Sara Ślubowska - Świercz, Unilever w wywiadzie dla Kornblit Talks
Kornblit Talks
Bringing our authentic selves to work enhances business prosperity
You can have massive budgets, impressive projects, and ambitious initiatives, but without supportive and empathetic managers soaring to success becomes a distant dream. The essence of psychological safety within the team is crucial, as bringing our authentic selves to work enhances overall business prosperity - highlights Sara Slubowska - Swiercz, Global Transformation Officer Unilever in Kornblit Talks. 

In the interview for Kornblit Talks Sara Slubowska – Swierszcz embraces among others:

Leadership and empathy 

When developing managers, it’s crucial to focus on fostering flexibility of thought and nurturing empathy. The company can provide tools to the manager. Ultimately, there are managers that shape the work environment, engage in personal conversations with employees, make decisions, and are responsible for individual experiences.

Parenthood and career 

I am the entire world for my child at home, all while striving for excellence in my professional life. Balancing it all is an art – ensuring no facet is neglected. Often, when a caregiving role beckons, it tends to be women making that decision. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of stepping back from a career or opting for a less demanding role. It becomes a vicious a cycle where less experience is gained or obtained later.

When we extended fully paid paternity leave, we were delighted that men from the leadership teams also took advantage of it. This pivotal moment sparked a fundamental shift in mindset for others, realizing that if those in high-profile positions can afford a month-long break, so can anyone.

Support and authenticity

When the need for greater parental support became pronounced by our employees, we implemented programs to assist them in balancing caregiving and professional roles.

We introduced a model that allows women to work 20 hours per week with full compensation upon returning from maternity leave. This enables a smooth transition into responsibilities and provides the flexibility to reshape the balance between home and work.

For women who have experienced miscarriages, we acknowledge this challenging time in their lives, both physically and emotionally. In such situations, we propose an additional monthly leave to provide the necessary support.

Given that Polish law does not provide parental leave for adoptive parents of children above 7 years old, we introduced a three-month benefit to aid them in building their families, relieving financial concerns during this period.

Because when we bring our whole selves to work and can be authentic, the business benefits. We become more engaged, more creative, think more boldly, and collaborate more effectively.

If you want to live a life and develop professionally in harmony with your values, be sure to read this interview: full version available in Polish.