UN Women announces bold commitments to gender equality from 18 partners

Eight Heads of State, five global companies and five universities announce their commitments as HeForShe IMPACT champions

Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015

New York—UN Women’s HeForShe campaign today announced the commitments of 18 IMPACT champions, completing the initial slate of 30 global partners, following the launch of the pilot initiative in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the announcement in early May of the first 10 champions.

The HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10 is an initiative that aims to engage 10 governments, corporations and universities around the world in activities to achieve gender equality. The initiative prioritizes legislative bodies and corporations in view of the gender inequality that exists in these areas, confirmed by findings including recent research released by UN Women, the World Economic Forum and others. The research highlights a large current gap between women and men in terms of political engagement and opportunity and little improvement in equality for women in the workplace since 2006. Universities join the impact trio because youth engagement represents one of the greatest opportunities for accelerating progress toward the achievement of gender equality, and for ending violence against women.

The ground-breaking ‘early adopters’ of IMPACT 10x10x10 include: Sébastien Bazin, Chair & CEO of AccorHotels; Rick Goings, Chair & CEO of Tupperware Brands; Mustafa Koç, Chair of Koç Holding; Dennis Nally, Chair of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd; Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever; Vice-Chancellor Paul Boyle of the University of Leicester; Vice-Chancellor and Principal Adam Habib of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; President and Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur of the University of Waterloo, Ontario; President and Vice-Chancellor Peter Mathieson of the University of Hong Kong; and President Seiichi Matsuo of Nagoya University. Their specific commitments can be found at https://www.heforshe.org/impact

The initial group of 10 was joined today by eight Heads of State, along with five additional companies and five additional universities. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women and United Nations Under-Secretary General, joined Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden today in Stockholm for the global announcement of the IMPACT group’s commitments.

The governments joining IMPACT 10x10x10 are: President Sauli Niinistö of Finland; Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson of Iceland; President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia; Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan; President Arthur Peter Mutharika of the Republic of Malawi; President Klaus Werner Iohannis of Romania; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden. This group of champions has taken on key issues including gender-based violence, women’s labour force participation, and the gender pay gap. UN Women’s HeForShe initiative also announced an additional five global corporate champions: Antony Jenkins, CEO of Barclays; Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director of McKinsey & Company; Jean Pascal Tricoire, Chair & CEO of Schneider Electric; Adam Bain, President, Global Revenue & Partnerships, Twitter; and Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group Plc. These five companies represent five industries and over 400,000 employees in more than 50 countries around the world.

As an integral part of the effort, each company has signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles, committing to measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality. In addition, each company has outlined commitments to address the core challenges and barriers in their industry, so as to accelerate progress towards equality. Corporate champions have also made commitments within their companies to boost efforts towards closing the pay gap, reaching parity in management, and mandating gender-sensitivity training. Some commitments go beyond direct staff, including: expanding opportunities for women across the extended supply chain, reaching parity in factory operations, and empowering men as change agents in local communities.

UN Women’s HeForShe initiative also announced an additional five global university champions, representing almost half a million students on four continents: President John J. DeGioia of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; Vice-Chancellor Andrew Hamilton of Oxford University; President Marco Antonio Zago of the University of São Paulo; President Frédéric Mion of Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) France; and President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. of Stony Brook University, New York.

The champion universities have made concrete commitments including: advancing women in academia, addressing campus violence, building gender-sensitive campuses, and tackling pervasive biases towards women and men.

The countries, companies and universities engaged in 10x10x10 were selected based on their reputation for strong ethical practices, their demonstrated excellence in public service, their global reach and relevance, and their willingness to use their influence to drive and inspire change. As the initiative gathers momentum, and stimulates action from other players in the three sectors, it will also gain broadening geographical diversity. UN Women will work closely with these champions to guide the implementation of these commitments, and to collect data on progress, which will be publicly shared annually.

Since the September 2014 launch of HeForShe by actor Emma Watson in her capacity as UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, men and boys around the world have committed to take action for gender equality. Over 320,000 men and boys have made their commitment to gender equality through the "HeForShe Commitments API" (a geo-located website app allowing men to register and visualize the real-time number of men activated on the map globally). In addition, HeForShe has reached over 2 billion people on social media.

About UN Women

UN Women is the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org.

About HeForShe

HeForShe is a global solidarity movement that calls upon men and boys to take action and advocate for gender equality. The campaign strengthens the support for women’s rights as human rights, by enlisting men as advocates for gender equality. For more information, visit https://www.heforshe.org/