On the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risk Report, climate risks rank as ‘high priority’ in terms of likelihood and impact and have been listed as such for the past three years. The impending effects of climate change can and will negatively affect the corporate world and, thus, the global population.
This risk is particularly threatening towards women and other marginalized groups as they are up against “economic, social, cultural, and political barriers” as suggested in an article published by GreenBiz. For instance, the agricultural industry is one of the groups that is most impacted by the effects of climate change and women make up over half of those working within that industry.
Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN Commissioner for Human Rights, said, “Climate change is the greatest threat to human rights in the 21st century,” and, “People who are marginalized or poor, women and indigenous communities are being disproportionately affected by climate impacts.”
Business intervention is one proposed solution to climate change. It would aim to create a corporate environment in which climate resilient strategies are the norm. However, complete resolution of the problem will be impossible without committed participation. This means that all opinions and ideas must be honored and listened to in order to increase the chances of success.
Inviting suggestions from women, who are able to offer a range of knowledge on topics that aren’t always considered in male-dominated rooms, can help companies to develop prudent solutions for the impending effects of climate change. Inclusion is empowering and empowerment leads to increased agency and more equal communities – a concept the world desperately needs.
There are also economic benefits that accompany empowering women to affect decisions. The UN reported that women, on average, spend 90 percent of their income on their families. In other words, the more money that women make, the more is put into schools, health, and housing renovations. It’s predicted that closing the gender gap could produce $28Tn (Trillion!!) towards the global GDP over the next 10 years.
It seems that investing in women is a smart business decision.
GreenBiz supplies a list of suggestions that companies can follow in order to increase women’s empowerment in the workplace such as “enabling women to effectively respond to climate-related events by linking them with local networks.”
BSR’s Business Action for Women is also helping to link agricultural supply chains with women’s empowerment advocates to help build a greater understanding of empowerment and how it can relate to the decrease of risks associated with climate change.
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