Women have contributed significantly to global economic growth and as leading agents in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The assertion was made by the Managing Director of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics base (LADOL), Dr. Amy Jadesimi, in a speech she delivered at the just concluded United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held in New York, United States of America.
Jadesimi, who is a member of the 31 International Commissioners, spoke on behalf of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission which is chaired by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and co-founded by Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever.
The international commissioners’ forum was sequel to the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment report released on 22 September 2016 at the launch event, and which was personally attended by Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General.
In her speech titled, “Women are driving the global economy”, Jadesimi whose commission consists of one-third women membership, posited that if the world commits itself to gender equality in all spheres to bring about equal engagement in global workforce, global gross domestic products (GDP) would have grown by about $28 trillion by the year 2025.
According to the LADOL boss, “the business commission is making a powerful case, supported by sound evidence, rigorous research and compelling real-world examples, for why the private sector should seize upon the SDGs as the greatest opportunity for corporate growth and profitability of our lifetime.
“The commission’s work will help high growth, low income countries achieve the SDGs by catalysing the empowerment of and the investment in critical and currently marginalised groups, such as local private sector companies and women. Women are drivers of the global economy and they are critical to leading the shift to an inclusive and sustainable world”, she said.
Describing the mission and vision of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission as being in line with those of LADOL, she noted that, “just as LADOL has positively disrupted the oil and gas and maritime sectors, the BSDC seeks to support and drive disruptive innovations that (are) breaking new ground and transforming business models in health, education, mobility, agriculture and energy.”
Such business models, according to her, “are challenging the status quo of established industries—from fossil fuels to fashion. The work of the Commission is all the more important given the threats of social and environmental externalities.”
To this end, she urged the private sector to immediately accelerate inclusive growth and drive sustainability at a far greater speed and scale than ever before.
According to reports, the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC), which was launched in January 2016, aims to accelerate this market transformation and advance the world’s transition to a more prosperous and inclusive economy.
The core of its mission is to make a significant case— supported by sound evidence, rigorous research and compelling real-world examples—for why business leaders should seize upon sustainable development as the greatest opportunity of a lifetime.
Jadesimi disclosed that the Commission will show how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide the private sector with the framework for achieving this market shift.
She said the business commission’s flagship report due to be published in January 2017, will highlight “the evidence for new sustainable growth models, which are becoming increasingly more attractive and affordable.
She said: “However, there are many more companies that remain on the current path, and our research will make clear the significant risks, which could lead to adverse effects on growth and profit.
“The report will also highlight new business models and how they can align profitability with sustainable development, and how first-movers are already gaining an advantage in the market, as well as the challenges and opportunities for new financial tools to crowd in private capital and align economic and social returns.
“We will identify major financing challenges, such as pervasive short-termism, as well as potential solutions, including prioritising the benefits of patient, long-term investments, and the need for business, government, and civil society to effectively build a new social contract to create a more enabling environment and drive collective action for achieving inclusive, sustainable growth”.
The LADOL boss, however, noted that this exercise will require, “a stronger role for all stakeholders, and it will also require the private sector to proactively earn the trust of society. We will argue that delivering the SDGs requires both a stronger private sector and a stronger public sector. “
She pointed out that even though the research findings were still in the early stages, “so far shows there are significant economic opportunities for the private sector to create new business models that transform markets and drive inclusive growth across several key industries. These findings will be finalised in the coming months, and will take centre stage in the Commission’s final report.”