New initiative aims to increase women’s representation and leadership in business
Submitted by United Nations Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact today announced a new global initiative to increase women's representation and leadership in business.
To be rolled out early next year, the initiative — Target Gender Equality — will support companies participating in the UN Global Compact to set and meet ambitious, time-bound corporate targets for women’s representation and leadership across business and at all levels.
Through the initiative, companies will deepen their implementation of the Women’s Empowerment Principles and strengthen their contributions towards Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which calls for women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making, including in economic life.
Last week, leaders attending the high-level events of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly — and the UN Global Compact Leaders Week — called for greater action to remove barriers to women's economic empowerment and highlighted the importance of corporate commitment and action to accelerate the pace of change. Target Gender Equality was introduced at the Trailblazing Women Reception on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
“Without women, the Global Goals will not become a reality,” said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “This is the moment to ensure that targets on women’s participation are nailed down as part of balanced scorecards and corporate strategies in all companies.”
Also speaking at the reception, Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chairman of Mastercard, said, “Why would you as a company just look for talent in half the human race? Quite frankly, you would be missing out on a tremendous amount of talent.” Reflecting on the process of hiring female country heads at Mastercard, she noted, “It just requires a bit of attention and really measuring what you want to achieve.”
Activist and Founder of the I Weigh movement Jameela Jamil, said, “I am delighted to be here to support this night that celebrates a changing landscape in business and, more importantly, in our entire society. May these events soon not need to exist because we have carved out a deserved equal space for women once and for all.”
In its first year, Target Gender Equality will engage companies across 20 countries in close collaboration with Global Compact Local Networks.
To learn more about Target Gender Equality, visit here.
About the United Nations Global Compact
As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact works with companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact guides and supports the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 60 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.
For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at www.unglobalcompact.org.
Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact brings business together with UN agencies, labor, civil society and governments to advance ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to mainstream these ten principles in business activities around the world and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With over 4,100 participating companies from more than 100 countries, it is the world's largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative. For more information, please visit www.unglobalcompact.org.
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