The World Cannot Grow Without Gender Equality

Milan, Italy , 09/17/2021

Bringing more women back onto the jobs market, breaking down the cultural barriers that prevent girls from accessing STEM education, and achieving gender parity in the positions that count are just some of the goals in a Policy Paper drafted by the B20 Special Initiative on Women’s Empowerment. Chaired by Diana Bracco, the special initiative involved a hundred and twenty-one representatives – 90% women – from seventy-four companies in thirty different countries. The Paper will be part of the B20 Final Statement that Premier Mario Draghi is set to deliver on 7-8 October, in his capacity as President of the G20.

The Policy Paper was unveiled on 28 July at a meeting attended by Elena Bonetti, Minister for Equal Opportunities and the Family, Maria Cristina Messa, Minister for University and Research, and Emma Marcegaglia, President of the B20.

Diana Bracco says: “As a business community, our first recommendation to the G20 governments is to get women back into employment. The Recovery Plan is a tool to take action, to launch projects with clear, quantifiable and measurable aims that foster gender equality. For example, too many biases and cultural barriers continue to dissuade women from STEM fields: only 7% of women decide to study engineering, maths, statistics and natural sciences, compared with 22% of men; just 14% of cloud computing employees are women. Women make up just 32% of people working in Artificial Intelligence, and there are still far too few women CEOs in the corporate world.

We need to achieve equal opportunities and equal rights at the same time in a number of different areas”, adds Diana Bracco. “From employment to support for women in business, education, training, loans to women, balancing family and work commitments, where possible boosted by diversity policies in-company and appropriate corporate welfare schemes. However, the real key to rising to this challenge is to focus on competencies, merit and skills.

Diana Bracco