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Invest in women, today and every day | Purposeful Connections

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International Women’s Day is a moment to appreciate the achievements of women around the world. Every day, we shatter barriers from boardrooms to laboratories. Even though it’s well-proven that companies with gender-diverse executive teams are more likely to experience above-average profitability, women don’t have access to these positions without meaningful mentorship. Even today, exceptional performance simply isn’t enough to get women the roles they deserve. With that said, I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by amazing mentors throughout my educational journey, starting at a K-8 all-girls school. This rings true even more so now in the early stages of my career. In fact, a dear female mentor of mine made the introduction that led to this very position. And here at CCOP, I am surrounded by courageous, motivated women in leadership. Our partners Carol, Kristian, and Talya inspire me to push myself further, be even more creative, and advocate for myself. Being able to benefit from the power of female solidarity, I now strive to embody those principles in my everyday. - Sydney Gevertz, Research Associate

⚡️ Women in the world: This year's IWD theme was Invest in women: Accelerate progress. The theme says it all: When we invest in women and give them greater opportunities for advancement, society benefits in profound ways. According to the UN, closing gender gaps could boost GDP per capital by 20%. Yet, "if current trends continue, more than 342 million women and girls could be living in extreme poverty by 2030." Like many "days" of recognition or awareness, IWD is a reminder of the very real, and often very stark reality women face in the world—every single day. What is your organization doing to invest in them?

🍃 No Scope 3: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission finally adopted the much-talked-about rule on corporate climate risk disclosure. Under the new rule, companies won't have to disclose their Scope 3 emissions—and public companies with a market cap under $75 million are exempt. What companies will have to do is report their Scope 1 and 2 emissions to the SEC on the same schedule as other routine SEC filings. For many companies, this will require a more detailed accounting of emissions than they're used to. Importantly, it will ensure that ESG and financial disclosures are aligned.

🤔 What's your purpose? "It starts with knowing who we are and being confident in that." "You need to clearly define who you are and map out the actions and steps you'll take to live those values in all the decision you make." "Good brands draft off culture, great brands shape culture." These are just three insights on brand purpose from 20 CMOs representing companies ranging from McDonald's to Cotopaxi. Across these insights, we see a few themes: listen to people (customers AND employees); build purpose from within; and understand your brand's authentic "why."

🤑 $44 billion: That's the value at stake as more shoppers choose sustainable and socially-responsible brands. In 2023, around a quarter of Americans stopped doing business with a brand because of its environmental or social behavior. Research from 3BL/Triple Pundit, Glow, and Cint found that 58% of Americans say social and environmental considerations have more influence on their purchasing decisions now than they did 12 months ago (despite inflation!). This carries over to investing, too: 22% of Americans say social and environmental issues are "the single most important factor" in choosing pension fund providers. 

Advancements in technology are reshaping industries and creating fresh demands for skilled workers. IBM, driven by its purpose to make the world work better, is dedicated to providing workers with the essential tools and knowledge needed to excel in today's economy. We invited Justina Nixon-Saintil, engineer-turned-VP and Chief Impact Officer, to discuss IBM's Sustainability Accelerator, which has been heralded as a blueprint for corporate responsibility.


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