P&G announces bold new commitments at #WeSeeEqual summit
Posted on 2023 May,03

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At its fifth annual #WeSeeEqual summit for Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa (AMA), Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced bold new commitments aimed at advancing Equality & Inclusion (E&I) across the region.

World-renowned advocates and personalities from the private and public sectors attended the event. Built on the theme of ‘Unique and United’, the summit provided a platform for participants to share best practices and collaborate on solutions to address gender inequality.

Omar Channawi, CEO - P&G Middle East, Global Entrepreneurial Markets and Sub Sahara Africa & Asia Pacific Middle East & Africa Salessaid: “P&G embraces diversity and recognizes the unique strengths that each individual brings to the table. This year’s We See Equal Summit brought together a diverse group of professionals and thought leaders to share their experiences and insights on equality and inclusion. The event is dedicated to creating value for our employees, partners, and communities, as P&G remains committed to making a positive impact on the world. We believe that by collaborating and learning from each other, we can make meaningful progress towards a more equitable future where everyone feels valued and respected.”

At the summit, P&G announced new commitments to advance progress in the region:

  1. Through its Always and Whisper ‘Keeping Girls in School’ program, P&G will educate more than 35 million adolescent girls on puberty and menstrual hygiene across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa, over the next three years.
  • The company will focus on increasing awareness about the need for period education and preventing girls from missing and dropping out of school.
  1. Over the next year, P&G will set up a task force of certified ‘Mental Health First Aiders’ across Asia, Middle East and Africa.
  • The mental health of an individual can be affected by various factors such as microaggressions, lack of representation, and unconscious bias. P&G’s ‘mental health first aiders’ will be P&G employees from different workgroups who will be trained and certified by licensed authorities and organizations to provide support and assist peers experiencing mental health issues. Across markets for 19,000 employees in the region, these First Aiders will act as the first line of response and will be equipped to identify signs and symptoms of emotional distress and initiate a supportive conversation with a colleague, guide them towards available resources in the company, and encourage them to seek professional support.

The summit, held in collaboration with the UN Foundation, focused on emerging trends and insights in the DEI space, such as bridging the gap between generations, with a particular emphasis on Gen Z as it becomes a prominent cohort in the workforce and consumer market, diversity in leadership styles and perspectives to foster innovation and creativity, and how different stakeholders can accelerate progress to serve communities. The summit shed light on mental health as an integral part of the E&I agenda for the first time, highlighting biases that can lead to discrimination and exclusion, which can have a negative impact on mental health.

The company also shared strong progress on commitments across the AMA region made last year as part of the annual #WeSeeEqual summit in 2022:

  • Last year, P&G introduced the 'P&G ReLaunch program' in three markets - India, Singapore and Philippines – to welcome back talented professionals who took a break from the workforce and looking to restart their careers in STEM roles, with targeted support and development. This program is now part of the company's commitment to strengthen diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and will focus on people looking to relaunch their careers in IT, Research & Development, and Product Supply
  • As part of its commitment to spend a cumulative total of $300 million by deliberately working with women-owned and women-led businesses across the AMA region, from the year 2021 to 2025, P&G has made headways on this front and has already invested $175 million in this initiative. Through its flagship AMA Women Entrepreneurs Academy program, P&G has built the capability of over 1000 Women Entrepreneurs in 10 markets in the region that will enable them to make their businesses more competitive
  • P&G committed to improving the accessibility of its brand advertising, including social media content and websites, by making most of our communication accessible to people with sight and hearing impairments by 2024. The company has made strong progress on this commitment and by 2024, a majority of its communication will be accessible to people with sight and hearing impairments
  • P&G continues to work towards achieving equal representation of female directors behind the camera for the company's brand advertisements. In the AMA region, P&G has increased the representation of female directors from 16% in 2019 to more than 35% today. The company aims to achieve the 50-50 goal through a comprehensive set of actions to build, fuel, and connect a pipeline of diverse female talent in advertising, media, and content

The P&G ‘We See Equal’ Summit saw the participation of influential personalities and global and regional leaders, including:

  • Guneet Monga, two time Oscar-winning producer, Sikhya Entertainment
  • Eddie Ndopu, Founder, Beyond Zero, humanitarian and PWD activist
  • Elissa Freiha, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Womena, BBC 30Under30
  • Sarah Harden, Chief Executive Officer, Hello Sunshine, media house driving female-led storytelling
  • Sia Nowrojee, Senior Director, Girls & Women Strategy, United Nations Foundation
  • Aparna Raje Piramal, best selling author, speaker and educator on Leadership
  • Chieko Asakawa, visually impaired scientist, IBM Fellow at T. J. Watson Research Center and IBM Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Simidele Adeagbo, Nigerian trailblazing Olympian, passionate advocate and inspirational speaker focused on building a better world through sport
  • Maryam Al Mansoori, General Manager at Rebound Exchange
  • Scott Armstrong, Founder of mentl

As one of the largest advertisers in the world, P&G and its brands will also continue to leverage their influential voice in media and advertising to increase awareness, combat bias, spark conversations, and inspire change. The company's commitment to promoting gender equality and diversity is reflected in its continued efforts to drive positive social impact.