Global Issues

Gender inequality persists worldwide, depriving women and girls of their basic rights and opportunities. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination. These discrimination can be illustrated with lowest incomes or more difficult access to positions. Indeed, 70% of the world's poor are women and girls and less than one-third of senior- and middle-management positions are held by women worldwide.


SDG 5 Targets to which Danone Contributes

Source: United Nations

  • 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


Related Business Themes Relevant for Danone

Source: SDG Compass

  • Equal remuneration for women and men
  • Diversity and equal opportunity
  • Women in leadership
  • Childcare services and benefits


Danone Engagement on SDG 5

Danone is engaged on SDG5 as a commitment

As a global company involving diverse communities across the planet, Danone commits to provide equal opportunities to every woman and man employed in the company, wherever they live and work in the world. We believe this is a matter of social justice, which is a condition for sustained market economy development. Danone champions gender diversity and women empowerment through a number of global projects, including driving senior leadership parity, supporting women in developing economies and through its gender-neutral Parental Policy released in 2017.

Our commitment to gender equality was recognized by the United Nations in March 2017 when Emmanuel Faber was named a UN Women’s HeForShe Thematic Champion and participated, in 2018, to the HeForShe Impact Summit in New York. It reflects our pioneering work around women’s empowerment, both through Danone’s own Human Resources programs as well as broader initiatives that mobilize other companies to address gender equality. Finally women empowerment is adressed not only inside the company but also in our supply chain in projects led by the Danone Ecosystem Fund.

Women empowerment within Danone

Senior leadership parity:

Danone commits to reach 30% women executives by 2020. At the end of 2018, this indicator has reached 28%. The proportion of Danone female managers, directors and executives is 50% in 2018.

Global Parental Policy:

The Global Parental Policy is an initiative which aims to offer a consistent standard of support to all parents-to-be employed across the world.  Danone’s parental policy is based on three key elements:

  • pre-natal support such as adapted working conditions and nutritional advice during pregnancy;
  • extended parental leave, covering both men and women which include 18 weeks for the birth parent or 14 weeks for the legally adoptive parent and 10 working days for the secondary caregiver;
  • post-natal support including job protection measures and return-to-work support, flexible working conditions, and support for breastfeeding by providing lactation rooms for mothers in offices that employ more than 50 women.

Since 2017, the policy has been deployed in 9 countries – Australia, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom – and will be rolled out to all remaining countries by 2020.

Women empowerment within our wider ecosystem of partners

EVE program:

Danone is aware that diversity in management teams makes for better business performance. We recognize that women still face hurdles as they move up the career ladder. To help them on their way, we created EVE seminar especially for corporate women. Created in 2010 with other companies, EVE is a women’s leadership seminar designed to empower strong, inspirational women to spearhead change within the organization.


The Danone Ecosystem Fund:

Despite recent decades of progress, women continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the word. And yet study after study has demonstrated that empowering women has a snowball effect, transforming families, communities, economies and environment. The Danone Ecosystem Fund has worked to embed gender equality and women’s empowerment in each of its projects: this process enables women to boost their employability and social  and economic inclusion.  Learnings from these projects can be found in : Women Empowerment for Inclusive Businesses- Learnings from Ecosystem Projects and Partnerships.

Danone 2018 Key Performance Indicators


of female managers, directors and executives


of female executives


countries have implemented the Parental Policy (Australia, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom)


of women professionally empowered through the Danone Ecosystem Fund in 2018

Danone Partnerships (SDG 17)

  • In 2018, Danone joined the LEAD Network (Leading Executives Advancing Diversity) whose aim is to attract, retain and advance women in retail and consumer goods industry in Europe (learn more).
  • HeForShe names Danone "Inaugural Thematic Champion" for parental policy: HeForShe is a global UN Women campaign launched in 2014 that aims at empowering women with the support of men. The campaign empowers leaders from 3 different sectors as IMPACT champions, i.e., country, corporate and university leaders. As an IMPACT Champion, Danone is committed to parental support, with a secondary focus on increasing the representation of women in senior leadership and mobilizing resources to promote gender equality. In recognition of the expected impact of this gender equality policy, Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber has been named “Inaugural Thematic Champion” by the UN Women HeForShe movement (learn more).
  • EVE: Danone pioneered the concept in partnership with Crédit Agricole S.A., KPMG, L’Oréal, SNCF, Orange and Caisse des Dépôts Group, but sessions are open to any company interested in the issue and the approach. All partners share the same vision, and have chosen to encourage women to advance within their organization.Danone has co-partnered with L’Oréal to organize EVE Program in Africa in December 2017 an event to celebrate the rising of women in the  companies (learn more).