Sustainability and inclusion go hand in hand – 3 SDG’s

My son moved to a Unesco school last September. They have the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on a big banner in the playground. They do projects related to these SDGs. He is only 16, but he is fully embedded in this way of looking at the world.

When he and his schoolmates enter the labour market in the coming years, are you prepared to explain to them what your company is doing in relation to these SDGs?

Quick introduction: “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”

Initially, these SDGs were created for governments. As businesses have an important role to play in achieving these goals, companies have started to report on them as well. Do you include the SDGs (or a selection of them) in your sustainability reporting?

Let’s look at 3 of these SDGs from a people and culture perspective:


Number 5: Gender equality

“Target 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

Target 5.5: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life with Indicator 5.5.2: Proportion of women in managerial positions “

  • What is the proportion of women in managerial positions in your company?
  • What are you doing to promote gender equality in your business?
  • Are you tracking and tracing relevant people metrics?

Let’s be ambitious and take the following countries as examples: in Jordan, St Lucia, Botswana, Honduras or the Philippines, you are more likely to have a female boss. Jordan leads the way in terms of women in senior positions, 62% are filled with women (source: weforum and ILO, 2019).

Number 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

“Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value with Indicator 8.5.1: Average hourly earnings of employees, by sex, age, occupation and persons with disabilities

Target 8.6: By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) with Indicator 8.6.1: Proportion of youth (aged 15–24 years) not in education, employment or training (NEET)”

The most recent numbers I found for NEET in Belgium are the ones for 2021: “The percentage of young people aged 15-24 that are neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET indicator) amounts to 7.4% in 2021. The NEET indicator is 8.2% among men and 6.6% among women.” (Statbel)

What can you do to include, and engage this talent pool?

Number 10: Reduced inequalities

“Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or another status

Target 10.3: Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.”

My son and his schoolmates, educated in Unesco schools, purposeful job seekers, engaged professionals, etc will focus more and more often on sustainability in the largest sense of the word. This will also include a focus on people: inclusion and sustainability go hand in hand.

Are you ready?

With this blog I would like to inspire you, decision-maker, to build an inclusive work environment, welcoming to all, and conscious about its impact on the world we live in.

Which SDGs do you include into your sustainability reporting?

Thank you for reading to the end and I look forward to reading your reactions in the comment section below🙏.

Sharing is caring, so if you think this blog might be useful to others in your network, please feel free to share it with them. I appreciate it🙏.

Always happy to discuss your challenges and approach to this matter. You can easily book your first free meeting with me via the button below.

Cheers to your implementation of the SDG’s, cheers to you,


Katherina is KNown from:

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