Diversity and gender equality as effective incentives

UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 - Businesses fight for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls

diversity and equality

Author: House of Eden

The fifth United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by 2030. In many parts of the world, gender equality has declined or stagnated. At the same time, the corporate world has made gender equality a top priority in recent years.

Global gender inequalities have worsened

Women are more likely to be unemployed than men, work low-wage jobs, and earn less than their male counterparts. At the political level, women are also underrepresented. Transgender and non-binary people also suffer from significant inequalities.

The coronavirus pandemic has worsened things for women and girls by deepening existing inequalities in health, economy, security, and social welfare. Geopolitical changes, such as the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan, have also taken their toll.

Diversity and gender equality are powerful incentives

According to McKinsey analysis doubling the proportion of women in tech jobs to 45% by 2027 could boost Europe's GDP by up to €600 billion. Because only 38% of STEM graduates in Europe are women. In areas with a high demand for technology talent, the proportion of women is currently only 8%. According to McKinsey, a higher proportion of women in tech jobs can be a solution to strengthening Europe's innovative capacity.

As a result, leading companies increasingly recognize that gender equality and diversity in the workplace are not just ethical or compliance issues but also offer business incentives. Companies prioritizing diversity and gender equality achieve higher operating margins, return on sales, earnings per share, and better team decision-making.

The new generation of workers and consumers attach great importance to gender equality and inclusion. This is driving companies to transform their workplace culture to remain competitive, sustainable, and resilient.

To promote gender equality in companies, they should include gender-specific goals in their strategic planning. Also, set clear and measurable benchmarks and ensure the leadership team is directly accountable for implementation. Disclosing their gender strategy increases visibility and accountability. It also celebrates achievements in gender equality and sustainable corporate development.

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