Once a year, distinguished guests come together to discuss recommendations for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Our Miss Kaya team were delighted to attend the event in order to understand how we can play a better part in supporting the SDG’s.
Our curiosity was naturally aligned with SGD 5, Gender Equality.
Here’s some commitments that were discussed and advised during the panel session on the 22nd November at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The discussion highlighted the key areas for Gender Equality Seal of the UNDP certification, these are:
- Eliminating gender-based pay gaps
- Increasing women’s roles in decision-making
- Enhancing work-life balance
- Enhancing women’s access to non-traditional jobs
- Eradicating sexual harassment at work
- Using inclusive, non-sexist communication
Following the addressment of these key goals, the panelists highlighted that sometimes we believe gender equality is just a woman’s issue but in fact it’s really not.
It’s about the human expectations of both, male or female workers, about their interests and about their problems.
So when a company attempts to implement any of the above certification standards, it’s important to find specific actions to act upon the problems of both male and female workers.
An engaging comment was made by an audience member in relation to retaining female workers in leadership positions. Statistics show that women have a very low retention rate in leadership positions once they take time off to start a family. To point out, the panel member was a male and enquired how we can help women come back to work after they take maternity leave.
Coming back to the comments above, the panelists advised that it’s important to help male workers take time off to support their family at home, encouraging corporates to provide more time for paternity leave. This is a perfect example of how corporates should include both the male and female workers when dealing with Gender Equality, it’s not just a one sided issue.
The panel discussion had to wrap up with 3 key summary points that include recommendations to corporates on how they should approach SDG 5 . The points are listed verbatim.
- The gender equality in the workplace is more than just a gender parody, it’s beyond just the numbers in equality – it requires building inclusive work practices and a positive business culture so that women and men can both thrive and feel trusted and respected in those environments
- Achieving gender equality in the workforce requires a strong leadership at the highest levels, concerted actions and accountability, which includes the importance of measuring. Having good metrics and reporting on progress. Benchmarking and having targets. If you don’t measure you won’t see where they gaps are or the lack of progress that you’re achieving.
- Opportunities of the digital economy. Scaling up progress for women and girls by really Flattening the structures that we have for accessing financing and employment opportunities, especially when talking about SME’s, and home based enterprises.
We found the discussions to be very engaging but at the end of the day it’s important to begin measuring compliance within your workforce.
UNDP stated that in response to growing demand they are now preparing to work with partners in every region to adapt and implement the Gender Equality Deal Certification Programme for public and Private Enterprises. Like to know more? Do check out UNDP’s official website on Gender Equality.