Insights from UN Women WE EMPOWER G7 Programme

October 13, 2020 | By Hayden Harrison

On October 9, UN Women hosted a discussion on “Women's Leadership for Gender Equality" as part of the WE EMPOWER G7 Programme, highlighting the importance of women’s leadership and decision-making in society and the positive impact of gender parity on boards in the context of the changing world of work.

Sam Mazloum, a Mastercard vice president for public affairs in the office Vice Chair Ann Cairns, outlined the successes of the 30% Club (of which Cairns is global chair) to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels. “Ten years ago, when the 30% Club was established, there were less than 10% women directors on the FTSE 350; just last month we hit 33%.”

A core pillar of these efforts has been chairpeople and CEOs working together to drive change from the top of these organizations, but support from governments and investor groups has been especially powerful, he says. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do, but there’s also an undeniably compelling business case: According to a study of 353 Fortune 500 companies, the companies with the best financial performance had more women in their top management teams than lower-performing companies.

Later, Mazloum shared detail of the work that Mastercard is doing to advance gender equality within its own organization, including mentoring program, returnships, our commitment to equal pay, and resource groups to support women’s leadership.

Hayden Harrison, director, Creative Studio, Mastercard