SDG5: What can businesses do to ensure gender equality

Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5) establishes a clear path towards gender equality. But, how do businesses manage to convert this ideal into a tangible reality in its structures and daily practices?

The following lines will explain what such a goal exactly consists of and how business organisations can contribute to enforce it internally as well as externally.

A glance at Sustainable Development Goal 5

The primary purpose of SDG number 5 is to address gender inequalities across the world. The goal is to ensure equal opportunities for women and girls in every aspect of life.

This encompasses education, health, employment, political participation and decision making at all levels. It’s about addressing structural inequalities and promoting the empowerment of women and girls across the world.

It is worth stressing that gender equality is a determining factor for a fairer and more prosperous environment. However, today women continue to be underrepresented in politics and the economy, and face discrimination and violence.

Although progress has been made in legislative matters, the resources to ensure such rights continue being insufficient. In this respect, companies also have the possibility of promoting internal equality and participating in external empowerment programmes.

Directing their daily practices towards meeting such a goal may be very beneficial for society and the economy. In addition, it should not be forgotten that the presence of women in executive positions is often related to higher corporate profits.


Business strategies for a more equal world

Businesses may adopt strategies to promote a more inclusive and equitable environment in their internal and external operations. In so doing, they manage to align with Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5) of UN Agenda 2030.


How to contribute to achieving SDG 5 internally

Applying SDG 5 internally involves adopting practices that promote equality within the business itself. This benefits employees and strengthens the reputation and sustainability of the business. Some effective strategies are shown below:

  • Implement gender equality policies: develop and apply clear policies that address the issue in areas such as hiring, promotion and compensation.
  • Promote diversity when hiring: adopt inclusive hiring practices that promote diversity at every level of the organisation, including executive or top-level positions.
  • Offer training and professional development training: provide training and professional development opportunities that are equitable for all employees.
  • Establish measures for reconciling working and family life: implement policies that support the balance between work and personal life, such as teleworking, flexible timetables and impartial parental leave.
  • Promote an inclusive organisational culture: promote a work environment based on respect and value the opinions and contributions of all collaborators, regardless of their gender.


Contribution to achieving SDG 5 externally

In addition to internal actions, businesses may contribute to achieving SDG 5 externally and have a positive impact on society in general. Here are some of the ways to do this:

  • Support community initiatives: collaborate with local or regional organisations that promote the equality and empowerment of women by means of donations, sponsorships or corporate volunteering.
  • Develop inclusive products and services: design and offer products and services that cater to the needs of women and girls. This is an excellent way to bridge gaps in areas such as health, education and technology.
  • Promote equality in the supply chain: establish policies and practices that promote the inclusion of women in the supply chain, as well as work with suppliers who share these values. It is necessary to prevent the marketing of products that reinforce gender stereotypes.
  • Participate in awareness campaigns: join campaigns and movements that promote the empowerment of women and that report discrimination as well as violence against them and girls.
  • Advocate for inclusive public policies: participate in the public debate and advocate for government policies that promote the same rights among people, such as equal salary laws and work and family life reconciliation measures.