Although there has been increasing awareness that the achievement of gender equality is a prerequisite for sustainable development, the adoption of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development of which one of the stated goals is to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” (SDG 5), reflects the need for further progress.
Convinced that it is possible to combine financial performance and achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Mirova furthers its commitment to gender equality by gathering 66 investors in a statement to support the women’s empowerment in the workplace and achieve gender equality. In addition to calling for increased transparency on this topic, the purpose of this statement is to encourage companies to sign the Women’s Empowerment Principles. This set of 7 principles, established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, aims at helping companies create and implement effective equality initiatives that benefit workers, management, society and shareholders. This statement will now be disseminated to a large set of global companies in order to reaffirm the importance of gender equality and to notify them that investors are paying growing attention to this issue.
“Increasingly, the underrepresentation of women in top-level management positions in the private sector is seen as an urgent challenge, not only from a fairness and equality perspective, but also because it may impede performance, explains Philippe Zaouati, Mirova’s CEO. We believe that a company that promotes and takes decisive and concrete actions towards gender equality is a company that will create value not only for its investors, but for all of the stakeholders.”
With this joint statement Mirova and the undersigned investors reaffirm their increasing attention to gender equality and women’s empowerment in their investment decisions. Consequently, they strongly encourage business leaders to take corporate action to promote gender equality in their companies by signing the Women’s Empowerment Principle, and they call on companies foster the implementation of gender equality performance measurement tools and improve transparency on their actions and outcomes.
“The WEPs strategic framework is a smart way to incentivize the investment community to take action on gender equality. It’s a triple win proposition, with better investments for investors; impact-driven change by investees; and decent work, opportunities and decision-making that empower women and girls.” declares Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Executive Director of UN Women.
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