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other and Unilever - Internal Communications

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2013, Click to Enter The 2014 Steve Awards for Women in Business

Company: other, London, United Kingdom
Company Description: other is the agency of the untrodden path. Our clients already know how to do the obvious and look for us for the new, unexpected and better. We provide creative ways to make the most of communications and business opportunities, offering smarter content across digital and traditional media. 3 of our 5 Executive Board Directors are women, as are more than half our staff and our Chief Executive.
Nomination Category: Communications & Marketing Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Internal Communications

Nomination Title: Unilever's Winning Balance Campaign

In up to 525 words, tell the judges about the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date:

As a €50bn global organization, Unilever is committed to achieving gender balance at all levels right up to the most senior management of the organization. In 2012, Unilever’s top leaders made a clear commitment to achieve a step change in gender balance in the global organization.

The global communications campaign that launched this process was called Winning Balance. The focus was International Women’s Day – 8 March 2013.

Working together with Other Creative, Unilever’s diversity and campaigns teams devised a global communications campaign for all markets, using marketing excellence to highlight the business case for gender balance, the leadership commitment to change, and to invite employees to contribute to identifying issues and providing solutions via a crowd-sourced online consultation.

HR teams worked with leaders of countries and regions to use these suggestions to devise a Winning Balance strategy for each country and business area.


• A tightly choreographed and intensive communications campaign resulted in over 2000 employees from 32 countries and regions answering the questions that the campaign posed. Over 40,000 page views and over 8000 individual ideas made this one of the most successful internal campaigns ever in Unilever. Over 4000 employees participated.

• In an email to employees, Unilever Chief Executive Paul Polman said, “The Winning Balance campaign has prompted an outstanding response, with more than 2,000 employees – both male and female – across 32 MCOs submitting great suggestions on what further actions could be taken to support this crucial agenda. It has become one of our most successful employee-driven campaigns ever. Based on your feedback, your country leaders are now developing gender balance action plans which they will share with you.”

• Senior leaders around the world held meetings with staff to drive home the message that gender balance is “a must win priority.”

Winning Balance was much more than a communications campaign. The employee engagement it cascaded has led to changes in priorities at both country and global levels and helped to create a more inclusive, agile and diverse organization.

It triggered a truly global discussion. The countries and regions taking part included: Australia, Bangladesh, Benelux, Brazil, Central Africa, Central Europe, China, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, France, Greece, India (Hindustan Unilever), Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia & Singapore, Mexico, Middle East, Middle Americas, North Africa, New Zealand, North America, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland & Baltics, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, South Africa, Southern Cone, Taiwan & Hong Kong, Turkey, UK & Ireland, USCE, and Vietnam.

Our supporting files include the global toolkit and assets provided to communications teams in every country, examples of activities, impact and achievements.

Globally, Winning Balance has helped to identify five priorities that have led to strong, individual programs to drive gender balance including agile working and pre- and post- maternity support - now big focus areas.

Unilever has followed up Winning Balance with Winning Together, a global campaign to address cultures and practices that were identified as issues for women. This campaign launched in Unilever in mid-2013 and is building on Winning Balance to produce real change in culture, which means that gender balance is improving globally as senior female managers are attracted and retained.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the team that created and carried out the nominated communications campaign (up to 125 words):

Barney Wyld

VP Global Campaigns, employee engagement and digital, Unilever plc

Barney heads the global employee engagement agenda from a communications standpoint at Unilever. He has devised a new ‘internal marketing’ campaigning approach to connecting employees with Unilever’s mission of ‘making sustainable living commonplace’. He works closely with HR colleagues to support key culture change priorities for the business, in particular gender balance.

Barney has a particular interest in using communications to drive behavior and culture change: he ran the communications for the smoking ban in the UK in 2007 before joining the Office of Fair Trading, where he led consumer protection campaigns.

Barney started life as a speechwriter for an MP in the UK Parliament, and has spent most of his career in consultancy.