Source | time.com | SUYIN HAYNES
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In early 2020, when the pandemic hit, companies around the world made a series of complex moves to enable their employees to work from home. Now, as cities and countries start to emerge from lockdowns and execute recovery plans, many companies, like Goldman Sachs, are equally focused on getting them back in the office. At Unilever, which has more than 150,000 employees—including 90,000 in factories—in 190 countries, Leena Nair, the company’s head of HR, is leading the consumer-product giant’s return-to-work strategy, planning for hybrid working and implementing safety protocols to ensure employees across all sectors of the company feel comfortable returning to their workplaces.
Nair started her career with Unilever 25 years ago as a management trainee at Hindustan Unilever, where she held a range of roles, including becoming the first woman to work on the factory floor. When she joined, only 2% of Hindustan Unilever’s employees were women: Last year, Unilever announced that it is gender balanced across its management globally. Nair, 51, is the first female and first Asian chief human resources officer of the company, which estimates that 2.5 billion people worldwide use products from its family of brands, from Axe to Dove to Knorr, every day. Nair recently joined TIME from her home office in London for a video conversation about the workplace in the post-pandemic era.