The focus of the 48th World Economic Forum is to “rededicate leaders from all walks of life to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world.” And in his speech at this forum, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said gender equality must be part of this narrative.
According to Trudeau, the #METOO, #TIMESUP and 2018 Women’s March “tell us that we need to have a critical discussion on women’s rights, equality and the power dynamics of gender.” But what’s more, it’s time for leaders to not just talk about empowering women but to act in a way that says #TIMESUP, too.
And this wasn’t just about sexual harassment in the corporate world, but about the epidemic of abused power throughout government systems, too. As Trudeau put it, sexual harassment is a “systemic problem.” And he asked leaders to join him in not only recognizing this problem, but to take steps in resolving this problem.
As Trudeau put it, “As women speak up, it is our responsibility to listen, and more importantly, to believe.” Because without honoring and listening to women, the solutions are just quick fixes.
But the Prime Minister isn’t interested in “peacemeal alternatives.” Instead, he called for “fundamental and essential shifts” in how business and governments operate because whether we’re discussing gender equality in government or businesses, it is “everyone’s business.”
On top of workplace sexual harassment, other gender inequality issues, such as job security and promotions, need to be improved to give women a more equal position in the work force.