On June 21st 2017 Leathwaite hosted its latest Diversity & Inclusion event, titled “Gender equality in the workplace,” where the audience had the opportunity to hear Ravi Karkara, senior advisor on strategic partnerships and advocacy to the UN assistant secretary general, and deputy executive director UN Women, discuss the role of business in promoting gender equality in the workplace.


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Event Synopsis:

World Class Management consultancy The Global Growth Institute, Human Capital specialist firm Leathwaite and people leadership community The People Space are delighted to be hosting Ravi Karkara, senior advisor on strategic partnerships and advocacy to the UN assistant secretary general, and deputy executive director UN Women, at an exclusive event to discuss the role of business in promoting gender equality in the workplace.

Karkara will be talking about the pivotal role the business sector can play in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by world leaders in September 2015 and which came into force on 1 January 2016. The 2030 Agenda outlines 17 sustainable development goals, of which Goal 5 is a promise to “achieve (not just promote) gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

There has been chronic underinvestment in female empowerment and gender equality. In 2013, the male employment-to-population ratio was 72.2% while for females it stood at 47.1%, according to the International Labour Organization. Meanwhile, out of 143 countries examined by the IMF, almost 90% had at least one gender-based restriction on women’s economic participation and 28 countries had 10 or more restrictions.

Access to decent work, overcoming gender wage gaps and access to all occupations are just some ways in which women and girls can be empowered. Karkara, who is also acting head of private sector for UN Women, will highlight the role business can play in helping to achieve Goal 5. He will discuss the importance of the Women’s Empowerment Principles in achieving gender equality in the workplace and outline the business case for investing in women and girls. He will also emphasise the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality.

“We believe talented people are at the heart of any successful business and that means all talent, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, background or religion. Greater diversity, leads to greater diversity of thought – which ultimately leads to greater competitive advantages” says Leathwaite managing partner Andrew Wallace.

“At executive level, boards and leadership teams have traditionally under-represented certain sexes and cultures. Our clients are increasingly looking to redress the balance in their firms, recognising the benefits and importance of a diverse workforce and promoting a positive culture. Increasing female participation is one way of redressing this balance, so we are delighted to be involved in this event.”

Wayne Clarke, founder of The Global Growth Institute, adds: “Our work with more than 500 organisations and thousands of leaders globally has demonstrated the importance of diversity. World class organisations and world class managers don’t only ensure they have strategies in place to hire talented women, but they also create cultures that enable women to have a voice and actively participate at all levels.

“As a fellow Junior Chamber International ambassador, I am excited Ravi is bringing his huge knowledge and experience to help organisations understand the business case and how they can help in the UN’s journey to achieve its sustainable development goals.”

The mission of The People Space is to be the leadership community that advances and promotes value creation in business through people. Co-founder and editorial director Siân Harrington says: “There is ample evidence that enabling women to access business is not just great for their own economic and social wellbeing but can also improve the gross domestic product of countries and improve value creation in business.

“Gender equality can help drive productivity and innovation as well as having reputational and customer benefits for businesses. This issue is one of great interest to members of our People Space Leaders network and we are looking forward to an interesting discussion and some lessons to take back to business.”

Speaker Bio:

Ravi Karkara is the senior advisor on strategic partnerships and advocacy to the assistant secretary general to the UN and deputy executive director, UN Women. With over two decades of experience, Ravi is an expert in various international development-related fields, driving innovation, building strategic partnerships, and promoting advocacy and programming in the areas of human rights, gender equality, accountability and social justice. He is also the acting head of private sector for UN Women.

Ravi has been the force behind several high-value strategic partnerships, resource mobilization, and key advocacy initiatives for UN Women – including partnerships with the City of New York, MasterCard, Citi Group and Philanthropic Age, to name a few. His innovative advocacy initiatives include Ringing the Bell on Gender Equality in over 34 stock exchanges across the globe.

He has been the recipient of the prestigious NOVUS Award – that unites global leaders from around the world to tackle today’s big challenges via actionable change. He has received the prestigious “Be The Story” Award by LitWorld. He received the International Social Activist Award – Crown Jewel of Social Activist. He has also been awarded the Global Officials Award for his work on Youth and Gender Equality and the Inter-Faith Award on promoting peace and harmony. He was also appointed as Junior Chamber International Ambassador. He is listed as the Top 10 Global Diversity Experts produced by Prestigious “Global Diversity List” by BNP Paribas and the Telegraph UK.

Previously, he has also worked with the UN Millennium Campaign, UN-HABITAT, UNICEF and Save the Children and has written more than 80 publications/articles in his career spanning over two decades. He has extensive experience in capacity development and participatory facilitation across generations around the world and has over 1000 training days to his credit.

Event contact and location details:

The event took place between 18.00-20.00 on Wednesday June 21st 2017 at Leathwaite’s London office at Equitable House, 47 King William Street, London EC4R 9AF.

The offices are situated on the North side of London Bridge, next to Monument underground station.

Tel: +44 207 151 5151 | Equitable House, 47 King William Street, London EC4R 9AF
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