UN Women’s HeForShe IMPACT CEOs from Fortune 500 companies reveal gender data


Some of UN Women's IMPACT Champions with UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Photo: UN Women/Celeste Sloman
Some of UN Women's IMPACT Champions with UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Photo: UN Women/Celeste Sloman

Davos—Ten of the world’s leading companies have released new workforce gender diversity figures, including details on leadership roles and board membership, in UN Women’s inaugural HeForShe Parity Report. The unprecedented disclosure was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where many of the firms’ heads gathered alongside Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson.

Last year at the 2015 UN Women session at Davos, UN Women unveiled the HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10 initiative to galvanize momentum in advancing gender equality. HeForShe created the IMPACT 10X10X10 initiative to engage 10 key decision-makers in governments, corporations and universities around the world to drive change from the top.

The Corporate Impact Champions have made gender equality an institutional priority since they signed up, and the transparency displayed in Davos will help them measure commitments and inspire action from other employers. The report figures show that a large gap remains between the representation of women in the workforce at large, and in leadership positions. Although overall representation of women averaged 39.7 per cent across the 10 firms, the proportion of senior leadership roles held by women ranged from a low of 11 per cent to a high of only 33 per cent. While this group outperforms global averages, UN Women has set parity—as part of its gender equality drive for a 50-50 Planet by 2030—as the goal and the individual company commitments reflect a variety of pathways to achieve this. 

The group of 10 companies includes: AccorHotels, Barclays, Koç Holding, McKinsey & Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Schneider Electric, Tupperware Brands, Twitter, Unilever and Vodafone.

“I salute the courage of this group to reveal their equality profiles and their evident dedication to make radical change. They lay bare in specific detail what we know to be the global norm –women are chronically under-represented in leadership roles and in formal employment overall. Through their experiences, we can identify and scale solutions to transform sectors, and eventually, achieve an equal world. They are shaping what corporate leadership looks like on this issue,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.

The UN has made this type of partnership a key part of achieving its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which prioritizes gender equality as both a stand-alone goal and as an integral part of other goals. The transparency displayed in the announcement is therefore crucial for measuring progress.

Recognizing both the importance of this topic and the critical need for progress, IMPACT Champions have taken a bold stance on transparency. They have committed to periodically and publically share standard figures on gender representation.

Other findings from the report include:

  • 40% of Tupperware’s Board and 61% of its new hires are women, bringing it the closest to parity on these measures out of the group.
  • AccorHotels and Tupperware Brands have achieved board parity (between 40-60%) today. Across IMPACT Champions, women hold 28.6% of Board seats.
  • Across all companies, women represent 39.9% of new hires. Four companies have achieved parity in their new hires: Barclays, PwC, Tupperware and Unilever.

Four figures were selected as a standard baseline across all 10 companies, providing both a holistic workforce view as well as a detailed examination of key roles. This analysis includes three figures that explore the current representation of women, and one leading indicator, which illustrates the direction of the company going forward. Each company shared information from their completed 2014 reporting cycle. This date provides a common starting point for all companies and shows the gender composition at the outset of IMPACT 10x10x10. Corporate IMPACT Champions are reporting gender representation across:

  1. The overall company
  2. Senior leadership
  3. Board
  4. New hires


Sébastien Bazin, Chairman & CEO, AccorHotels, said:

“I am strongly convinced that women should be free to realize their career prospects and given the same opportunities as their male peers. As the CEO of AccorHotels, I have the capacity and the duty to push further for real change.”

Jes Staley, CEO, Barclays, said:

“As a leader, husband and father, I believe that enabling true gender equality is a responsibility we all share. At Barclays, our partnership with the UN and support for HeForShe are indicative of the strength of our commitment to ensuring women can contribute fully to society, to industry and global economies.”

Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, said:

“Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is a part of our firm’s history and daily practice. I see it as the business of executives to set clear goals and strive to reach them, even though we know it won't be easy.”

Dennis Nally, Chairman, PWC International Limited, said:

“Part of my personal commitment is to move the needle on gender equality. HeForShe at PwC will harness the immense power of our network to promote inclusion and foster greater equality.”

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO, Schneider Electric, said:

“Companies have a key role to play as “change agents” to build a world where gender equality is a reality. It is a question of determination. Leading by example and engaging more men in these challenges will be one of my key priorities.”

Rick Goings, CEO, Tupperware Brands, said:

“Some things just cannot wait. Men must stand up now for women's equality. Why am I a HeForShe Champion? Not just because I can't wait, but because I will not wait.”

Adam Bain, COO, Twitter, said:

“Twitter is honoured to partner with HeForShe. I look forward to the day when both my daughter and my son can enter the workforce in an environment where women have just as much opportunity as their male counterparts.”

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, said:

“I am personally passionate about the HeForShe initiative, which is in line with Unilever's ambition to empower 5 million women by 2020. I will use my voice to encourage sons, husbands, brothers and fathers to pledge their support and take action.”

Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone said:

“At Vodafone, we are committed to greater gender equality among our employees. I pledge to continue to drive forward these initiatives with the support of all our employees aligned to the HeForShe campaign and to champion our commitments personally.”

Tragically, Mustafa Koç, Chair of Koç Holding and an ardent supporter of UN Women, died at the age of 55 in the days before the event. He had been a dedicated IMPACT CEO and contributed a huge amount to the report and its launch in Davos. UN Women expresses its deepest condolences.

Media contact

Tara Mullins
Ogilvy Public Relations
+1 646-520-6468

Read UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka' opening remarks at the release of the HeForShe IMPACT Champion Parity Report