Geneva, 18 November 2019: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) today announced the launch of LEAP, a new education project building on the strong foundations of the WBCSD Leading Women Awards, now in their fourth year.

LEAP aims to help women to reach senior positions in their companies and ensure that sustainability is both embedded in their leadership and included in their company strategy.

WBCSD is proud to announce that it will partner with ESADE, the leading business school in Spain, to deliver a significant portion of the LEAP curriculum. In addition, LEAP builds on WBCSD’s existing partnership with Yale University, where participants will spend one week immersed in an intensive sustainability program.

LEAP is another pillar in WBCSD’s work on SDG5, which aims to empower all women and girls by 2030. The Better Business, Better World report, launched by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission in January 2017, shows that achieving gender parity and other human capital gains would unlock between USD$12 and USD$28 trillion by 2030.

“The leading role of women is crucial to the success and sustainability of business. Studies clearly show a correlation between companies with a greater proportion of women in senior decision-making positions and the delivery of better economic results for that company, as well as a greater focus on social and environmental issues.” said Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD.

Companies can participate by proposing a female manager as well as a mentor positioned within the highest level of the organization (for example Chair, CEO, CFO etc). This mentor will tutor a female participant from a different company. The unique cross-mentorship process aims to raise awareness in the company on gender issues through the mentors. The mentorship process takes place between October 2020 and March 2021 with 12 hours of commitment.

In addition, the female participants will attend three face-to-face academic weeks:

  • March 2020 -  a targeted sustainability program at Yale University in New Haven, USA
  • June 2020– a general management week at ESADE Business School in Madrid, Spain 
  • October 2020 – a third week at the WBCSD Council Meeting in Tokyo, Japan.

LEAP complements the existing WBCSD Leadership Program, and it is open to all companies, whether or not they are members of WBCSD.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Gabriela Uriarte. Applications are limited (by order of registration and acceptance)

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