Achieving gender equality has been a hot topic of global conversation recently. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set a target to achieve gender equality by 2030 and leading CEOs are becoming vocal proponents for the issue.
Each year on March 8, companies, governments, institutions, and civil society come together to celebrate International Women’s Day and reaffirm commitments to advancing women’s empowerment. And while we’ve made significant progress in women’s economic empowerment, gaps still remain—for example, the CEOs of 21 of the largest global companies are women, but women still represent less than 5 percent of CEOs at S&P 500 companies.
To coincide with International Women's Day on 8 March, GRI calls on organizations to help close the gender gap by increasing their reporting on gender equality.
“Although it feels like great strides have been made on gender equality on things like pay and women in leadership positions, the reality is that there is still a long way to go,” explains Alyson Slater, Director, Knowledge Unit, GRI. “For example, just 5.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and the World Economic Forum predicts that, at the current rate, it will take until 2133 to achieve gender parity.”
Recently, I led two panels at a symposium in Chicago on gender equality on boards and in the C-suite. The event approached the problem and solution through the lens of the investor and social impact organizations – and our power to compel change.
Ten years of research on gender diversity suggests that providing more opportunities for women increases a company’s market performance and unleashes untapped economic value. Aligning global gender equality initiatives with private sector goals has the potential to advance the position of women in business.
STAR Plus, the flagship channel of the STAR India television network owned by 21st Century Fox, recently launched Chal Kar Pehel, a national campaign raising awareness for women's rights issues and advocating for gender equality.