Imagine the collective joy (and relief) in September 2015 at a historic UN Summit, when – after years of negotiation – representatives from most countries of the world finally signed up to the terms of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030, intended to end poverty through social and economic improvement, and to protect this precious planet through environmental measures.
Some SDGs are considered pivotal to achieving overall success across all 17, with one of these being SDG5: Gender Equality, being defined as the equal treatment of everyone – and the empowerment of women and girls to achieve their full potential.
Gender equality is seen as both a fundamental human right and an essential foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. It covers many aspects in society – such as ending violence against women; child marriage; and lack of access to affordable healthcare, and in business – such as promoting equality; non-discrimination based on gender; and women in leadership.
The issues surrounding the achievement of true gender equality are many, culturally nuanced and will take time to change long-held beliefs, discriminations and unconscious biases. Success will also depend on participating countries supporting new policies with appropriate, enforceable legislation.
Meanwhile, from the euphoria of 2015, fast-forward to 2020 midway through the process, where few could have predicted the global pandemic with the resulting devastating impact, which has halted – or reversed – years of progress on poverty, health and education. Covid-19 has been particularly disastrous and discriminating to women, and the hard work done and progress thus far achieved towards gender equality.
This de-acceleration of activity has so alarmed passionate supporters globally, that gender equality is the theme for 2022 International Women’s Day on March 8th. To raise awareness of the slow-down and pressurise governments and businesses alike, to keep their collective ‘feet on the gas’. We must be seen to not just talk the talk…but actively walk the walk to meet expectations.
But rather than being disheartened, it is more important than ever to keep up the commitment and pressure to meet these goals by 2030. Success requires real collaboration over the next eight years. No one organisation can do it on their own, we need businesses, governments and education, supporting each arm of society to further the cause.
However, this is not a quick fix.
To quote Peter Drucker, the influential thinker on management theory ‘What gets measured, gets done’. Therefore, an essential part of achieving success and moving from the theory to practice, rests with keeping robust and timely data: to first create a baseline against which to measure and monitor progress, thereby helping business leaders make informed decisions, and directing targeted action to improve results.
But where do we start?
Targets and quotas have their place, but if root causes are not understood, challenged and repaired, changes will be short-lived.
To reinforce the gender equality message and values as part of DEI, PREDIXA has partnered with WILD Consult to raise awareness and prompt actions.
Emma Burdett, CEO of WILD Consult, has been tirelessly working to inform organisations of the benefits and challenges of DEI and how to overcome the hurdles.
To help drive gender equality as part of a DEI strategy, at PREDIXA, we use, through our accredited consulting partners, our Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based diagnostics application, Predixa Dynamix DEI to rapidly determine the current status (baseline) of organisations and their needs towards a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.
Our objective has always been to stop the “analysis paralysis” and take organisations through a process of rapid analysis to rapid execution, allowing effective reporting of transformational progress to key stakeholders – including government departments to roll into their national SDG5 reporting back to the UN.
To help interested organisations further understand some of the key business-related issues surrounding gender equality and how they can move effectively from SDG5 theory to practice in a fraction of the time of traditional methods, we shall be participating in the WILD and Arabian Business breakfast meet up on Friday, March 25th at the Hyde Hotel, Dubai from 8.30 am, entitled FEMINISM Defined: Brining ALL to the conversation of Gender Equality, where I shall be presenting the keynote on the theme of ‘We Treasure what We Measure’ and we shall be delivering a workshop around the theme ‘Making Gender Equality Happen – From Theory to Practice’.