FRIDAY 23 JAN 2015 3:18 PM


With the world’s eyes turned to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, EY has used the platform to highlight gender inequality in the workplace. The professional services firm erected an ice wall upon which it will be projecting short films documenting moves toward gender equality.

John Rudaizky, EY partner, global brand and external communications leader says, “This initiative at the World Economic Forum is designed to highlight that 80 years is too long to wait for gender parity in the workplace. EY’s objective is to stimulate dialogue on this important global issue and ask, why wait? It’s in every organization’s best economic interest to fully utilize the talents of women.”

EY recently released a report, ‘EY’s Women. Fast forward: The time for gender parity is now,’ documenting how itself and other companies and sectors are supporting career development and equal environments for women. The survey found that corporate boards featuring women achieved an average of a 4% higher share price than comprised solely of men. EY also notes the importance of transparency and narrative reporting in sharing with stakeholders the value of mixed boards and women in leadership positions.

For EY itself, the report notes that flexibility is key to maintaining positive relationships with women in the workforce and to supporting gender equality internally. The European Commission set out a goal in 2012 that 40% of non-executive boards should be women by 2020.

The company supports Davos’ ‘Women Leaders and Gender Parity Program’ and thus likely selected Davos as the venue for this CSR initiative launch to capture the attention of the world’s most powerful business leaders. The ice screen approach was indeed selected as an attention-grabber. The ‘Worldwide Index of Women as Public Sector Leaders’, published by EY, shows that only four G20 countries have women comprise a third of the public sector workforce.

The 4,500kg ice screen hosted films from 21-23 January in Davos.