PwC’s Dennis Nally has been named a Corporate IMPACT Champion by HeForShe, for his commitment to advocating gender parity issues both outside and within PwC. With gender equality continuing to be an issue for women in all walks of life, UN Women set out to create a framework in which men themselves become stakeholders of the issue and advocates for change. PwC has under Nally’s already successfully implemented parity in hires and is now looking to further remove barriers to ensure women are representative in leadership.
Gender equality remains a persistent Human Rights issue, with women facing continued discrimination across various social and economic avenues, even with the recent decades’ campaigns around the issue. Recent research from Mercer for example reveals that despite women making up 41% of the global workforce, their representation at the high levels of organisations remains low, with only one in every 5 executives being female.
To seek to improve conditions UN Women last year launched ‘HeForShe’, a campaign that seeks to engage 1 billion men and boys in a pledge to work toward gender equality by becoming stakeholders of the central issue and to “break the silence, raise their voices and take action for the achievement of gender equality.” As part of the programme UN Women in January launched IMPACT 10x10x10 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which engages top players at universities, governments and corporations and names ‘IMPACT champions’ that make gender equality their institutional priorities. The champions are “changing the world” with respect to implementing the kinds of changes that will drive equality in the future.
“HeForShe exemplifies UN Women’s ground-breaking leadership on gender equality. We know where change is proving hardest. The HeForShe IMPACT initiative puts responsibility for change right where it matters—and spotlights leaders who can make it happen. The founding champions from industry and government will pave the way for others to join in, using the pilot initiatives to streamline decision-making on relevant and successful activities. Ultimately, we need everyone to get involved if we are to turn the tide,” comments Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General.
Champions include Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, Sebastien Bazin, Chairman & CEO Accor and Paul Boyle, President & Vice Chancellor University of Leicester. Another of these champions is Dennis Nally, the Global Chairman of accounting and consulting giant PwC. Nally has signed PwC up to a commitment to implement the corporate HeForShe IMPACT Framework. The Framework requires that businesses work with the Women’s Empowerment Principles, and implement Principle #7 to ‘measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality’, as well as launch the HeForShe API to mobilize employees globally.
This is not the first corporate responsibility programme Nally has championed throughout his career, having led similar programmes in the past, including involvement with organisations such as the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the World Economic Forum’s Global Citizenship Initiative, and the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Besides its Framework commitment, PwC will further develop the campaign, committing itself to creating a male-focused gender curriculum. This curriculum will be deployed throughout the company’s wider educational programmes around the world, involving a series of workshops that target a wide audience. The curriculum for the educational programme sets out to address some of the core issues of gender issues, related to power dynamics and unconscious biases. The business advisory is also set to create as suite of tools that will helps its employees be aware of the issue of gender, why it matters and how issues of parity can be achieved.
PwC will also further invest in creating parity within the firm, with a stated goal to increase the representation of women in senior roles. As it stands the firm has successfully achieved parity in the intake of new hires, where 50% are women, one of the driving factors behind its recent recognition earlier his month as the #3 Best Company for Diversity globally. According to the firm, a comprehensive global evaluation and review will take place to quantify how women are moving between the firm’s ranks – with the firm looking for potential barriers withholding women from leadership positions.
“Part of my personal leadership vision is to move the needle on gender equality. HeForShe at PwC will empower men to get involved in gender equality issues through education and practical action. By engaging our people, clients and communities in HeForShe, and collaborating with the 10x10x10 heads of state, universities, and leading corporations, PwC will harness the immense power of our network to promote inclusion and foster greater equality,” comments Nally.