In the wake of the #MeToo movement and the increased interest in sustainability, women have emerged in the spotlight as not only leaders in their industries but as advocates for promoting sustainable business practices. More and more women are in executive leadership positions with the power to make positive change. The United Nations developed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative, which strives to achieve not only a more sustainable future but a future that is brighter for everyone. The initiative addresses global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, justice, and peace. There are 17 goals in total, and the organization has set a lofty goal of achieving all of them by 2030.
While these goals are helping the planet on an unfathomable scale, how are women involved in the road towards sustainability? Women are more inclined to look towards the long-term and make policy decisions based on this outlook instead of only focusing on the short-term. Companies that incorporate women into their decision-making boards are more inclined to invest in renewable power generation, low-carbon products, and sustainability. In the government realm, women in the United States House of Representatives consistently outvote their male colleagues for the past decade in favor of environmental protections. Here are a few ways in which women are leading the way to a more sustainable future.
In a recent study conducted by the Business Commission, it is clear that women are particularly suited and historically more active in projects related to sustainability and possess critical qualities men tend to overlook. Women are more likes to possess qualities such as long-term thinking, collaboration, transparency, multi-tasking, and social inclusiveness than their male counterparts.
Supporting Environmental Protection Advocacy
Leadership in government and business needs both men and women to succeed and implement new policies that benefit everyone. However, there is strong evidence that women are more inclined to act on social and environmental issues than men. Women want, as both a mechanism to prove themselves and as an effort to make the world a better place, to make a positive impact with their leadership positions.
Research has shown that investing in workplace gender equality alone could add over $28 trillion to the global GDP by 2025. By adding more qualified women to the workplace, economies worldwide would benefit. Therefore adding more women into leadership positions of the SDGs could have a tremendously positive impact on economies worldwide.
Climate Change Historically Hits Women Hardest
Particularly in developing countries, women are affected more by climate change. More women are typically killed in climate-induced natural disasters and are less likely to keep their pre-disaster employment as compared to men. Armed with these statistics, female elected officials are voting more often than men to battle climate change and protect the environment.
Women control $11.2 trillion of the world’s investable assets and 65% of women say investing in a company that makes environmental protection a priority is an essential factor in their decisions. With such a large chunk of investable assets on the line companies could make small, but impactful changes that could lead to more investments.
Women across the globe are striving to make a positive impact regardless of the industries in which they work. Men and women alike are using their leadership abilities to make changes within their companies that will protect the environment and increase sustainability. More than ever before women are creating changes from within the workplace and the government to bring sustainability to the forefront of everyone’s minds. It is this movement that will set off a chain of positive events that will make the world a better and more sustainable place.