The diamond producer has committed to achieving parity in the appointment of women and men into senior leadership roles, investing in women micro-entrepreneurs and STEM students, while ensuring the company’s brands are represented as a positive force in supporting gender equality.
Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said, “We are delighted to have De Beers Group on board as a UN Women partner. With global organisations like De Beers joining the United Nations movement to achieve gender equality, we are able to reach new and greater audiences to further build global awareness and support for advancing women’s empowerment.”
De Beers will work alongside UN Women, governments and communities in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Canada, and invest US$3 million to advance the prospects of women and girls by addressing key priority areas.
In Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, the programmes will focus on accelerating the growth of women-owned micro-enterprises to enhance the capacity of women entrepreneurs.
The capacity-building model will be specifically tailored for each country to support women micro-entrepreneurs with business and life skills, to enable them to realise their potential and contribute to the economic growth of their communities.
According to the company, these programmes are in the advanced planning stages and are due to launch in the coming months.
Internal gender upliftment
De Beers will also accelerate the advancement of women across its organisation by more than doubling the rate of women appointed into senior leadership roles, achieving parity in the appointment of women and men into senior leadership by 2020.
A Gender Diversity Steering Group has been established, reporting to the De Beers Group Executive Committee, with involvement from senior women and men across the organisation to meet this commitment sustain it and build on it through tailored action plans in each part of the business.
In recognition of De Beers’ commitment to women’s equality, Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, was named a UN Women ‘HeForShe’ Thematic Champion – a UN global movement for the acceleration of gender equality
Cleaver is one of eight global Thematic Champions who have committed to implementing policies and actions within their organisation to advance gender equality.
He said commenting on his appointment, “Improving the prospects for women and girls advances an entire society and organisation, as everyone benefits from the increased diversity of experience, skills and insight that greater representation of women delivers.
“We are in the early stages of our journey toward gender parity and we know that achieving our goals will require a dedicated and ongoing focus that continues well beyond our initial 2020 target.”