On 29 September, Webber Wentzel signed up to the United Nations' Women Empowerment Principles, a seven-step guideline on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace.
This move almost exactly coincided with the publication of the annual “Women in the Workplace Report 2020” by global consultants McKinsey on 30 September, which showed that women, particularly senior women, were more likely to lose or leave their jobs because of the economic and family pressures resulting from Covid-19.
McKinsey said more than a quarter of women surveyed in the US have indicated they were considering downshifting their careers or resigning, which would reverse decades of slow progress towards gender diversity in the workplace.
About 3,000 business leaders around the world, 80 of whom are in South Africa, have committed to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles. They require signatories to take action on areas such as promoting training and professional development for women, using their influence as advertisers and procurers of goods and services to overcome prejudices, and reporting regularly on progress.
"Webber Wentzel has had a long-standing commitment to women empowerment and gender equality,” says Sally Hutton, Webber Wentzel’s Managing Partner.
“We are focused on creating an inclusive working environment and actively challenging the stereotypes and practices that perpetuate gender inequality. The UN Women Empowerment Principles align with our established gender strategy and initiatives."
“We are proud to be a signatory to the UN Women Empowerment Principles and to add our voice to this global call to realise women's empowerment and fight inequality wherever it exists."