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The label BRIC refers to a small group of four developing countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). The four BRIC countries stand a host of other promising emerging markets with their demographic and economic potential to rank among the largest economies and most influential in the world in the 21st century (and having a reasonable chance of achieving this potential). Overall, the first four BRIC countries represent more than 2.8 billion people, or 40 percent of the world's population, covering more than a quarter of the land area of the world on three continents and has more than 25 percent of global GDP.
An acronym for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. The general consensus is that the term has been used as evidence in a Goldman Sachs report from 2003, which found that in 2050, these four countries would be richer than most of the current major economic powers.
Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, and notions of time, roles, and spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and collective efforts.
BRIC countries as emerging economies in the global business environment
Once attractive only for their natural resources, or as a source of cheap labor and low manufacturing cost, emerging markets are now considered promising markets in their own right. The rapid growth of the population, sustainable economic development and a growing middle class are many companies look to emerging markets in a whole new way. As emerging markets grow, as well as their companies. Many companies that had previously posed no competitive threat to multinational companies now do. These emerging leaders represent a major change in the global competitive landscape a trend that will only increase as they grow in size, establish dominance and seek new opportunities beyond their traditional domestic markets and near-shore. In particular, we see the following trends before:
Leading emerging markets will continue to drive globalÂ growth
Estimates show that 70% of global growth in the coming years will come from emerging markets, with China and India account for 40% of this growth. Adjusted for purchasing power parity, the rise of emerging countries is even more impressive: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that the total GDP of emerging economies could exceed that of developed economies by 2014. Projections suggest that investors will continue to invest in emerging markets for some time to come. Emerging markets attract nearly 50% of foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide and represent 25% of FDI flows. The brightest spots of FDI continues to be in Africa, the Middle East, and Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs), with Asian markets are of particular interest for the moment. In 2020, the BRIC countries are expected to account for nearly 50% of global GDP growth. Securing a solid foundation in these countries will be critical for investors seeking growth beyond.
Emerging market leaders will become a disruptive force in the global competitiveÂ landscape
As emerging countries are gaining in importance, new businesses are center stage. The rise of these emerging leaders will be one of the fastest growing global trends of this decade.
These emerging market companies continue to be major competitors on the domestic market while outward investment increasingly in other emerging economies and developing countries.
Working to serve clients of limited means, the leaders of emerging markets often produce innovative designs that reduce manufacturing costs and sometimes disrupt entire industries.
A concrete example: the Tata Motors Nano U.S. $ 2,900, a price less than half the cost of any other car on the world market. Version is set on sale in Europe this year.
Many leaders emerging markets grew in markets with "institutional voids" where support systems such as retail distribution channels, reliable transportation and telecommunications systems and adequate water supplies exist any simply not.
As a result, these companies have a more innovative, entrepreneurial culture and have developed a greater flexibility to meet their local and "bottom-of-the-pyramid" customers.
Rising population and prosperity drive new consumer growth andÂ urbanization
Between now and 2050 the world population is expected to grow by 2.3 billion people, eventually reaching $ 9.1 billion. The combined purchasing power of the middle class world is estimated to more than double by 2030 to U.S. $ 56 billion. Over 80% of this demand will come from Asia. Most of the new middle class in the world live in developing countries, and almost all live in cities, often in small towns not yet built. These surges of urbanization stimulate business, but put enormous pressure on infrastructure. Physical infrastructure such as water supply, sanitation and electricity, and soft infrastructure, such as recruitment agencies and intermediaries to deal with customer credit checks, will be built or upgraded to cope with the urban middle class growing. Address these concerns in Asia alone will require an estimated U.S. $ 7.5 billion in investments by 2020. Meeting these needs will likely require public-private partnerships, new approaches to equity financing and development of capital markets.
Emerging markets will become the newÂ battleground
The BRIC countries have a major impact on their regional trading partners and more distant, resource-rich countries, an increasing number of which are based in their economic orbit.
In 2009, emerging from emerging (E2E) trade reached U.S. $ 2.9 billion. This massive flow of investment among emerging markets is on track to create a second tier of emerging leaders.
As the pressure increases for resources, we expect a battle for first-mover advantage among the heroes emerging international players and governments in emerging markets in regions such as the Middle East and Africa.
Global influence grows
Inevitably, the growing economic power of the BRIC translates into a greater ability to influence global economic policy. In October 2010, for example, emerging economies have gained a greater voice under a historic agreement that gave 6% of the shares with voting rights in the IMF for emerging countries such as China dynamic. Under the agreement, China will become the third largest IMF member. It would be a mistake to consider the economic growth in emerging markets as a winner-take-all contest, with developed countries on the losing side. Billions of new middle class consumers in emerging markets represent new markets for developed countries, exports and global companies based in developed countries. Companies in emerging markets are another great new market: business-to-business sales in China and India, for example, are a key factor in the German export economy.
Focus on gender
The reason to focus on the gender balance is clear.
Consumers: women are a great opportunity for our company. Globally, women control nearly $ 12 trillion total 18.4 trillion in consumer spending. According to the Boston Consulting Group (2010), which is more than the GDP of the BRIC countries $ 11.23 billion in 2011.
Talent: Women will be our future workforce. The majority of university graduates in developed countries are women. According to the OECD (2010), this number is expected to rise from 57% in 2005 to 63% in 2025.
Innovation: diversity stimulates innovation. Research conducted by Forbes Insights (July 2011) reinforced the diversity as a key stepping stone viewing a program in two or more ways. Organizations working on the established principle that the greater the diversity of thought leads to greater innovation and business growth.
Women represent more than 75% of our customer base and 50% of the talent pool we can draw on the world. Our workforce must reflect this and more than 50% of our recruits graduates are women. In principle, the pipeline is full, but our task is to ensure many more to reach the highest levels.
We put a special spotlight on gender diversity in particular at senior and middle management and our talent attraction and retention strategy. Diversity is one of the business objectives of our leaders.
We are seeing results, with improvements in the number of women in leadership positions and the overall diversity of future talent. For example, the proportion of women in management positions increased from 23% in 2007 to 28% in 2011. In our survey of views Pulse annual management of the company, approval of our diversity and inclusion has increased by four percentage points to 83%, well above the external benchmark of 74%.
However, our diversity is not where we want it to be. Although 30% of our non-executive directors are women, there is only one woman on the executive leadership of Unilever.
We closely monitor our performance and overall results are reported quarterly for review by our Chief Executive Officer and the World Council for diversity. Our facilitators six, described below, will help us to increase the number of women at all levels of the company.
A proactive plan to improve diversity
We work to integrate diversity firmly into our business decisions on a daily basis through our talent management processes and people. Our business units are required to develop specific diversity plans that are aligned with the priorities and needs of their markets.
Six facilitators implemented across the enterprise to help attract, retain and develop diverse talent within Unilever. They are:
Accountability - clear objectives and global dashboards for all regions.
Mentoring - global and local programs for our key people.
Networks - networking in each business unit to focus on and support diversity.
Flexible working - the implementation of flexible work programs.
Career planning - with an emphasis on diversity.
Culture - the importance of integrating diversity and inclusion in training.
Our global mentoring program was created in 2009 for a competitive advantage, ensuring a strong pipeline of talent for the future, and help develop and accelerate the preparation of the potential of men and women in leadership positions. Mentoring relationships provide ongoing feedback and guidance on career progression and personal development plans and can play a key role in helping individuals reach their full potential. 114 of our best players took part in the mentoring program over the period 2009-2011, with 26% having been promoted to a vice president or senior vice president role. The program is managed globally for senior and was implemented locally for mid-level positions within and subordinate business units. These local programs are the basis of our overall framework, but are designed to meet the needs of different countries and regions.
Networks offer valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth, relationship building and interaction with role models and mentors. Dozens of networks supporting our diversity and inclusion strategy. They focus on education, professional development, commitment, innovation and community outreach at the local level. Some examples are listed below.
Women Interactive Network (WIN).
WIN mission is to create a positive environment for women at Unilever, enhance our reputation as an employer of choice for women and to strengthen the representation of women in our leadership ranks and talent pipelines. Executive Leadership sponsored by Unilever, the main objective of WIN is to help women achieve their full potential. It organizes events such as luncheons during awareness seminars, financial circles and mentoring forums personal and professional development.
People respecting individuality, diversity and equality (PRIDE).
PRIDE is a lesbian, gay network, bisexual and transgender diversity (LGBT) open to all Unilever employees who share a common goal to endorse and respect diversity. It aims to create an open working environment for the LGBT community, and helps to develop its members by providing both business and social interaction to further personal growth.
Bridging Inter-Generations (BIG!).
We have a multigenerational workforce. BIG! Supports our diversity and talent management strategies in promoting career development, promoting social and professional networking, innovation and promoting an inclusive culture in order to increase the performance of individuals and Unilever.
U-FAM (Unilever Fathers and Mothers).
Our network of parents who work "aims to connect people at all stages of their career and parenthood to provide mutual support and nurture work-life balance. U-FAM is also keen to add the voice of working parents messages Unilever brands and ideas of leverage to connect consumers to brands.
Agile and flexible working
Our goal is to create a work environment conducive to family life. One way to achieve this is through agile working, which allows employees to work flexibly - anytime and anywhere - as long as the business needs are met. To support agile work, we introduce new working practices, the consolidation of offices, and investing in new technologies.
At the same time non-traditional careers and flexible work arrangements such as job sharing, flextime or reduced working from home also help to create a more balance between work and family. In many countries, we work with child care providers to help parents in their transition back to work.
We also support employees who decide to take a career break, whether a sabbatical or maternity / paternity. This "landing" the career ladder is considered by Unilever as a simple extension of the progression and not a cancellation of progression. Leave arrangements differ from country to country, depending on local law.
To achieve a real change in attitudes and approaches to managing diversity within the company, people need to understand why it is important to our success. The aim of our diversity learning and development is to increase diversity awareness and management skills of managers and employees of Unilever. The programs range from executive sessions of immersion in online training for all employees delivered through training on the Code of Business Principles.
In 2012, we produced a video and booklet profiling models female roles in our business. Video "Our models inspiring" includes sixteen of our elders who share their life stories of inspiration for all employees, men and women.
The feedback from our employees
The results of our survey through 2011 Global People (survey our Pulse) Unilever managers showed a positive development. Our overall results on diversity and inclusion are out 4% higher than a reference Global Business:
90% of managers feel that they are treated with respect and dignity.
78% of managers believe that Unilever has a work environment that values â€‹â€‹diverse perspectives.
80% of managers believe they are treated fairly regardless of their origins.
We work in partnership with several organizations to promote gender balance in the workplace.
We established the Fund for Research in Leadership and Diversity at INSEAD business school with a gift of â‚¬3 million. The research output of the Fund will help inform our thinking on the promotion of women into leadership positions.
Unilever is a member of Catalyst, a global organization working to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women in business. Catalyst also conducts gender research.
Women's International Network (WIN)
The WIN conference is an international network that engages and supports women in enhancing their knowledge and developing as authentic leaders. Every year, more than 1,000 participants from over 65 countries come together for the WIN conference to network and address organisation-specific and wider business issues. Unilever is the lead sponsor of the 2012 conference.
Working Mums is a job seeking and community website for professional working mothers. The organization partners with hundreds of large and small employers and runs an extensive database of professional women seeking work in a wide variety of fields. We have defined a charter that sets out our approach to helping working mothers and make use of the database to identify potential employees.
Working Mother (North America)
WorkingMother.com provides advice for working mothers on home and work issues. It also compiles Working Mother: 100 Best Companies and its Best Companies for Multicultural Women.
BITC Opportunity Now
We are a member of Business in the Community's Opportunity Now initiative. This seeks to empower employers to accelerate change for women in the workplace. It works with employers from the private, public and education sectors to offer tailored, practical advice on workplace issues. We are working with Opportunity Now to benchmark our strategy in 2012.
In 2011 Unilever US was named as one of the 'Top companies for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Equality' by Work Life Matters magazine, which highlighted Unilever's commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture at work.
Unilever also continued to score 100% for the fourth consecutive year on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.
Our Chief Executive Officer received the 2010 Jackie Robinson 'ROBIE' Achievements in Industry award in 2010. The commendation recognized the leading role Unilever has played in diversity and community service in the US and around the world by offering scholarships and job opportunities to minority students.
The Harvard Business Review, September 2010 edition, commended Unilever's global mentoring programme. The article, entitled "Why men still get more promotions than women", explored the difference between the traditional approach to mentoring and a new 'sponsorship' style.
In 2010, our Chief R&D Officer Genevieve Berger was ranked number 30 in the international edition of Fortune magazine's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.
The global economy is undergoing a period of intense
restructuring. In this new economic reality, companies are exploring
alternative strategies and bold new initiatives in order to remain
competitive. Promote diversity in the workforce will be a means
to ensure that companies can compete globally and benefit from the
range of skills, attitudes and work styles that can only come
an internal labor differentiated. "In the 21st century, triggered by globalization and increased
competitiveness, organizations increasingly see diversity as
one of the most vital aspects of their ability to be competitive in
the war for talent and customers, suppliers and vendors, "says
Yasser Bhatti of Oxford SaÃ¯d Business School. The corporate world will no longer be diversified in the coming decades, and companies with the vision to embrace this diversity
effectively are likely to reap the greatest rewards.