrition security in Pakistan. Indicators show that malnutrition including both under nutrition and obesity among the rural as well as urban women of reproductive age in Pakistan is high. Malnourished women are more likely to have children with nutritional deficiencies. Achieving better health and overall wellbeing requires a fundamental understanding of what constitutes good nutrition. To address this issue, the Nestlé Healthy Women Program was introduced at universities in 2014 and in rural areas in 2018 to raise awareness on how nutrition impacts young women and their next generation. In partnership with 11 universities Nestlé Healthy Women has reached out to 6000 young women to date. This program highlights our commitment towards attaining the SDG 3, Good Health & Well Being. Read more details on the program here.
The Nestlé maternity policy
“I feel fortunate to be a part of Nestlé and having the best of both worlds; I get to be both an engineer and a full-time mother”, says Iqra Ashraf, Team Leader Nestlé Sheikhupura Factory.
Growing up and observing women around me, I was led to believe that a woman always has to pick between a career and a happy, healthy family. So as a woman who was driven to make a change in the world, I got pregnant within days after getting married after which I was mentally preparing myself to make some tough choices. Soon afterward, I learned that I had even less time to make them than I thought; I had a complicated pregnancy and had to be on bed rest the first month. Considering I had just come back to work from my wedding vacation, I was hesitant to ask for more days off. However, after exhausting my mind, I saw no option but to take it to the HR at Nestlé. I had been with Nestlé for three years at this point but feel like I saw it in a whole new light that day. I was blown away by the amount of support I got from Nestlé. I got to be a part of the Wellness Support Program to guide me about the importance of nutrition through pregnancy.
Now, I have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. She is everything I could wish for and more. The idea of being separated from her from 9 to 5 was heart-wrenching except Nestle helped me again with amazing daycare facilities and nursery rooms. These policies also reflect Nestlé’s firm belief that there is no substitute for breastmilk.
I feel fortunate to be a part of Nestlé and having the best of both worlds; I get to be both an engineer and a full-time mother.
The Nestlé Maternity Protection policy is a comprehensive coverage granting all women a minimum of 6 months’ maternity leave.
It extends beyond childbirth and encourages women to breastfeed up to 2 years. Additionally, Nestlé also has daycare centers across Pakistan in most of our facilities with nursing rooms available. A flexible work arrangement is also an option available for working mothers. All these factors are the reasons many women choose not to give up their careers even after becoming mothers at Nestlé Pakistan.
These programs help support women at Nestlé, offering them the right opportunities to succeed in the workplace.