CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Chicago Network, Chicago’s foremost organization of leading professional women, today is launching The Chicago Network Equity Principles Campaign. By signing the Equity Pledge, the cornerstone of which is The Chicago Network Equity Principles, companies and organizations commit to working toward achieving gender equity in leadership roles by 2030.
More than 70 prominent Chicago-area organizations - including Aon, Discover, United Airlines, Easterseals, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, and the American Medical Association – representing sectors spanning nonprofits, higher education and public companies have already pledged their support of The Equity Principles; Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, MI, also has signed. By adopting The Equity Principles, Chicago organizations can be at the forefront of providing equal opportunities for women to pursue leadership positions, empowering women to define their own professional success, and promoting more productive and profitable workplaces. From developing a pipeline of talent and promoting diversity, to creating flexible career paths and tracking progress, leaders signing The Equity Principles are committing to taking necessary, measurable actions to create workplaces that more closely reflect the gender distribution of the world we live in. More information about The Chicago Network Equity Principles, including the full list of pledge partners, can be found here: https://www.thechicagonetwork.org/equity-principles.
The Chicago Network is uniquely positioned to lead the citywide campaign for gender equity. The influence of The Network’s members – 500+ women leaders at the forefront of our city’s business, professional, cultural, nonprofit and educational communities – reaches across all sectors and levels of Chicago. “We know that when women take their seats at the table, businesses are more likely to reach their full potential – and that’s why we have established The Equity Principles,” says Kate Bensen, President and CEO of The Chicago Network. “Across the country, momentum is building. Movements like #MeToo, Time’s Up, and the Women’s March have emboldened a generation of women. The time is right for Chicago’s business and civic communities to build on that and truly lead the way in fostering equitable workplaces for women.”
“The Equity Principles create a significant opportunity for Chicago organizations to improve pathways for women’s advancement. Signing the equity pledge showcases the commitment being made by Discover and other organizations to continue working toward equity in the workplace and to create an environment in which everyone’s value is felt and recognized,” says Roger Hochschild, CEO and president of Discover.
“We are at an inflection point in our society that presents an opportunity for us as leaders to work together to create a gender-balanced workforce,” says Cary Grace, chief executive officer of Global Retirement & Investment, Aon and incoming vice chair for The Chicago Network. “We are thrilled to partner with The Chicago Network and pledge our support of The Equity Principles because it provides a broader framework to help signatories accelerate their trajectory around diversity and inclusion.”
The Chicago Network recognizes that achieving gender equity in the workplace is not only a social good, but also a business imperative. Years of research underscore the powerful economic impact of gender equity. In a city that is more than half female, Chicago can gain economic opportunity by engaging more future women leaders. A recent McKinsey Global Institute report shows that gender equity worldwide can lead to a $12 trillion increase in global GDP; and that narrowing the gender gap in the workplace could increase the Chicago metro area GDP by $58 billion.
The Equity Principles were developed by The Chicago Network in collaboration with area business and civic leaders across sectors in Chicago. By targeting gender equity by 2030, The Chicago Network is aligning with the globally recognized benchmark set by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, as well as a growing number of government, public, private, and international organizations.
As it celebrates its 40th anniversary, The Chicago Network believes that by working together toward gender equity within our workplaces, industries, and broader business community, we will create meaningful opportunities for women in Chicago and beyond.
ABOUT THE CHICAGO NETWORK
We are an organization of Chicago’s most influential women leaders. Our 500+ members are leaders at the forefront of our city’s business, professional, cultural, nonprofit and educational communities. Our purpose is to empower women to lead. Our mission is to connect with each other for personal and professional growth, advance our civic, business & philanthropic communities, and inspire and support the next generation. Our vision is Gender Equity. At all Levels. Everywhere.