With the theme 2020: "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights" International Women's Rights Day (8 March) supports the UN Women's intergenerational campaign marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action for the Empowerment of Women, bringing together young women's equality activists with the visionaries who played a pivotal role more than two decades ago. On this occasion, the world community takes stock of the progress made on women's rights. Veolia reviews its commitments and mobilizes its women employees.
Gender equality is an integral part of Veolia's Purpose.
"Actions promoting gender diversity and workplace equality are an integral part of Veolia's Purpose, which is to contribute to human progress by firmly adhering to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. One of the indicators measuring its multifaceted performance under the Group's new strategic program (Impact 2023) focuses on gender equality: by 2023, one out of every two appointments among the Group's 500 senior executives will be a woman,"
JEAN-MARIE LAMBERT, VEOLIA'S SENIOR EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT HUMAN RESOURCES
Veolia also wants to attract talent and give women their rightful place at all levels across the world. The Group has adopted a workplace gender equality action plan in order to develop job diversity, increase the number of women in management and on governing bodies, and promote gender balance in representation organizations.
In 2019, in France, Veolia measured its performance in terms of equal pay for women and men, achieving an overall index of 88 points out of 100. This result is the fruit of efforts made to create the conditions of attractiveness and development that allow women to progress at the same level of remuneration and career as men.
Girls on the move week: 2,400 girls hosted by Veolia in 21 countries
The 4th edition of Girls On the Move Week (2 to 8 March 2020) brought together 2,400 high school girls at Veolia around 47 initiatives in 22 countries across five continents. The girls took part in site visits, workshops and round tables coordinated by Veolia sponsors. For example, in North America Veolia organized 6 events in Canada and the United States where 338 girls visited several sites and exchanged ideas with Veolia engineers and technicians.
The Girls on the Move Week is an initiative of the "Elles Bougent" association, which aims to introduce secondary school girls to careers as engineers and technicians in industrial and technological sectors where there is a shortage of female talent.
Veolia sponsors and representatives are also involved in activities similar to those of Girls on the Move, such as the InnovaTech Challenge, a "hackathon" format team competition aimed at steering young girls towards digital careers and jobs in the industry of the future. The final is on 1 April 2020 at the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The Veolia Foundation supports women's entrepreneurship in Africa
Two examples among the many actions launched by the Veolia Foundation to promote gender equality through its support for employment and social action:
- In Niger, L'Oasis - co-founded in 2018 by Veolia and Empow’Her - is supported by the Foundation. This place in Niamey is dedicated to the economic integration of women through entrepreneurship. It raises public awareness of sustainable development issues: ecological vegetable garden, recycled furniture, solar energy and local crafts. In 2019, L’Oasis and Empow'Her Niger trained and supported 1,100 women in setting up or developing their businesses. 1,468 people took part in L’Oasis activities and 13 awareness-raising events were organized. L’Oasis offers 4 training programmes: Women Act (projects with a high environmental or social impact), Women Communities (support for women entrepreneurs), Women Rise (entrepreneurship for vulnerable women) and Women Grow (entrepreneurship in the field of agroecology).
- In Cameroon, where only 27% of households have access to electricity, the Foundation supports the Women and Sustainable Energy project, backs the “Cameroon women mayors network" in 17 towns, promotes the empowerment of women and girls and parity with equal skills. This initiative led by the network of locally elected women mayors of Cameroon (Refela-CAM) was championed at the 1st International Solar Alliance (ASI) Summit in New Delhi.