WCA launches Gender Focus Network
New initiative to improve the representation of women within the global cement community
THE World Cement Association (WCA) has launched the Gender Focus Network (GFN), an initiative aiming to improve the representation of women within the global cement community.
Recognizing that the cement industry around the world currently has a significant gender imbalance, the WCA has founded the GFN to help increase awareness and to implement practical solutions to address this issue.
The Network’s mission is to encourage companies to implement gender diversity programmes and foster women’s empowerment and professional development across the industry, mitigating the barriers which discourage women from working in the sector.
The GFN will also highlight the work being done by other cement companies on gender diversity, to help members embrace best practice in working to change inequality and ensuring women have an equal voice at all seniority levels in the industry.
The Network will also align itself, alongside the WCA’s wider environmental initiatives, with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Network’s activities will particularly address SDG 5, which addresses gender equality.
The GFN was first introduced at the WCA’s fourth General Assembly Meeting in December, where the group’s ambitions for the year ahead were highlighted.
During the General Assembly, Alexis Breslin of Solidia Technologies in the US, member of the GFN steering committee, outlined a series of proposed actions for the Gender Focus Network in 2021, ranging from networking, benchmarking surveys and organizing seminars and sessions to share best practice from across the globe.
‘We are really pleased to be announcing the launch of the WCA’s Gender Focus Network, encouraging workplace equality and challenging discriminatory attitudes,’ she said. ‘There is no question that a more diverse workforce delivers clear business benefits, including greater innovation revenue.’
Manon Burbidge, the WCA’s policy and communications co-ordinator, added: ‘We look forward to implementing our Network’s action plan for 2021, helping WCA members to share best practices and implement the steps needed to achieve greater diversity in their organizations.’