08 March 2022
Promoting women empowerment is not only a matter of rights, but also an opportunity for economic growth for all countries. Above all, it is a key factor in the post-pandemic recovery and in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Women have been among the most affected by the pandemic, and this has exacerbated existing issues: there has been a rise in domestic violence and it has also made access to social, health and educational services more difficult. For a truly inclusive and sustainable future, it is important to give fair access to study and work opportunities to girls and women, especially in the STEM sector, support companies founded and led by female entrepreneurs and foster female leadership within organizations. By eliminating the gender gap and introducing a proper gender balance in the labour market, the G20 countries could generate an economic impact worth 9 trillion dollars, equal to 11.9% of the GDP of the twenty countries.
During the G20 International Business Advisory Board organized in May 2021 – supported by the Italian Minister for Equal Opportunities and the Family, Elena Bonetti – Ambrosetti Club has collected action proposals on the subject from representatives of various business communities. The need for a firm commitment to women’s empowerment was also reiterated in the G20 Rome Leaders' Declaration, which places it among the main goals to be achieved.
Despite the number of statements and initiatives in support of women at international level, there is a lack of a results-oriented vision. Even when there are performance monitoring processes, measurement tools and reward mechanisms in place, these are still insufficient.
For this reason, one of the guidelines set out in the document presented to the G20 Ministers in 2021 was to lay the foundations for a permanent Observatory dedicated to monitoring the progress of women’s empowerment in all countries involved. Today, in 2022, we start from this commitment by initiating a continuous process of analysis, updating and monitoring of women empowerment initiatives, based on the principle of accountability and the measurement of social, economic and cultural impacts.
The initiative will be led by an Advisory Board of heads of companies and will also involve international figures of great prestige, including Arancha Gonzalez (Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po; former Foreign Minister in Spain) and Minouche Shafik (Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science; former Deputy Governor, Bank of England and former Deputy Managing Director, IMF). Once again, Minister Elena Bonetti will be at our side, ensuring a link between the work already done last year for the G20 and the establishment of the Observatory.
For the first year, the work will extend between March and July 2022. The results will be summarized in a strategic paper and presented every year in September, during the Forum at Villa d'Este in Cernobbio.
Update: September 4, 2022