The historic Generation Equality Forum at the end of June (hosted by UN Women and the French Government) brought together business, government and civil society leaders to discuss roadblocks and outline ambitious action plans to advance gender equality. While the journey to the Forum was not without its challenges—especially the ongoing pandemic, which has greatly exacerbated gender divides—the $40 billion in new funding is the largest-ever collective infusion of resources into this critical work.
B Team companies stepped up with meaningful commitments. Kering, an Action Coalition leader on gender-based violence, pledged €5 million to finance the creation of 15 new women’s centers, which will offer care and support for survivors of violence across France. GSMA and Natura &Co pledged to achieve gender balanced leadership within their organizations by 2025. Unilever committed to invest €2 million to create safe and empowering workplaces for women in India. Mastercard pledged to bring 25 million women-owned businesses into the digital economy. And PayPal committed an eye-popping $100 million over five years to advance women’s economic empowerment. There are many more commitments and incredible partners to celebrate, including UN Women, UN Foundation, Gates Foundation, BSR and Win-Win Strategies.
We still have a long road ahead of us, and considerations like equitable vaccine distribution, return to work schemes and violence prevention are key to the success of initiatives advancing gender equality. And at The B Team, we know that without challenging conformity in leadership, we will fail to ensure a better future for humanity and the planet. #ChangeWHOtoChangeHOW