The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has called for the role of women to be reinforced in tackling the climate crisis.
According to the UN Environment Programme, it is estimated that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women, and women are 14 times more likely to die during environmental disasters. Additionally, across the globe, women make up the majority of the workforce in sectors like agriculture, thus would be disproportionately affected by extreme weather conditions.
Sectors benefitting the most from the transition to net-zero are utilities, construction and manufacturing and the issue with these sectors is there is a very low percentage of women making up the workforce. Governments and businesses alike need to work together to ensure both women and men equally are a part of the transition to net-zero.
“Today, we remember the immeasurable role women play in society. This is why ACCA is calling for women’s voices must be heard in a space where men dominate the climate agenda. This directly relates to two of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 13 on climate change,” said ACCA’s head of sustainability Emmeline Skelton during ACCA’s International Women’s Day event.
“The climate agenda is redefining the world of business long-term over the coming decades and it is important for us to understand the role women can play in this challenge. This is also a crucial subject for the accountancy profession. ACCA is a pioneer for change in business reporting, which is a pivotal part of many accountants’ work. Financial reports must account not just the bottom line, but impact a business is making on society and the planet.”
To also celebrate this occasion, ACCA spoke to several panelists from the event on why International Women’s Day is an important date and how women can help in the transition to a more sustainable future.
“International Women’s Day (IWD) connects to me on a lot of levels. The first being opportunities to all women of all races, colour, tribe, age, ethnicity, etc. IWD by itself is symbolic, representing a time for the world to reflect on where it is coming from, in the race to attain equal opportunities between men and women, and where it is. Personally, it is also the day to reiterate to my female colleagues all over the world – the message of hope and also remind them not to wait for equal platforms, take quotas if that’s what they are offering for now – it is a good start,” said Dr Mories Atoki, a chief executive officer for the African Business Coalition for Health.
“Records show more women are paying attention to the aspects and topics that accompany the race to net-zero than men. The Sustainability and Energy transition agenda is largely driven by women, perhaps emanating from natural dispositions or tendencies in interest in this particular agenda. It is only reasonable to allow women to continue in this movement and ultimately champion this course.”
Bonnie Chan, an ACCA member and financial planning and analysis manager at the Green Organic Dutchman in Canada said; “It is a day to recognize women’s selfless devotion to their families, societies and the world. Women deserve visibility for their achievements. It is also a reminder to the public of the importance of gender equality. Women have demonstrated their expertise and leadership at all levels are crucial to combat the climate change crisis. While women represent almost half of the world population, it is important to have their voices in climate-related decision making to address specific needs and to achieve a gender-just net zero economy.”