The World Cement Association has launched the Gender Focus Network, an initiative aiming to improve the representation of women 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 implement practical solutions to address this issue.
The network’s mission is to encourage companies to implement gender diversity programs, foster women’s empowerment and professional development across the industry, mitigating the barriers which discourage women from working in the sector. The GFN will also highlight the work being done by other cement companies on gender diversity, to help members embrace best practice in 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 network’s activities will particularly address SDG 5, which addresses gender equality.
The network was first introduced at the WCA’s 4th General Assembly Meeting in December 2020, where it highlighted the group’s ambitions for the year ahead. 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.
“We are really pleased to be announcing the launch of WCA’s Gender Focus Network, encouraging workplace equality and challenging discriminatory attitudes,” said Alexis Breslin. “There is no question that a more diverse workforce delivers clear business benefits, including greater innovation revenue”.