EMMA WATSON was on hand to support the UN’s HeForShe campaign during the UN World Economic Forum at Davos on Friday, unveiling the Impact 10x10x10 parity report. The actress and UN ambassador took the opportunity to interview 10 male CEOs who have committed to advancing gender equality in their organisations to find out how they plan to do so.
In the series of interviews, which were broadcast, Watson noted that “full female participation in the workforce could boost GDP by $28 trillion within a decade,” reports the World Economic Forum, calling it the “single biggest stimulus to the economy”.
The Impact 10x10x10 initiative is about helping those who are interested in helping the cause but aren’t sure how, “engaging governments, businesses and universities and having them make concrete commitments to gender equality”, according to Watson. In the last year alone it has managed to secure the assurance of top global brands, including Barclays, Vodafone and Unilever that they will address the issue in their corporations.
“But I want to hear from the human beings that are behind these organisations,” she implored when she launched the programme last year. “Girls, who have been your mentors? Parents, did you make sure you treated your children equally – if so, how have you done it? Husbands, have you been supporting your female partner privately so that she can fulfil her dreams too? Young men, have you spoken up in a conversation when a woman was casually degraded or dismissed? How did this affect you? How did this affect the woman you stepped up for? Businessmen, have you mentored and supported women in leadership positions? Writers, have you challenged the language and imagery used to portray women in the media? CEOs, have you implemented the women’s empowerment principles in your companies? What change have you seen? Are you someone that has been persuaded to become HeForShes and collected their signatures for our website? How many have you got? We want to know, we want to hear from you.”
Since assuming her role as UN ambassador in July 2014, Watson has made a big impact on the international stage, harnessing her fame and global fanbase to highlight gender equality. Last January, when she outlined her year-long plan for the campaign, she spoke of her amazement at the response that she had already received from men and women all over the world; in March, she took her crusade to Facebook, where she held a forum on the subject that was broadcast live over the social-media platform; and in August she made an exclusive film for British Vogue addressing equal rights in the fashion industry.