Indonesia Global Compact (IGCN) together with other Women’s Empowerment Working Group (WEPWG) initiators namely UN Women and Indonesia Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (IBCWE) is co-hosting the third WEP WG multi-stakeholder dialogue during the International Finance Corporation (IFC) study launch event: “Board Gender Diversity in ASEAN.” The dialogue was conducted on Thursday, 27 June 2019 in the Main Hall of Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) Building. It was attended by 196 participants and remarkable speakers from businesses, NGOs/CSOs, and business association.
This multi-stakeholder dialogue was highlighting the importance of having the presence of women in business leadership position. During the dialogue, it was explained by the panelists of how companies with more women on their boards are associated with greater financial performance.
The panelists shared their initiatives that have been undertaken within their organization to advance gender diversity. To expose the example this initiative, Willy Saelan, Director of Human Resources at Unilever Indonesia shared that Unilever Indonesia is actively promoting gender diversity within the organization by giving three weeks of paternity leaves so the fathers can have the same chance to be presence in the children’s growth.
Further in this session, the panelists explained more about challenges and opportunities in advancing gender diversity within their organization. According to the study that was launched earlier on this event, shows that out of the six ASEAN countries, Indonesia is on the second most gender diverse, with women holding about 15 percent of board seats in listed companies, but the country is behind when it comes to the number of women in senior management (18.4 percent), well below the ASEAN average of 25.2 percent. Among the ASEAN companies surveyed, close to 40 percent had no female board members and only 16 percent had over 30 percent female representation on the board.
Y.W. Junardy, President of Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN), remarked, “Boards with women members have shown to have a better decision-making ability through a broader perspective which allows greater inclusivity and ultimately better financial performance. Inclusive businesses - which promote gender equality, decent work and economic growth, are key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he continued.
The event started by opening remarks from Risa E. Rustam, Director of Finance and Human Resources of IDX and Jack Sidik, Senior Country Officer of IFC. During the remark, IDX also took the opportunity to officially announce their participation as one of the partner exchanges of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative. After the remarks, a bell ringing ceremony was held where representatives from IGCN, UN Women, IBCWE, IFC and IDX joined the ceremony.
The bell ringing ceremony was later followed by a panel discussion. Among the speakers were Willy Saelan, Director of Human Resources of Unilever Indonesia; Hilda Savitri, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Indonesia Infrastructure Finance; Irwan Mahjudin Habsjah, Independent Commissioner of Bank BTPN; and Lily Puspasari, Programme Specialist of UN Women. The session was facilitated by Amy Luinstra, East Asia and the Pacific Gender Lead of IFC.