Sector - Education & Training

WCA Launches Gender Focus Network

The World Cement Association (WCA) has launched a Gender Focus Network, an initiative which aims to improve women’s representation within the global cement community.

WCA recognises that the cement industry around the world currently has a significant gender imbalance and has founded the Gender Focus Network (GFN) to help increase awareness and to also implement practical solutions to address this issue.

The GFN aims to encourage companies to implement gender diversity programmes, foster women’s empowerment and professional development across the industry and mitigate the barriers which discourage women from working in the sector.

The GFN will also highlight the wok which is being done by other cement companies on gender diversity to help members embrace best practice when it comes to working to change inequality and ensuring women have an equal voice at all seniority levels in the industry.

The Network will also align itself, alongside WCA’s wider environmental initiatives, with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The GFN’s activities will particularly focus on SDG 5, which addresses Gender Equality.

The GFN was first introduced at the WCA’s 4th General Assembly Meeting in December, where the Network’s ambitions for the year ahead were outlined.

During the General Assembly, Alexis Breslin (Solidia Technologies, USA), member of the GFN steering committee, outlined a series of proposed actions for the Gender Focus Network in 2021, ranging from networking, benchmarking surveys and organising seminars and sessions to share best practice from across the globe.

Alexis Breslin said: “We are really pleased to be announcing the launch of WCA’s Gender Focus Network, encouraging workplace equality and challenging discriminatory attitudes.

“There is no question that a more diverse workforce delivers clear business benefits, including greater innovation revenue.”

Manon Burbidge, WCA’s Policy and Communications Coordinator, also added: “We look forward to implementing our Network’s action plan for 2021, helping WCA members to share best practices and implement the steps needed to achieve greater diversity in their organisations.”

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