Make sure women’s voices are heard and say no to all-male panels

In 2016, the UN Global Compact Panel Pledge was established as a global effort to help put an end to all-male panels. Under the Panel Pledge, all staff members of the UN Global Compact pledge to not take part in or to host panels composed only of men.

“I’ve been the only woman on a panel too many times. This pattern must end as we need women’s voices on panels to cultivate the perspectives, insights and innovation necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “Ensuring women’s voices are heard on panels, and beyond is a practical step to enhance conversations, ensure the inclusion of women and challenge entrenched gender norms and stereotypes.”

Through the Panel Pledge, employees of the UN Global Compact can help advance gender equality when invited to speak on an all-male panel by suggesting women also be added or if the employee is male, by asking to substitute a female colleague. When visible role models are only male, that absence of women perpetuates the further absence of women. The more women are given the microphone, the more opportunities there will be for them to attain visibility and advancement, creating a pipeline of female leaders.

The UN Global Compact encourages its 68 Local Networks and over 13,000 participating companies around the world to adopt the Panel Pledge to ensure gender balance at all events, webinars and conferences — and asks them share their commitment on social media using #PanelPledge.

Every year, the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks host many events around the world focused on corporate sustainability and the vision of achieving a more sustainable and inclusive global economy through principled business action and innovation. A practical way to make progress on sustainability and equality is by pledging to make both women’s and men’s perspectives heard at events and beyond.

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