Just Brands '21

Addressing Gender Inequality in a Post-Pandemic World

Etienne White, VP, Brands for Good, Sustainable Brands

In the last year, though many have been under incredible strain, Women (vs men) have been disproportionately affected by the rise in COVID, in COVID long-tail, in unemployment, in gun violence, in domestic violence, in homelessness and in the unpaid labour of tending to children needing near constant daytime supervision and homeschooling. Some news outlets have rather quaintly referred to this as ‘the struggle with the juggle’, others have coined the phrase ‘she-cession’, but these issues run deep, ask any woman you know and she might agree it’s better referred to as an ‘unmitigated disaster’. Whatever your preferred nomenclature, it is a spaghetti soup of interrelated, often systemic issues driving a massive backwards momentum for women at large in society. Since none of these challenges are going to spontaneously solve themselves, it’s up to us to dig in, understand, unravel and unwind the mess. In this session we will explore causal links, contributing factors and critical trends that are shaping this shift. We’ll cover why supporting women is key to us mitigating against the climate crisis, we’ll explore ways to reverse the current trajectory and we’ll look at the vital role business can play in accelerating a new, more forward-looking momentum for women.