Newsgate360 – Riyadh: In concert with International Women’s Day, to be celebrated on March 8th, B20 Saudi Arabia, the official business voice of the G20 community, profiled several priorities for the Women in Business Action Council. The Council, the first of its kind for the B20, will ensure that issues surrounding gender diversity in business and economic empowerment of women are placed at the center of Saudi Arabia’s B20’s presidency.
While B20 taskforces work on policy recommendations, the Action Council has identified three priority areas that need immediate action:
- Level the playing field for women by driving reforms to unlock their full workforce potential, fostering an enabling environment, encouraging new ways of flexible working and closing the gender pay gap.
- A call to action for countries to create the environment and to improve access to resources for women to succeed in starting their own businesses.
- Bring all stakeholders together to accelerate progress, developing an institutional framework while designing user-centric policies that enable women to thrive.
B20 Saudi Arabia has established six taskforces that concentrate on specific economic priority areas, with 656 taskforce members across all G20 members. The Women in Business Action Council sits across all six taskforces, a structural change from past B20 presidencies. Women make up 43% of B20 Taskforce and Action Council Chairs, the highest proportion in the group’s history. Furthermore, the B20 Presidency established criteria for Committee Membership that has resulted in 33% of participants being women, the highest percentage among some of the most recent B20 Presidencies (Turkey 23% in 2015, Germany 22% in 2017, Argentina 28% in 2018).
“The Women in Business Action Council is the first initiative of its kind in the history of the B20. It has been established with the recognition that mainstreaming women in business is key to improving the standards of business conduct including integrity, empathy, and creativity, thus adding to economic growth and productivity,” said Mr. Yousef Al-Benyan, Chair of the B20 Saudi Arabia.
Aligned with the key theme of International Women’s Day 2020 “I am generating Equality: Realizing Women’s rights,” the Council is primarily focused on addressing gender inequality, increasing women’s participation in the workforce and their representation in leadership positions. It comprises 52 members from the global business community and is represented by every one of the G20 members.
“The Women in Business Action Council is addressing workplace challenges by looking at related life-cycle solutions ranging from higher education & STEM to addressing impediments to professional advancement and leadership positions using a mix of organizational culture to legislative / regulatory options,” said Rania Nashar, Chair of the Women in Business Action Council and CEO of SAMBA. “We will be bringing our efforts around women empowerment to life over the course of the next year by participating in a number of initiatives in the region and abroad.”
To help socialize their priorities and secure input from the broader B20 community, the B20 Women in Business Action Council will participate in a number of high-profile global events over the course of the next year.