Global Business and Philanthropy Leaders’ Forum for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Date: Friday, September 22, 2017

Jack Ma, Executive Chair of the Alibaba Group; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee of the Gates Foundation; and Nirvana Chaudhary, Chair of the Chaudhary Foundation at the Global Business and Philanthropy Leaders’ Forum for Women and Girls and Gender Equality in New York. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Jack Ma, Executive Chair of the Alibaba Group; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee of the Gates Foundation; and Nirvana Chaudhary, Chair of the Chaudhary Foundation at the Global Business and Philanthropy Leaders’ Forum for Women and Girls and Gender Equality in New York. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

On 21 September, UN Women hosted the Global Business and Philanthropy Leaders’ Forum for Women and Girls and Gender Equality in New York.

The high-level Forum took place on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, and convened business and philanthropy leaders from around the world who committed to invest in the empowerment of women and girls.


Host and co-chairs of the Global Business and Philanthropy Leaders’ Forum

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Photo: Ryan Brown 

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women

Melinda Gates. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Photo: Ryan Brown 

Melinda French Gates , Co-Chair and Trustee of the Gates Foundation


Jack Ma. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Photo: Ryan Brown

Jack Ma, Executive Chair of the Alibaba Group

Nirvana Chaudhary. Photo: UN Women
Photo: Ryan Brown

Nirvana Chaudhary, Chair of the Chaudhary Foundation


Investing in women and girls is good for business and makes for a sustainable future for all. A recent research by McKinsey estimated that if women’s economic participation were to be at the same level as men, $28 trillion could be added to the global economy by 2025. Apart from the economic benefits, there are also recognized social, cultural and political benefits of investing in women and girls.

Participants at the event agreed that gender equality is a force to enable and accelerate achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that empowering women is central to addressing the 21st century’s global challenges such as poverty, inequality and violence. Yet, deep financing gaps for women and girls pose significant barriers and deter progress.

The dialogue among the select group of business and foundation leaders focused on the transformative role that companies and foundations can play to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 5 on gender equality.

UN Women would like to thank the following organizations and individuals for their support Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Alibaba Group, Chaudhary Group, Alwaleed Philanthropies; Procter & Gamble, Beijing Fazheng Group; Chanel Foundation; Unilever, Banco Do Brazil; Ford Foundation, SAP, The Boston Consulting Group; and Mr. Deepak Premnarayen, among others.

To discuss how your organization can partner with UN Women, please contact the Private Sector Team at UN Women.

Global Business and Philanthropy Leaders’ Forum for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment