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UN Women Announces Six New HeForShe Male Champions to Accelerate Progress Towards Gender Equality

Male global leaders join the HeForShe movement with bold and groundbreaking commitments to achieve gender equality

On the third anniversary of HeForShe, UN Women announced six new male global leaders as the latest visionaries to outline bold and concrete commitments for the achievement of gender equality. The leaders join a cohort of male global champions determined to transform their own institutions and beyond, thus equalizing the social, economic and political opportunities for women and girls across the globe.

Under the HeForShe Thematic Champion initiative launched by the Prime Minister of Canada, His Excellency Justin Trudeau, who became the inaugural HeForShe Head of State Thematic Champion in September 2016 - Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group; Lord Tony Hall, Director General, BBC; and Christopher M. Crane, President and CEO, Exelon become the latest Thematic Champions under this initiative, joining fellow HeForShe Thematic Champions, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group; Emmanuel Faber, Global CEO ofDanone; Giles York QPM, Chief Constable of Sussex Police; and Nick Ephgrave QPM, Chief Constable of Surrey Police. The new Thematic Champion respective commitments are as follows:

  • Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group is accelerating the advancement of women across the organisation and has committed to achieving parity in the appointment of women and men into senior leadership roles, investing in women micro-entrepreneurs and STEM students in its diamond producing countries and ensuring De Beers’ brands are a positive force for the promotion of gender equality through its marketing campaigns.
  • Lord Tony Hall, Director General, BBC has committed that the BBC will reach parity across the workforce, in leadership roles, on screen and on-air. Additionally, BBC will close the gender pay gap across the institution by 2020.
  • Christopher M. Crane, President and CEO, Exelon, has committed to improving retention of women by 2020, with a goal to reach parity in voluntary turnover of men and women at professional levels.Exelon is committed to removing any barriers for women, so they can continue to pursue fulfilling careers throughout the company.In addition, the Exelon Foundation is investing to empower young women through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education programs.

In addition to the Thematic Champions, as part of the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative launched by British Actor and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson during the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2015, three new Champions were announced as follows:

  • His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo, President of the Republic of Ghana has committed to work towards the achievement of gender equality and advance women’s economic empowerment in Ghana.
  • Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts has committed to lead on diversifying representation in the gaming industry, creating safe spaces online as well as advancing equal pay in the US and beyond.
  • Professor Paul Wainaina, Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University has committed to achieving a gender-balanced leadership, embedding gender equality into the very “DNA” of their institution and addressing gender-based violence across their campuses.

We are delighted to mark the third anniversary of HeForShe by having these leaders join our UN Women family as HeForShe Champions. They represent diverse sectors and areas of expertise, and each has carefully crafted commitments that will be invaluable to creating equal societies,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.


The new HeForShe Champions were selected because they are believed to be best positioned to advance gender equality and influence change within their sectors and communities. Each Champion has made gender equality an institutional priority, committing to bold targets, agreeing to having their commitments monitored annually.

The HeForShe Thematic Initiative and the HeForShe IMPACT10x10x10 initiative consists of a group of leaders who have made bold and concrete commitments to gender equality to transform their sectors. HeForShe IMPACT10x10x10 Champions commit to three gender equality commitments over a period of five years. The HeForShe Thematic Champions commit to one gender equality commitment over a period of three years, with a strong emphasis on moving the needle on one select gender equality theme within their sphere of influence. The Thematic Champion Initiative acts as a pipeline for the next cohort of IMPACT10x10x10 Champions.

  Quotes from HeForShe Champions


“At De Beers we recognise that we will only be able to realise our full potential by harnessing diversity of thought, skills and experience. While we are in the early stages of our journey towards gender parity, I am proud to represent De Beers as a HeForShe Thematic Champion, and we are committed to accelerating the representation of women within our organisation. Through our partnership with UN Women we will invest in a range of programmes that help improve the prospects for women and girls in our partner communities, and we will run creative campaigns with empowering content, helping to ensure that women and girls benefit from diamonds at each stage of the value chain.”

  •  Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group

We believe Exelon must reflect the diverse communities we serve. This not only makes us a better company; it makes us a strong community partner. We know an inclusive team results in greater innovation and market competitiveness and helps us identify opportunities for growth. It’s the power behind solving some of the world's most complex energy challenges. I believe that we have the best and brightest minds in the industry, and Exelon is committed to retaining gender-diverse talent and leading the change necessary to build a brighter, more sustainable future. This future, and the future of our company, also depends on generations of boys and girls having the tools to solve societal challenges together.”

  •  Christopher M. Crane, President and CEO, Exelon Corporation

"The BBC is absolutely committed to gender equality. While we are performing better than many other organisations we have more work to do to deliver further change. We look forward to working with others on this important UN initiative - one that will help accelerate progress across the globe."

  • Lord Tony Hall, Director General, BBC


UN Women is the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit UN Women, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, New York. Tel: +1 646 781-4400. Fax: +1 646 781-4496.

  ABOUT HeForShe

Created by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform where a global audience can engage and become change agents for the achievement of gender equality in our lifetime. HeForShe invites people around the world to stand together as equal partners to craft a shared vision of a gender equal world and implement specific, locally relevant solutions for the good of all of humanity. For more information, visit

ABOUT HeForShe Thematic Initiative

Launched by His Excellency Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada in September 2016, the HeForShe Thematic Champions Initiative is a growing cohort of select world leaders who stand out as true visionaries on gender equality and who are lending their influence and conviction to UN Women’s efforts. They are spurring concrete action and centrally positioning gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment. For more information, visit:

ABOUT HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative

IMPACT 10x10x10 engages key decision makers at governments, corporations and universities around the world to drive change from the top. IMPACT Champions make gender equality an institutional priority, committing to real change within and beyond each of their organizations. Each IMPACT Champion implements the HeForShe IMPACT framework and develops three bold, game-changing commitments to advance and ultimately achieve gender equality for all. Measurement and transparency will be at the heart of these commitments, so successful initiatives can serve as models for the political, corporate and academic world. For more information, visit


Charlotte Hallqvist, UN Women HeForShe

Phone: +44 749 663 4141


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