As the world becomes increasingly divided—with the rise of political and economic tribalism, and the proliferation of nationalist, populist governments—there is a troubling gap in progress on critical areas for shared global development and prosperity. In today’s world, no one sector can solve challenges alone. For instance, companies are no longer seen just as businesses offering goods or services; rather, people around the world expect companies to fill the gap left in public support and be partners as “glocal” agents of change that they want to see in their communities and around the world.
The world is a small place; by working glocally—together, across borders, with people and organizations who know their home markets but are global in their thinking—companies can help stakeholders succeed in a complex world while contributing to positive change and progress. Since its inception, APCO Worldwide has been on a mission to use its strength and global platform to not only service clients but serve as a catalyst for bringing people together across complex problems and thereby contribute to a better world.
As the largest majority women-owned communications company in the world, championing the progress of women and girls globally is a part of APCO’s DNA. APCO has been deeply involved in projects—both our own efforts and in coordination with clients—that center around the advancement of women and their economic independence, even when it wasn’t popular to do so.
Despite some progress, it is still a world with profound gender inequality. According to the World Economic Forum 2018 Global Gender Gap report, we still have over two centuries before the economic gender gap is closed everywhere. Companies have already been asked to take a stand, accelerated by the rise of #MeToo in 2017, and doing so will continue to engage and inspire employees, generate customer loyalty and help businesses chart a course for sustainable growth.
That’s why we’ve built empowerment and advocacy into our business model from the beginning, with pro bono efforts and service offerings that help our clients create their own solutions to these challenges. For companies to truly be the glocal agents of change, convictions must be organically born within, and from the top, of organizations.
Future leaders must have passion, fight for what is right, think big and encourage other leaders to do the same. The next generation of leaders is more diverse and more connected than ever before—holding companies to new standards of equity—and their voice, input and leadership will lead us to worldwide balance.
The journey starts glocally.