Global Leaders call for a new playbook to accelerate progress on gender equality at P&G WeSeeEqual Summit

Procter & Gamble today hosted the second annual Asia Pacific #WeSeeEqual Summit, bringing together eminent figures from private and public sectors to share their point of view on the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles, and call out on the need as leaders to impact change and accelerate progress for gender equality.

This year, the focus of the #WeSeeEqual discussion centered on leaders’ key role in changing the narrative about women by challenging the assumptions that still exist – “myths” around women’s leadership skills, their representation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), or their ambitions – and creating a new playbook that goes beyond re-writing talent systems, driving equality-based policies and practices, to broadening the current definition of leadership through the attention and action of both women and men alike.

The long-day program saw the participation of illustrious speakers, influential personalities and leaders from around the world, including Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia, Mohammad Naciri, UN Women Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Tiffany Dufu, author of Drop the Ball: Achieving More By Doing Less, Pocket Sun, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of SoGal Ventures, P&G executives and gender equality advocates Magesvaran Suranjan, P&G President, APAC and IMEA, Karl Preissner, P&G Leader, Global Diversity and Inclusion, and Balaka Niyazee, P&G VP of Korea and Executive Sponsor, Gender Diversity, APAC.

Opening the session, Magesvaran Suranjan, said, “As a leader, it is imperative that we write a new playbook for a gender equal workplace and world. At P&G, I am proud that we have always been a strong advocate for gender equality and, today, we have a significant number of women in leadership positions in APAC and around the world. Gender equality goes beyond targets, quotas and sponsorship of women’s development programs. We need new interventions to “Fix the System” and include men as inclusive and equality-minded leaders. The focus is on workplaces where men champion equality together with women. When more corporations and organizations commit to championing equality, then we will see equal.”

Julia Gillard, who made history as the first female Prime Minister of Australia, says, “I am very pleased and honoured to support the gender equality commitment by P&G APAC to strengthen success for women in business and life. I believe the WeSeeEqual movement is a force for change and progress towards gender equity and stronger communities.”

To encourage and inspire more men in their support of gender equality, the #WeSeeEqual Summit hosted male allies, including Ralph Haupter, President of Microsoft Asia and Tsuyoshi Morioka, CEO, Katana Inc to share their experiences in overcoming bias, spearheading greater diversity and equality, and being equal partners in the workplace and at home.

Mohammad Naciri, UN Women Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, says, “Gender equality is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. We know when equality increases economies and communities do better. In order to achieve a more gender-equal society, the corporate sector plays a crucial role alongside governments and civil society in implementing policies and initiatives that support women. This is not a women’s-only fight, but men, too, must play an active role in advocating for inclusivity and change.”

The various panel sessions covered gender equality in its many facets, including the importance of women’s economic empowerment to reach to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) on Gender Equality, the role of advertising and media in changing bias, the benefits of professional and personal support groups in positively impacting work-life balance, and the importance of a new narrative with a broader definition of leadership that is not limited to the male leadership prototype.

As a flagship event that highlights P&G’s continued commitment to lead the change in gender equality both within the organization and outside in the community, the 2019 #WeSeeEqual Summit also hosted a milestone event for select women entrepreneurs in Singapore as they celebrated their graduation from P&G and WEConnect International Women Entrepreneurs Development Program. The ten-course capability training program, is part of P&G’s long-term commitment to support women’s economic empowerment by promoting a more diverse supply network under the global initiative ‘Supplier Diversity Program’ and ensure local businesses, especially those owned and led by women, are a growing part of P&G’s partner ecosystem and global value chain.