P&G builds on equality pledges in the Middle East, Africa

From upping spend on women-led businesses to strengthening diversity in STEM, P&G adds to its already bold pledges to advancing equality and inclusivity

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has furthered its already ambitious commitment to advancing equality and inclusivity in the Middle East and Africa, as well as Asia-Pacific.

The consumer goods giant announced an array of new equality pledges at its fourth annual #WeSeeEqual summit for the region, which saw equality advocates, including Microsoft’s CEO for South Africa (Lillian Barnard) and the UAE’s representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (Dr Nawal Al Hosany) convene to discuss acceleration of progress on equality and inclusion.

P&G makes progress on regional commitments in just one year

These new regional pledges follow on from those made at last year’s summit, as well as those made by P&G globally, as an organisation fully committed to “creating a world where equal access and opportunity to learn, grow, succeed, and thrive are available to everyone”.

P&G has already made strong progress on regional commitments made last year, with its ‘Share the Care’ parental leave policy giving all new parents across the Middle East and Africa with greater leave benefits and flexibility.

The company also delivered on its commitment to achieving a 50-50 gender balance across its management workforce by 2022 in the regions, completing this ahead of schedule, and on its commitment to educate more than 30 million girls on puberty and hygiene by 2024, via its brands Always and Whisper’s ‘Keeping Girls in School’ program, the company has already reached more than 15 million girls, achieving the halfway market in just one year.

P&G announces bold new commitments to accelerate progress

And while the company is certainly making great progress in advancing regional equality, it knows there is more work to be done and so has announced bold new commitments, as well as expanding on existing actions.

Here are the four new commitments made:

1. Increase spend on women-owned and led businesses

Increasing spend on women-owned and led businesses regionally, P&G announced a cumulative total of US$300 million on working with women-owned and -led businesses across the Middle East, Africa and APAC region, from 2021 to 2025. This builds on last year’s commitment to spend US$200 million, with P&G already investing US$100m in the first year.

2. Achieve equal gender representation of directors in advertising

P&G announced it will achieve equal representation of female directors behind the camera for the company's brand advertisements in the region, by 2024. The company has already made strong progress, increasing representation of female directors from 16% in 2019 to 35% today, with plans to achieve the 50-50 goal by 2024 through a comprehensive set of actions to build, fuel, and connect a pipeline of diverse female talent in advertising, media, and content.  

3. Make brand advertising accessible to visually and aurally impaired

The company announced plans to improve the accessibility of its brand advertising including social media content and websites, by making it accessible to people with sight and hearing impairments by 2024. P&G will do this for all new brand advertising across the region. This initiative will make P&G brands more inclusive and accessible to all members of the community.

4. Introduce 'P&G ReLaunch program' 

P&G unveiled a regional program to welcome the return of talented professionals who took a break from the workforce and are looking to restart their careers in STEM roles, with targeted support and development. Set to launch first in India, Egypt, Singapore, Japan, and the Philippines, the program is part of the company's commitment to strengthen diversity in STEM and will focus on people looking to relaunch their careers in IT, Research & Development, and Product Supply. 

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