Global Compact Says No to All-Male Panels
23 March 2016 at 9:20 am
The world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the United Nations Global Compact has issued a call for employers everywhere to take up an Australian inspired pledge to put an end to all-male panels.
Executive Director Lise Kingo announced the UN Global Compact Panel Pledge in her opening remarks at the Women’s Empowerment Principles Annual Event, calling on staff members at the UN’s headquarters in New York to pledge not to take part in or to host panels comprised only of men.
“Through this effort, the UN Global Compact’s male employees can help advance gender equality when they are invited to speak on an all-male panel by asking to substitute a female colleague, raising the importance of women speakers if they do attend the event, or declining the speaking engagement,” Kingo said.
“Too often, I’ve been the only woman on a panel. It is time that we challenge the status quo and stop making excuses – there is no shortage of qualified women.
“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require greater equality and opportunity for women and girls everywhere. One practical way to start is by pledging to make both women’s and men’s perspectives heard on stages everywhere.”
To put the pledge on a global footing, the UN Global Compact has encouraged its 80-plus Local Networks and more than 13,000 signatories around the world to make their own pledges to bring gender balance to conferences and events . They have also been asked them share their commitment via Twitter at #PanelPledge.
The UN Global Compact’s announcement was inspired by the Male Champions of Change work led by Elizabeth Broderick, co-chair of the Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Group and Former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner.
“I’ve seen the impact of the Panel Pledge in corporate Australia and commend the UN Global Compact for taking it to the global business community,” Broderick said.
“Not only does diversity of perspective benefit the quality of the conversation, ensuring the inclusion of women at business forums alters the optics and challenges entrenched gender norms and stereotypes.”
— Elizabeth Broderick (@LizBroderick) March 16, 2016
Every year the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks host over a hundred events around the world focused on corporate sustainability and the vision of achieving a more sustainable and inclusive global economy through principled business action and innovation.
In 2010, the UN Global Compact and UN Women launched the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) – seven Principles for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community.
The WEPs provide a ready-made platform to mobilise corporate action and catalyse partnerships and collaborations that have the potential to deepen and accelerate impact.
Learn more here.