UN Women Logo22 January 2016: A UN Women report examines ten ‘Fortune 500’ companies in ten industries, which employ over one million people in 190 countries, and finds that a small percentage of leadership positions are held by women, compared to women in the workforce at large. But, the report shows, CEOs and companies can play a positive role in addressing gender equality in the workplace when they “lead from the front.” The parity goal is part of UN Women’s gender equality drive for a 50-50 Planet by 2030.

The report, titled ‘HeForShe IMPACT Champion Parity Report,’ was launched on 22 January 2016, in Davos, Switzerland, during the 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF). The publication is part of a UN Women initiative recognizing IMPACT Champions working for gender equality.

The CEOs of the 10 companies, or IMPACT Champions, provided their workforce gender diversity figures, including details on leadership roles and board membership. The ten companies are AccorHotels, Barclays, Koç Holding, McKinsey & Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Schneider Electric, Tupperware Brands, Twitter, Unilever and Vodafone.

UN Women notes that companies with the highest representation of women in executive committees and positions perform and compete better than their counterparts. The report shows that women make up 39.7% of total employees at these companies, and are close to entering the 40-60% range of labor force equality participation. At senior leadership levels, participation of women is between 11% and 33%. None of the ten companies has achieved parity in the top 6% of roles, however.

Among IMPACT Champion companies, women hold 28.6% of board seats, exceeding the current global average of 17%, and 39.9% of new hires are women. On new hires, Barclays, PwC, Tupperware and Unilever already have achieved gender parity, with 40% of Tupperware’s Board and 61% of its new hires are women. AccorHotels and Tupperware have achieved board parity (between 40-60%) today; and Unilever aims to empower five million women by 2020.

Launching the report, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said that the ten IMPACT companies have been able to: mobilize education among their employees on gender equality; launch new efforts to accelerate progress towards workforce parity; and empower men to become activists for gender equality. She also pointed to the role of the WEF in ensuring the inclusion of women in delegations, and efforts already taken by CEOs to implement the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs), particularly those on gender equality, decent jobs and economic growth, and partnerships.

UN Women launched the HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10 initiative in Davos in 2015, to galvanize momentum in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, by engaging key decision-makers in governments, corporations and universities around the world to drive change from the top. HeForShe is a solidarity campaign that aims to engage men and boys as agents of change for achieving gender equality by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women. [UN Women Press Release] [Statement of UN Women Executive Director] [HeForShe Impact 10X10X10 Website] [Publication: HeForShe IMPACT Champion Parity Report]