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Are all sustainable development goals created equal?

Sustainability leaders from around the world tell us that one Sustainable Development Goal in particular is key to the success of every goal on the ‘Transforming our World’ agenda – goal number 5; gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

Leaders of Sustainable Development is a new special feature on the Thomson Reuters Sustainability site, inspired by the global pledge to achieve gender equality and empowering women and girls. Each week, the site will feature a range of leaders – from across the financial, legal, and not-for-profit sectors, as well as key policy makers and governmental heads – examining the impact of women driving sustainable change around the world.

Why Sustainable Development Goal #5


“Looking at the sustainable development goals you can’t ignore the role that women play.”
– Nuru Mugambi, director, Kenya Bankers Association

“Every single goal would be better achieved and will have a more equity in the way those goals are achieved.”
– Mary Ellen Iskenderian, president and CEO, Women’s World Banking

“Both men and women gain from seeing women’s empowerment.”
– Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general, United Nations

“Women are the key to making [development] sustainable.”
– Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland; CEO and founder, The Mary Robinson Foundation, Climate Justice

“Companies focused on sustainability actually had higher operational efficiency, lower cost of capital and over time they had a better stock performance.”
– Audrey Choi, CEO, Institute for Responsible Investing; managing director, Global Sustainable Finance Group, Morgan Stanley

“I think about demographics. For example the millennial generation who cares very much about the broader impact that they can bring.”
– Kyung-Ah Park, managing director, Head of Environmental Markets, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

“Don’t look at young people as just beneficiaries. Utilize them! That is my message to the world.”
– Ilwad Elman, advocate for the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together Initiative; director of programs & development, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre in Somalia

“We have to be inclusive in terms of how we address the gender parity issue.”
– Patsy Doerr, global head of Corporate Responsibility & Inclusion, Thomson Reuters

“Men should understand that we’re not looking to walk ahead of them, we want to walk side-by-side with them.”
– Almas Jiwani, president emeritus of UN Women Canada; CEO Almas Jiwani Foundation

“And that’s the conversation that we now need for sustainability.”
– Jacqueline McGlade, chief scientist and director, Division of Early Warning Assessment, UNEP

Learn more

Meet the Leaders of Sustainable Development and the join us in the pledge to achieve Sustainable Development Goal number 5.

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