On the occasion of International Women Day 2019, we invite all women, around the world, to get involved in shifting the position lines and helping to create a more circular world that respects the resource. #resourcefulwomen
Women have always been a strong driver in the great revolutions of our societies. Marie-Curie's breakthroughs on radioactivity have shaken up our relationship to medicine, energy and the environment. Regarding the space revolution, Margaret Heafield Hamilton led the team that designed and configured the navigation system for the Apollo space program. Rosa Parks' work played a decisive role in the fight for diversity. Gender equality has been promoted by women such as Simone de Beauvoir in France and Komako Kimura in Japan.
Today we must engage in a new fight, the greatest of our age: the resource revolution. There is an urgent need to better protect ecosystems and natural resources, to produce new resources and sustainable energy through the circular economy, or to design solutions to address global warming. It is now 2019 and humanity is already living on credit. The scarcity of resources threatens our societies and ways of life. If we do not move towards a drastically circular economy model, what will the situation be in 2050 when the Earth population will reach 9 billion people?
Women are the most affected by the challenges of the resource
The strain on resources and ecosystems puts half of all living species at risk. It also affects the human beings and above all women, who are overwhelmed by the scarcity and lack of access to resources.
According to the UN, the time spent by girls and women collecting water is the equivalent of 200 million daily hours in the world. A time that they do not spend on developing an economic activity, nor on educating themselves and thus emancipating themselves. Furthermore, women and children are fourteen times more affected by natural disasters.
First impacted and ironically under-represented: only 20% of decision-makers are women! Most major organizations are now calling for programs aimed at gender equality and sustainable development to be carried out simultaneously. As early as 1997, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women recommended that "women's active participation in the development and implementation of environmental policies to promote and protect health, such as the establishment of criteria for drinking water, should be encouraged".
Some countries have taken the first step. Côte d'Ivoire has thus deployed a national action agenda on the environment that takes into account women's issues. In Colombia, the "Directorate for Equality" and the Ministry of Environment collaborate in the planning and implementation of their programmes and policies. At international scale, the women4climate movement's mandate is to bring together and engage women who are involved in the fight against climate change.
If female pioneers lead the way, it is essential to strengthen women's commitment to the resource management.
Because without the full participation of women, there can be no sustainable commitment to the resource, it is crucial to value women's initiatives around the world and to encourage their actions. Some of them are leading the way. The most emblematic are Rachel Carson, Greta Thunberg, Ellen MacArtur and Wangari Muta Maathai. Alongside these leading figures, women around the world are acting and innovating daily to preserve the resources that are vital to our future.
These examples have no reason to remain exceptions. The Pew Research Center revealed in a 2015 study that women are on average more concerned about environmental issues. By 2012, the University of Berkeley reported that most female students were already placing environmental issues in the top 3 of their professional concerns.
Aware of the need to strengthen women's position and leadership in resource management, SUEZ has made a commitment in all its recruitments of managers, 50% of the shortlisted candidates will be women.
Join the momentum of #resourcefulwomen
On the occasion of International Women's Day 2019, we invite all women, around the world, to get involved in shifting the position lines and helping to create a more circular world that respects the resource:
- by committing themselves on a daily basis in their function, and at their level, to promoting women's leadership and the circular economy,
- by creating their own company or start-up in the field of resources,
- by developing an associative or militant project with the intention of preserving the resources crucial to our future,
- by applying to join SUEZ or any other company in the industry,
- by orienting themselves in training leading to the professions of resource management.