On 6th October 2016, the Allianz women’s network in the UK held an event on HeForShe, a worldwide gender equality movement from the United Nations.
Launched in 2014, this global action welcomes all of us into being advocates and allies to achieve gender equality. Emma Watson, the British actress, is a prominent ambassador of this global movement. Another high-profile ambassador for HeForShe is Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, who recently announced his commitment to this drive.
In a first for global financial services, the insurance sector in the UK as a whole has signed up to support this movement with leaders and colleagues across the industry making their personal and professional commitments to play their part towards gender equality. This moves the industry in the right direction.
Over 130 colleagues from 6 Allianz companies in the UK came to the event to listen to our distinguished speakers: Laura Haynes, Chair of the United Nations Women Network in the UK and Simon Gander, Executive Director at Aon UK.
Laura began her speech by showing us a powerful video which revealed the reality of gender stereotyping from an early age.
While we want to remove social and cultural barriers that prevent people from achieving their potential, Laura explained that, “We can only achieve gender equality by working with both men and women. One gender fighting against the other for equal rights isn’t constructive and doesn’t always yield results. We have to recognise the crucial role of men and boys as partners for women’s rights. HeForShe is an inclusive approach that brings us together on one common principle.”
Simon Gander is one of the preeminent advocates for HeForShe within Aon. He is also one of the sponsors of their women’s network. Announcing that Aon are going to endorse this movement globally, he said that achieving gender equality “is a long journey but a journey we must make.” Pointing out why HeForShe goes to the heart of the matter of gender equality, he said, “We have to unlock the talent potential in the world to create natural diversity and inclusion. HeForShe is a major step to get us and keep us on this path.”
Claire McDonald, who chaired the event said, “We were honoured to have Laura from the UN and Simon from Aon speak to us about the HeForShe movement. Their key message to us is that women and men have to work in partnership to achieve gender equality at work, at home and in the wider society. I was also very encouraged to see that over 35% of the audience were men. All over the world, people are taking a stand for equality and it’s heartening to see our Allianz colleagues in the UK contributing to spur changes in our environment.”
Colleagues in the UK who wish to make their personal commitments to the HeForShe movement can do so here.