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Corporations Dominated by Men – HeForShe Campaign


27 January 2016 at 9:52 pm
Ellie Cooper
While men comprise 60 per cent of the general workforce they hold 95 per cent of CEO positions in the world’s largest corporations, according to the UN Women’s inaugural HeForShe Corporate Parity report. Released at…

Ellie Cooper | 27 January 2016 at 9:52 pm


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Corporations Dominated by Men – HeForShe Campaign
27 January 2016 at 9:52 pm

While men comprise 60 per cent of the general workforce they hold 95 per cent of CEO positions in the world’s largest corporations, according to the UN Women’s inaugural HeForShe Corporate Parity report.

Released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the report found that, on average, women make up 29 per cent of board and 27 per cent of senior leadership positions.

When HeForShe launched last year in Davos, CEOs from 10 of the world’s largest, male-led companies made a commitment to work towards parity, becoming the campaign’s “IMPACT Champions”.

The companies, AccorHotels, Barclays, Koç Holding, McKinsey & Company,  PricewaterhouseCoopers, Schneider Electric, Tupperware Brands, Twitter, Unilever and Vodafone, made what was called an unprecedented disclosure of their workforce gender diversity figures in the report.

“I salute the courage of this group to reveal their equality profiles and their evident dedication to make radical change. They lay bare in specific detail what we know to be the global norm – women are chronically under-represented in leadership roles and in formal employment overall,”   Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said.

“Through their experiences, we can identify and scale solutions to transform sectors, and eventually, achieve an equal world. They are shaping what corporate leadership looks like on this issue.”

The 10 Fortune 500 companies have made gender equality an institutional priority since they signed up, but the report showed that a gap remains between the representation of women in the workforce at large, and in leadership positions.

Overall representation of women averaged 39.7 per cent across the 10 firms, but the proportion of senior leadership roles held by women ranged from a low of 11 per cent to a high of only 33 per cent.

While report said that this group outperforms global averages, there is still a long way to go to reach the UN Women’s 50-50 Planet by 2030 mission, which includes workplace prity.

Some progress is being made, however. Tupperware’s board was 40 per cent women, as were 61 per cent of its new hires, bringing it the closest to parity on these measures out of the group.

“Some things just cannot wait. Men must stand up now for women’s equality. Why am I a HeForShe Champion? Not just because I can’t wait, but because I will not wait,” CEO of Tupperware, Rick Goings, said.

Barclays, PwC, and Unilever also achieved parity in their new hires, and AccorHotels on its board.


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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