The Unilever head office
It’s a first for South Africa as a major corporation shows its support for a Pride event in a very public and colourful way.
To celebrate Durban Pride Week (18 to 24 July), consumer goods giant Unilever South Africa has lit up its head office in the city in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple colours.
The Pride colours will shine brightly every night during the event, which climaxes in the highly anticipated Durban Pride Liberation March and Festival on Saturday, 23 July.
In a statement, Unilever, which has been repeatedly named the best company to work for in South Africa, said that it is committed to diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and “aims to send a clear message out to both the public and their employees that our differences make South Africa stronger”.
“It’s imperative that our employees feel free to be themselves and bring their full potential to the workplace,” commented Mechell Chetty, Unilever Vice President of Human Resources.
Chetty added: “Over the years, and through our focused approach towards the gender equality and the inclusivity agenda, Unilever has created a working environment where all employees can thrive and achieve their goals in a supportive organisational environment.
“We’re excited to show our support for Durban Pride this year and we hope that people see our gesture as a symbol of much needed diversity and unity in the workplace.”
Nonhlanhla MC Mkhize, from the Durban Pride 2016 Planning Committee, applauded the company’s gesture.
“It is reassuring and it sends a message into the business world that nothing will move forward unless you involve all of us. We are your employees and it’s about time that employers not only recognise our talent but us in our totality,” she told Mambaonline.
“This is a move that we want to commend and we want to see more companies being this visible. Many companies say they are pro-gay in their policies, pro-diversity and pro-women’s rights, but to actually take a stand this visible is awesome and should be encouraged,” Mkhize added.
The lights at the Unilever offices will be on from 6pm till 10pm every night until Sunday.