While there’s been progress over the last few decades with gender parity, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have intensified existing inequalities. ‘The average woman now spends nearly the equivalent of a full-time job doing unpaid childcare; nearly a third of women report spending more time cooking and serving meals’ – World Economic Forum.
Empowerment through education
The Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) create a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all; critically addressing women representation through the SDG Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Arcadis is committed to this, recently pledging our support for the LEAP project.
LEAP aims at educating women and companies, helping them reach senior positions and ensuring that sustainability is embedded in at a leadership and strategy level.
At Arcadis, we know the power of women in the workforce. Whether it’s in our Executive Leadership Team and in other senior roles or the project managers, consultants, and engineers that help us deliver sustainable outcomes for clients, women make our company stronger. But we know we need to do more to promote gender equality, not just because of the many ways it benefits our business, but also because when we empower women, we benefit society as a whole. That’s why we have committed to having a workforce that is 40% female by 2023. It’s also why I am proud to serve as a mentor in WBCSD’s LEAP program. We can never have sustainable development without gender equality. – Peter Oosterveer, Global CEO
Committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce
Tanya McCoy-Caretti, Water Sector National Client Director, North America shares her experience
Twenty years ago, I was serving as the Executive Director of a county solid waste authority and was haunted by images of children in developing countries foraging on mountains of trash to sustain themselves and their families. Fast forward to 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, where the SDG’s were born. I immersed myself in them and committed to advancing these goals at every opportunity.
Imagine the elation I experienced when the call came late in 2019, offering a seat in the WBCSD LEAP program, in support of the SDG Goal #5. I am humbled and proud to be working at Arcadis for the part we’re playing in furthering this agenda, and to be working with leaders who share my commitment to sustainable development through a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce.
I entered the program expecting to extract a few gems but am leaving having added my own personal contribution – together with colleagues, we have crafted a multicolored, multidimensional crown of jewels! I’ve received coaching, mentoring, and thought leadership exchanges that will no doubt support my launch into a new and exciting space large enough to make a difference to many more women.
This International Women’s Day, #ChooseToChallenge the noise in your own head – we each have something unique to offer, don’t let anyone diminish your worth!