On Wednesday 21st February, the ISC were fortunate enough to attend the UN Women event “HeForShe – Changing the narrative”, generously hosted by LinkLaters. The evening was opened by Karen Parker, Vice Chair, UN Women National Committee UK, who reinforced what a significant impact the HeForShe campaign is making around the world and revealed the proactive initiatives being undertaken by certain sectors, namely Insurance, Technology and Legal. We are proud that Insurance was mentioned as being the first sector to launch an industry wide HeForShe campaign through the Insuring Women’s Future’s (IWF) programme.
Michael Kent, Financial Regulation Partner & Global Head of Finance & Projects, then addressed the audience and explained why Linklaters are a new sponsor of the campaign, what they are doing to change and what their aims are going forward; engage men, empower men to call out bias and celebrate men championing gender equality. He emphasised that a better gender balance has a positive impact and is good for business.
Ann Cormack, Executive Head, Human Resources, De Beers Group, also significant sponsors of the HeForShe campaign, went on to speak about the strong values of De Beers and how they want to sell a product they are proud of therefore they are investing a considerable amount in community projects each year, one of their target areas being gender equality. Additionally, they have changed their advertising strategy, positioning women as consumers of diamonds more so than in the past, a campaign that was extremely successful.
Sula Bruce, COO, UN Women National Committee UK, praised the positive change and identified the significant impact of The Daughter Effect – that CEO’s with daughters are more likely to employ women which has been proven to make them better decision makers. However, she also highlighted a new issue that is arising, which is how individuals are identifying gender bias in the workplace. Individuals are now opening up and identifying the problem but we need to ensure it is done in the most beneficial way; for the individual, the accused and the business.
Laura Haynes brought the evening to a close urging the audience to read their new research “Turning promises into action”. This piece of research focuses on global data and the analytics – we need to push for better data collection because, surprisingly, it isn’t good enough yet. We need this data to enforce the required change!