A chance to review what still needs to be done

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

March the 8th provides us with an occasion to reflect on the progress women have made, and continue to make, in the workplace and beyond. However, it is also a chance to review what still needs to be done if society’s true potential is to be realised.

In many countries where the EBRD invests, women do not enjoy equal opportunities. Women’s ability to make themselves heard is not what it should be. Women suffer discrimination in the labour market and legislation in some of our countries endorses these inequalities.

As we implement our Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality, we are increasing women’s access to finance, business support, services and employment in the countries we operate. Thanks to our commitment to ensuring that EBRD is equally inclusive internally, we now see more women in senior roles.

The ethical argument in favour of making gender central to what we do speaks for itself. But, beyond that, success in securing gender equality is now acknowledged as a yardstick for assessing the legitimacy of any society. Many goals we set for ourselves and the countries where we work will be easier to achieve if we also advance equal opportunities for men and women.

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