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G20 EMPOWER Alliance To Improve Women’s Economic Empowerment and Representation

The G20 EMPOWER Alliance has released Canada specific and global insights and recommendations for businesses. The Alliance advocates for the advancement of women’s economic empowerment and representation at senior levels of business around the world.

G20 EMPOWER brings together private sector leaders and government counterparts to jointly advocate for and enact women’s advancement. G20 EMPOWER focuses on implementing concrete actions in key areas. These areas include ensuring women having equal access to necessary financing, capital, skills development and training. G20 EMPOWER provides leadership and market opportunities to support the greater recruitment and advancement of women as business leaders.

Statements on economic empowerment

“Since attending the launch of the Canadian-led EMPOWER initiative in 2019, Canada has continued to further promote gender equality, advance women’s economic empowerment, and encourage a greater representation of diverse women in leadership roles across the country,” said the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. “Over the past year, women – and especially Black, Indigenous, and racialized women, women living with disabilities and members of LGBTQ2 communities – have been disproportionately affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Canada is addressing the impacts of this she-cession, and is working to ensure an intersectional, feminist recovery from this crisis by supporting women entrepreneurs as well as a more equal, diverse and inclusive workforce in both the public and private sectors.”

“G20 EMPOWER works to encourage private sector leaders and government officials to inspire social change, be champions for equality in all forms and grow employment opportunities for women and the number of women-led and women-owned businesses, here in Canada,” states Shahrzad Rafati, G20 EMPOWER Co-chair. “Building gender balanced organizations and ensuring women have equal access to necessary financing, capital, skills development and training, leadership and market opportunities is not just the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, but it’s the smart thing to do.”

The Good Practices report

Today, to support that mission, G20 EMPOWER shares its detailed Good Practices report. G20 collaborated with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to create the report. It was designed for business decision makers and includes information on private sector best practices and public sector initiatives.

This also follows global studies performed by G20 EMPOWER in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and OECD. These studies outline the state of play of women’s economic empowerment and representation at senior levels of business.

Global growth

The number of women occupying managerial positions in G20 countries has only grown by 3.3 percent in ten years.

  • The percentage of women sitting on company boards has been increasing slowly in G20 countries. It is is up from 15 percent in 2016 to 18% in 2019.
  • For those aged 15 and over, the gender employment gap stood at 26 percent.

G20 EMPOWER’s focus for 2021 aims to advance three priorities, Prosperity, People and Planet. It works on the areas that require the most attention, specifically:

  1. Measuring to improve. A fundamental area for businesses to set goals and be accountable across their organization for the advancement of women in leadership roles.
  2. Female talent’s pipeline as the key to women leadership. Look to diversity, inclusion and equity practices to address systemic barriers surrounding the advancement of women.
  3. Training and Development. Addressing gaps in the availability, adoption and implementation of programs that foster the skills and qualifications needed for women to meet and lead the technological and sustainability challenges of the future.

G20 EMPOWER aligns closely with existing G20 engagement group mandates, such as the W20 and B20. It serves as a forum to catalyze, grow and sustain women’s access to entrepreneurship opportunities. G20 EMPOWER also works to promote the development of inclusive business models aimed at supporting the participation of women through sharing best practices and innovative approaches.

Links to reports are available here:

ILO: https://valored.it/ilo-data-report-for-empower/

OECD: https://valored.it/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/OECD-G20-EMPOWER-Women-Leadership.pdf

About G20 EMPOWER and Economic Empowerment

The Private Sector Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation (EMPOWER) was launched at the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, following a suggestion by the Canadian Sherpa. Under the Italian Presidency, G20 EMPOWER is led by Paola Mascaro, President of Valore D. The alliance is intended to build and maintain among themselves, as well as, in each G20 member state, a network within its private sector to identify challenges and share evidence-based analysis, practical lessons learned, knowledge and good practices that support the greater recruitment and advancement of women as business leaders. G20 EMPOWER is expected to report at the G20 Summit on its progress and concrete efforts.

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