Upgrading Democracy in Europe: GenderEquality, and Diversity & Inclusion as core drivers for prosperity, Recovery, and Resilience.
REDSCOPE Consulting was honoured to discuss Lessons from Covid-19 Times and Next Steps for Post-Pandemic Recovery with EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, MEP Robert Biedroń (VP FEMM Committee, European Parliament), MEP Assita Kanko, Nautadutilh Managing Partner Dirk van Gerven, International IDEA’s Marilyn Neven, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)’s Carlien Scheele, European Women Lobby’s Joanna Maycock, EIB’s Constance Kann, FTI’s LouiseHarvey, among many other experts and senior decision-makers. Helena Dalli : “Our vision is one of a Europe where all women and men, girls and boys in all their diversity can thrive and lead and be free.”
Gender equality and the inclusion of diverse minority groups are more important agenda priorities in Europe than ever before. They represent values at the core of democratic standards in the 21st century and test the capacity of the European Union to live up to its motto: United in Diversity.
Research about COVID19 pandemics shows the incredible ability of women to lead, decide, care, and keep our society together. But it also shows how they are those who are hit the hardest. The current pandemic has exacerbated several structural divides, especially for women, who are paying the highest price. Also paying a disproportional toll are Minority groups struggled for equal rights and opportunities even more than before the pandemics, including ethnic, racial and religious minorities, LGBTIQ+ and persons with disabilities. Women in these groups will suffer from an even bigger danger of poverty and exclusion.
Claudia de Castro Caldeirinha recalled that exclusion always comes at a high price, as we have repeatedly observed in history and in recent events (e.g. the US Capitol invasion). Non-inclusive leaders, who do not listen and cannot make the best of ALL their people, irrevocably do bad decisions and lead their society towards social tensions, conflict, economic downfall, and democratic erosion of institutions.
In times like now, with the risk of COVID’s global Tsunami taking us backwards, the risk is even higher. But Crisis are also a source of opportunity AND diversity is a direct driver of the innovation, performance, resilience, agility, and good decision-making we all need in today’s reality. For example, advancing women’s equality can add $28 trillion to global growth (McKinsey Global Institute report, 2018). So Time is ripe for Gender Equality, as Companies and organisations that continue to prioritise it will have more chances to rebuild after the crisis, as they will gain in the well-proven advantages of a diverse organization. Click here for her complete speech.
Robert Biedroń concluded that Fostering gender equality, diversity and inclusion are key challenges of the post-pandemic recovery.
Dirk van Gerven commented on how he introduced gender equal practices into the working environment: “As a leader, you need to be a role model and make your peers and teams understand that it is in their interest to put gender equality and diversity at the center.”
Assita Kanko said that every crisis also comes with opportunities. ”We have to grasp it, and we have to fight for it. There are three clear areas where we need to concentrate our efforts within Europe: Improving the safety of women, strengthening the economic security of women, and ending underlying social bias.
Marilyn Neven showed how Covid-19 impacted gender equality in the world and in Europe based on data from International IDEA’s Global Monitor and highlighted some recommendations stemming from research and in-country projects to promote gender equality and political empowerment of women.
The senior experts concluded that major adjustment solutions are needed to stop the current backsliding of rights and opportunities of women and minorities and called upon all sectors to join forces. Click here for the full report.
This network initiative – coorganised with MEP Robert Biedroń and International IDEA’s Marilyn Neven – builds on prior events on inclusive leadership and gender equality aiming at cross-sectoral dialogue, exchange of good practices, creation of synergies and mutual inspiration.