Speak Up!

4 people - speak up message

Speak Up!, our global campaign to prevent bullying, discrimination and harassment, was launched in 2020 is an important strand of our ongoing work to create a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone is treated with respect and has their voice heard. 

The campaign included a video featuring Tetra Pak employees holding up statements that illustrate mindsets or behaviours that could have an adverse effect on others. Our diversity is part of our strength, and we wanted to bring in the voices of those who may have felt excluded, silenced or discriminated against in the past. 

Valerie Cerniglia, Communications Business Partner for HR, was part of the team behind the video. “It was important to us that people seeing this video would feel confirmed and reinforced in their beliefs about what was not acceptable, and that this would strengthen their ability to speak up if they felt they were being treated unfairly. Some of the statements were obvious, but others may have touched on slightly grey areas – so much depends on your own background, the culture you were raised in and experiences that have shaped you. Ideas of what is and is not acceptable are still evolving in society and so we wanted to draw a line and make it absolutely clear that we have a global approach of zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment and bullying behaviours.

“We asked employees to volunteer because we wanted to get away from a corporate feel. Yes, this is about policy – and everyone needs to understand our policy – but we wanted to foster an emotional connection, an empathy so that people feel moved and empowered to do the right thing and to speak up and call out bad behaviour.”

Amirali Jalili, HR Country Services Leader for GMEA (active supporter of the Speak Up! campaign): “Strategy may start at the top, but it’s people that make it real. That’s why something like the Speak Up! campaign is so important in making it clear what we expect of our people and what actions they can take if they do come across discrimination in the workplace. 

“In our cluster we want to create a safe environment where people can talk freely about discrimination, harassment and bullying. So many problems are caused by lack of understanding; that’s why encouraging people to share their experiences is such a powerful thing.”

Gisele Gurgel, Director Business Insights and Analytics (appeared in the Speak Up! video): “I joined the campaign to use my life experience [as a woman from an emerging market] to show that we need to learn that we are all biased, we each have a different cultural view of things, so we need to be careful when judging people. I am now much more mindful of the impact I have on others. 

“I have even started a course at the University of Colorado on inclusive leadership. I want to empower and equip myself to develop an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued and respected – and to reap the benefits of an inclusive team.”

Valerie Cerniglia: “I found working on this project very satisfying from both a personal and a professional point of view. It was particularly encouraging to see how many people volunteered to be in the video – there’s a real appetite for us to do the right thing and support positive change.”

Bruce Mackimmie, Cluster Leader Supply Chain Operations, Americas (appeared in the Speak Up! video): “I was only in the video very briefly, but as a result I had a few people who didn’t know me that well reach out to with problems they had been hesitant to discuss. I was able to give reassurance that it is safe to voice their concerns and that it would not affect their careers. I was really happy to see such a positive direct outcome of the video.

“Every person and every company has hidden biases – as leaders we need to work proactively to create an open culture, where it’s safe to have these conversations and where we can all learn from each other.”

Marcus Fattor, Market Sustainability Manager, Brazil (appeared in the Speak Up! video): “I was really happy to be in the campaign – it was a great way to begin conversations about this important issue. When people don’t feel empowered to speak out, we as a company lose their input and it narrows the discussion. We need to widen the conversation and bring in those missing voices. 

“I’d like to see local versions of the video too, maybe in languages other than English. There are different levels of understanding around these issues in different regions and it would be great to address that in future.”

Sharon Bowker, Editor, Internal Communications Operations (appeared in the Speak Up! video): “I thought the video was an important thing to do. I differ from many of my peers in terms of age, I have visible physical disability and I am LGBTQ, so although I do feel seen and heard in my work environment, I am very aware that this is not the case for everyone.

 “I think every ‘teachable moment’ is important. The video brought these together powerfully, but we can all do the right thing day to day by being open about ourselves and accepting of others, whatever their differences.”