March 8, 2018, is International Women's Day, a celebration of women's social, economic, cultural and political achievements worldwide. This year it has particular resonance: it's one hundred years since some British women won the right to vote; there's an increase in the number of countries legislating to combat unequal pay; and the groundswell of movements calling out discrimination is reaching a crescendo. It's not a moment too soon: the 2017 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report shows that gender parity is still over 200 years away! Staying focused and motivated is crucial, which is why Swarovski is rolling out its first global campaign promoting advocacy and action to advance equality.
Swarovski is well placed to champion gender equality. It's a company with a particularly female focus: the vast majority of its customers are women, and women make up 78% of its workforce, including 35% of its senior management. The company has taken several important steps to advance equality, including: being a signatory to the UN Women's Empowerment Principles; a founding member of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), and a partner of Lean In (set up by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg).
Swarovski is also part of the UN Women UK National Committee Corporate Advisory Group, which supports UN Women's efforts toward gender equality, and supports the Trust Women Conference, bringing together NGOs, corporations and women's rights activists to end modern slavery. Through the Swarovski Foundation and its partners, women and girls in Nigeria and India are given the skills, education and economic resources needed to thrive. Furthermore, Swarovski Waterschool provides girls and their communities with education and a special focus on sustainability.
Swarovski is launching its The Future Is Equal campaign to coincide with International Women's Day on March 8 to inspire action to advance equality and create an inclusive world for everyone.
Swarovski believes that everyone has a role to play in advancing equality, including shifting everyday behaviors, challenging the status quo, and taking bolder steps to accelerate change. Beyond its employee-engagement activities, Swarovski will spread its message externally and invite everyone to join this campaign, recognizing the power of its voice to advocate for change and galvanize action.
The world is not yet a level playing field, but encouraging and supporting women to fulfill their potential is not only good for business, it is essential for a sustainable and fair society.