Actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson told delegates at the Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum that encouraging more women into the workplace would be the ‘single biggest stimulus to the economy’ and boost output by $28 trillion within ten years.
Watson’s comments coincide with the release of the HeForShe Parity Report, showcasing the results of the IMPACT 10x10x10 campaign. The campaign, launched at last year’s Davos meeting, aims to drive and encourage ten key participants in governments, corporations and universities worldwide to support gender equality and bring about change. These include some of the biggest names within the corporate industry such as Twitter, Vodafone, Barclays, PwC, Unilever and Tupperware.
These ‘Impact Champions’ have made ‘gender equality an institutional priority by implementing the HeForShe IMPACT framework and developing three bold, game-changing commitments to advance and achieve gender equality for all.’
However, the report suggests that there is still a great deal to be done to achieve the equality envisioned by the UN. The ten companies involved released new diversity figures showing female representation at 39.7% across all the firms. However, a gap still remains between the number of women in the workplace and the amount within senior or leadership positions, which ranges from 11% to 33%. Although these figures are still higher than the global average, UN Women are aiming for parity so there is still away to go to achieve this.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General for the UN said, “The private sector has a key role to play as an accelerator of social change. Studies show that equality is achievable in the workplace and beneficial for the bottom line. By promoting men and women at equal rates, providing full parental leave and refusing to accept bias and discrimination, businesses can break down barriers and pave the way to a new future.”
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, said, “UN Women has a single focus: to achieve worldwide gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by 2030. This is our mission, uniting us all behind a common purpose. For the first time ever, through HeForShe, we have invited men and boys around the world to come with us on this journey. By taking an inclusive approach and working together for equality, we can accelerate progress towards its achievement.”