Changing the Paradigm - Women at the Forefront of Sustainable Business

Sustainability lies at the intersection of economic growth, social justice and equity, and environmental protection. It is 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.

But how can women leverage their unique power and role in the sustainability movement?

In business, the need for women's representation is not just for the sake of role models, although this is important, too. Research shows that when women are working in a company's management and leadership, there is a strong correlation with an improvement in their corporate social responsibility - such as better treatment of the environment, their employees, and those in their supply chain, and the creation of more ethical products, such as healthier foods.

The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted the world environmentally, commercially, and socially - especially within poorer, marginalized communities. However, one consequence is undeniably positive: it has motivated us to live more sustainable lifestyles. Women are leading these changes and are playing a growing part in creating a more sustainable world.

Women have higher levels of socialization to care about others and be socially responsible, which then leads them to care about environmental problems and be willing to adopt environmental behavior. Women are also proven to be more powerful consumers and are responsible for more of the domestic decision-making, equipping them to make more sustainable choices. Marketers have also traditionally advertised more to women, as historically, they buy more lifestyle products across a range of categories (they drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing decisions) and thus perpetually enforce this gender sustainability gap.

To achieve positive results in the triple bottom line of sustainability - people, planet and profits - it's everyone's responsibility to drive change, both personally and professionally.

Fortunately, the sustainable business movement is well poised to take the next step in transforming business' strategy, operations, and products for the social and environmental good — but women must be at the forefront.

The best method to achieve those three Ps in business is through upskilling. Become a sustainability steward by enrolling to Sustainable Business Consulting Masterclasses today.

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