05/05/2015

More choices and opportunities for all: why I’m HeForShe

ADennis Nally Jan15uthor: Dennis Nally, Chairman, PwC International Ltd.

This year, our 18th Annual Global CEO Survey revealed that 85% of the CEOs whose organisation has a diversity and inclusiveness strategy say it’s enhanced business, while 56% say it’s helped them compete in new industries or countries.

Unsurprisingly, most companies focus primarily on two kinds of diversity:  gender diversity and the diversity of knowledge, skills and experience. While companies must expand their inclusion strategies beyond gender to be relevant, it’s important they continue to include gender as a key dimension since women comprise half the world’s population.

And yet, despite years of promoting gender equality, many women and girls around the world continue to face inequalities. Consider this: while women make up 60% of college graduates, only 3% of leaders around the world are women. In most countries, women’s wages represent between 70-90% of men’s, with even lower ratios in some Asian and Latin American countries.

Two things are clear. First, this problem isn’t going to correct itself. And second, to create a more equal world, everyone has a role to play.

To help solve the problem, I’ve joined other CEOs, heads of state and universities to play an active role in HeForShe, a movement for gender equality by UN Women. HeForShe aims to get men more engaged than ever in the fight against gender inequality, through both education and action. The campaign’s based on the premise that gender equality isn’t just a women’s issue, but that men have a crucial role to play too. While we’ve always known this, it’s clear that HeForShe has tapped into a growing trend; men around the world are joining the movement because they understand that gender equality means more choices for women and men, and a much more innovative world for everyone.

We’re proud to be a founding HeforShe champion:  one of 10 corporations, 10 universities and 10 governments committed to identifying and testing approaches for addressing gender inequality.

As such, we’ve committed to taking a number of actions, including:

Develop and launch an innovative male-focused gender curriculum with global reach
Lending our educational expertise and footprint to HeForShe, we’ll develop an innovative new curriculum to educate and empower men as gender equality advocates.

Launch a Global Inclusion Index to further increase women in leadership roles
For the first time, we’ll complete a comprehensive global evaluation of the rates of women across levels of PwC, with a specific focus on women in leadership. Based on the insights from this evaluation, each PwC firm will be able to develop tailored interventions to address potential barriers.

Raise the global profile of HeForShe with PwC people, clients, and communities
We’ll lend our full global footprint to HeForShe, driving awareness and action within and beyond PwC. Men will be encouraged to commit online, and take specific actions towards gender equality.

At the launch of HeForShe at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January, I also signed the CEO Statement of Support to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.

HeforsheDennis2Since then, it’s been my personal goal to mention the HeForShe campaign to as many men and women as possible and to make them aware of the crucial role we all have to play to end gender inequality. 

Achieving gender equality isn’t going to be an easy task. But, with the support of 195,000 PwC people in 157 countries, I’m confident that we can help make a real difference in the lives of women and girls around the world - and build a much more innovative world where men and women have more choices.

To find out more, visit www.heforshe.org/impact

 

 

Dennis Nally leads the global network of PwC firms. He has extensive experience serving large multinational clients in a variety of industries, principally focusing on technology and life sciences. Dennis is also a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on issues affecting the professional services profession and the global capital markets. Read Dennis Nally's full biography.

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Comments

There are some non sequiturs in these comments. For example there is no relevance to saying that women make up 60% of college graduates but only 3% of the "leaders" around the world. One does not go from college commencement to being a world leader whether one is male or female. That might be a relevant statistic 30 years from now but not today. Even if relevant it is not necessarily instructive. What percentage of women versus men choose to stay home to raise children. And that same factor affects the comparison of male and female wages. Both time in the workforce and time in a position, among other factors, must be taken into account when engaging in wage comparisons.

Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. It's absolutely true that women don't jump straight from college to leadership positions. The point is that with all of that talent going into the workforce, if more than 3% aren't making it to leadership positions, then the issue is systemic. Women have been graduating at higher rates for over a decade so we know the problem won't fix itself. Research shows that the belief that women leave the workforce to have a family is mostly a myth - and that, in fact, there are other factors involved such as the perceived lack of opportunities for growth. Of course, some women do want to exit the work force to be full-time caregivers - as do men. Men are increasingly sharing domestic duties and availing themselves of the parental benefits the workplace offers. Finally, plenty of studies show that even when tenure and job type are controlled, the wage gap persists. We believe that we can all work for a more equal world that will mean more choices both for men and women.

Great article and I cannot agree more about the mentioned issues. I generally believe that we, women, have some skills and talents which are very unusual for men and same vice versa, that is also one of the reasons why both female and male should be appriciated and valued at the same level.
Many female skills are not just required, but are crutial for business nowadays.
I believe the path we have been following, especially at PwC, will lead us to female and male equality, mutual success, and career as well as business developments.

its the moment that we, mostly at the top leadership we accept that women too have similar skills, and so they have to play their role as well, and is the high time that we have to recognize they have a duty to play in promoting and creating a competitive environment globally.
As is said;behind a successful man there is a woman, then we have to reach out for their aggressiveness and put it in the business for their better tomorrow to feel involved, so lets join together and solve the problem now,for equality and business development.

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