Procter & Gamble commits to new actions and shares strong progress on commitments to promote Equality and Inclusion across the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa

5/22/23

 

The company announced new commitments at the P&G #WeSeeEqual summit that saw participation from international equality & inclusion advocates like Eddie Ndopu, Sarah Harden, Chieko Asakawa, and Elissa Frieha, among others


Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) recently announced new commitments aimed toward advancing Equality & Inclusion (E&I) across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa (AMA), at its fifth annual #WeSeeEqual summit for the region. The event saw participation from world-renowned advocates and personalities from the private and public sectors. 

P&G President for Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, Stanislav Vecera, announced new commitments to advance progress in the region:

1. Through its Always and Whisper ‘Keeping Girls in School’ program, P&G will educate more than 35 million adolescent girls on puberty and menstrual hygiene across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa, over the next 3 years.

  • The company will focus on increasing awareness about the need for period education and preventing girls from missing and dropping out of school. 

2. Over the next year, P&G will set up a task force of certified ‘Mental Health First Aiders’ across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

  • Studies point out that there is a close connection between mental health and DEI. The mental health of an individual can also be affected by factors such as microaggressions, lack of representation, and unconscious bias. P&G’s ‘mental health first aiders’ will be P&G employees from different workgroups who will be trained and certified by licensed authorities and organizations to provide support and assist peers experiencing mental health issues. Across markets for 19,000 employees in the region, these First Aiders will act as the first line of response and will be equipped to identify signs and symptoms of emotional distress and initiate a supportive conversation with a colleague, guide them towards available resources in the company, and encourage them to seek professional support.

Held in partnership with the UN Foundation, the summit focused on emerging trends and insights in the DEI space including bridging the gap between generations, particularly focusing on Gen Z, as it becomes a prominent cohort in the workforce and consumer base; diversity in leadership styles and perspectives to foster innovation and creativity; and how different stakeholders can accelerate progress to serve consumers and communities. For the first time, the summit also shed light on mental wellness as an integral part to advancing E&I, highlighting biases that can lead to discrimination and exclusion, which can have a negative impact on mental wellness.

Stanislav Vecera, President – Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Procter & Gamble said: “We know that everyone brings unique backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to the table that can unlock growth in businesses and society. We will continue to step up as a company, through our brands, and with our partners, to create value for our employees and communities.” He added: “We are delighted to host the 'We See Equal' Summit, built on the theme of ‘Unique and United’ - it's a chance for us to connect with thought leaders and have open, honest conversations about how we can continue to advance equality and inclusion.”

The company also shared strong progress on commitments across the AMA region made last year as part of the annual #WeSeeEqual summit in 2022:

  • Last year, P&G introduced the 'P&G ReLaunch program' in three markets - India, Singapore, and the Philippines – to welcome back talented professionals who took a break from the workforce and looking to restart their careers in STEM roles, with targeted support and development. This program is now part of the company's commitment to strengthen diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and will focus on people looking to relaunch their careers in IT, Research & Development, and Product Supply

  • As part of its commitment to spend a cumulative total of $300 million by deliberately working with women-owned and women-led businesses across the AMA region, from the year 2021 to 2025, P&G has made headways on this front and has already invested $175 million in this initiative. Through its flagship AMA Women Entrepreneurs Academy program, P&G has built the capability of over 1000 Women Entrepreneurs in 10 markets in the region that will enable them to make their businesses more competitive

  • P&G committed to improving the accessibility of its brand advertising, including social media content and websites, by making most of our communication accessible to people with sight and hearing impairments by 2024. The company has made strong progress on this commitment and by 2024, a majority of its communication will be accessible to people with sight and hearing impairments

  • P&G continues to work towards achieving equal representation of female directors behind the camera for the company's brand advertisements. In the AMA region, P&G has increased the representation of female directors from 16% in 2019 to more than 35% today. The company aims to achieve 50% women behind the camera through a comprehensive set of actions to build, fuel, and connect a pipeline of diverse female talent in advertising, media, and content

The P&G ‘We See Equal’ Summit saw the participation of influential personalities and global leaders, including:

  • Guneet Monga Kapoor, first Indian Oscar-winning producer, CEO - Sikhya Entertainment 
  • Eddie Ndopu, Award-winning Humanitarian, Storyteller, Disability Practitioner
  • Elissa Freiha, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Womena
  • Sarah Harden, Chief Executive Officer, Hello Sunshine
  • Sia Nowrojee, Senior Director, Girls & Women Strategy, United Nations Foundation
  • Aparna Raje Piramal, Writer (Chemical Khichdi), Speaker, Educator
  • Chieko Asakawa, Visually impaired Computer Scientist, IBM Fellow 
  • Simidele Adeagbo, Olympian and Advocate

“Mounting evidence continues to show that gender equality is somewhere between about one to three centuries away, depending on the report you favor and what you want measured. Accumulating data points repeatedly reveal deepening disadvantage and discrimination and worrying outcomes”, said Sia Nowrojee, Senior Director, Girls and Women Strategy, UN Foundation. “But our window to act is now. We believe that companies have a unique responsibility to See Equal, and those that do will join the global team of people who believe the dignity and opportunity of all people is worth fighting for.”

To inspire corporates and society alike, the summit also hosted global P&G leaders including:

  • Shailesh Jejurikar, Chief Operating Officer
  • Fama Francisco, Chief Executive Officer – Baby, Feminine & Family Care and Executive Sponsor – Gender Equality
  • Bala Purushothaman, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Markus Strobel, President – Skin & Personal Care

The #WeSeeEqual program demonstrates P&G’s continued commitment to creating a more equal and inclusive world and is also a winner of theU.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence for Women’s Empowerment in 2019. As one of the world’s largest advertisers, P&G and its brands will also continue to leverage their influential voice in media and advertising to drive further awareness, tackle bias, spark conversations, and motivate change.
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