Created in 2005 in France, the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society has quickly become a major and influential international forum. Every year, it gives women (and men) opinion leaders the opportunity to share their thoughts on how the contribution made by women to the economy and to society can be strengthened. We urgently need to rethink leadership if we are to meet global challenges. Women have solutions to offer at different levels, as shown by the programme of this 2021 edition, which addresses key issues: climate, education, access to healthcare, entrepreneurship, technological innovations, etc. Their ambition: to call on leaders of all stripes to build, now and together, an inclusive future for greater equality and efficiency.
For a green and fair future
Climate was high on the agenda at this year's Women's Forum Global Meeting. The first day, entitled "A just green future", was devoted to this issue through several round tables bringing together sustainable development managers from major international groups and associations. Three themes were addressed. Firstly, climate justice - "Business for justice: driving a green transition for all" - asking how we can drive a green transition for all in a fair and inclusive way.Secondly, the value of nature - "Nature's worth: the business of diversity". The aim was to reflect on how agriculture and industry can build on women's leadership to protect biodiversity and deploy inclusive nature-based solutions. Finally, the third panel - "The work starts now" - was an invitation to act now. With COP26 just over, the time to ensure that governments and businesses keep and deliver on their commitments is now. With this in mind, on the last day of the meeting, whose theme was "Uniting power with purpose: what the world needs now", a round table showed how girls' education is a major lever for action and climate justice. The future will be green and fair to women or it will not be!
BNP Paribas at the Women's Forum Global Meeting 2021
« Business for climate justice: driving a green transition for all »
with Nathalie Jaubert, Directrice adjointe RSE Groupe BNP Paribas
As a partner of the Women's Forum since 2016, BNP Paribas was of course present at this new edition, particularly on the first day devoted to the climate. Nathalie Jaubert, Deputy Head of CSR BNP Paribas Group, was invited to debate on the topic of "Business for climate justice: driving a green transition for all" in the current context, where climate change is experienced unequally by populations according to different factors: level of wealth, gender, etc. How can companies become the driving force behind the transition to a low-carbon economy, reducing emissions linked to their activities, while increasingly involving their stakeholders? This was an opportunity for Nathalie Jaubert to remind us of the importance of actions, and also of reporting on them, through extra-financial data which give an account of the commitments made and which contribute to creating confidence. She also reiterated the Group's conviction that action must be collective, mobilising customers and stakeholders, and quick to meet expectations of civil society.
« Women and Climate change : a fair and just energy transition for all »
with Nolwenn Pean de Ponfilly, Chief of Staff RSE de BNP Paribas
Nolwenn Pean de Ponfilly, Chief of Staff CSR at BNP Paribas, was asked to lead a workshop on Friday 19 November. She explained the importance of helping women, who are often more affected by climate change and its consequences than men. Deforestation, lack of water near crops, lack of drinking water and decent sanitation facilities: in many countries, climatic phenomena have a direct impact on the daily lives of women who make their living from agriculture and whose agricultural and/or economic activity depends on natural resources. Nolwenn Pean de Ponfilly gave several examples of women's communities in India or on the African continent that are inventing innovative solutions: renewable energy, clean water collection, forest protection, etc. A range of alternative solutions often made possible by the use of microcredit. This focused attention on the achievements of women who take charge of their destiny and assume important responsibilities at the local or international level. Paradoxically, global warming and its impacts become incredible opportunities for women's leadership to flourish and to highlight their leading role in building a more equal and sustainable world.
Find out more about BNP Paribas' microfinance and women's entrepreneurship programmes around the world
Several programmes are being conducted by BNP Paribas in favour of women's entrepreneurship in Senegal for example, or to develop microfinance and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).