According to the UN Environment Programme, it’s estimated 80% of people displaced by climate change are women and women are 14 times more likely to die during environmental disasters. Additionally, across the globe, women make up the majority of the workforce in sectors like agriculture, thus would be disproportionately affected by extreme weather conditions. Sectors benefitting the most from the transition to net-zero are utilities, construction and manufacturing and the issue with these sectors is there is a very low percentage of women making up the workforce. Governments and businesses alike need to work together to ensure both women and men equally are a part of the transition to net-zero.
Speaking at ACCA’s International Women’s Day event, ACCA’s head of sustainability, Emmeline Skelton, says:
‘Today, we remember the immeasurable role women play in society. This is why ACCA is calling for women’s voices must be heard in a space where men dominate the climate agenda. This directly relates to two of the UN Sustainable Development Goals - SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 13 on climate change.
‘The climate agenda is redefining the world of business long-term over the coming decades and it’s important for us to understand the role women can play in this challenge.
‘This is also a crucial subject for the accountancy profession. ACCA is a pioneer for change in business reporting, which is a pivotal part of many accountants work. Financial reports must account not just the bottom line, but impact a business is making on society and the planet.’
To also celebrate this occasion, ACCA has spoken to several panellists from the event on why International Women’s Day is an important date and how women can help in the transition to a more sustainable future.
Dr. Mories Atoki, a chief executive officer for the African Business Coalition for Health
‘International Women's Day (IWD) connects to me on a lot of levels. The first being opportunities to all women of all races, colour, tribe, age, ethnicity, etc. IWD by itself is symbolic, representing a time for the world to reflect on where it is coming from, in the race to attain equal opportunities between men and women, and where it is. Personally, it is also the day to reiterate to my female colleagues all over the world - the message of hope and also remind them not to wait for equal platforms, take quotas if that's what they are offering for now - it's a good start’.
‘Records show more women are paying attention to the aspects and topics that accompany the race to net-zero than men. The Sustainability and Energy transition agenda is largely driven by women, perhaps emanating from natural dispositions or tendencies in interest in this particular agenda. It is only reasonable to allow women to continue in this movement and ultimately champion this course.’
Bonnie Chan, an ACCA member and financial planning and analysis manager at the Green Organic Dutchman in Canada
‘It is a day to recognize women's selfless devotion to their families, societies and the world. Women deserve visibility for their achievement. It is also a reminder to the public of the importance of gender equality.
‘Women have demonstrated their expertise and leadership at all levels are crucial to combat the climate change crisis. While women represent almost half of the world population, it is important to have their voices in climate-related decision making to address specific needs and to achieve a gender-just net zero economy.’
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Notes to Editors
About ACCA: ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 233,000 members and 536,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions that upholds the highest professional and ethical values.
We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.
Since 1904 being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. And because we’re a not-for-profit organisation, we build a sustainable global profession by re-investing our surplus to deliver member value and develop the profession for the next generation.
Through our world leading ACCA Qualification, we offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. And using our respected research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing us for tomorrow.
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