What is the commitment of companies with children?

Children are the most unequal and vulnerable group in Mexico, proof of this is that problems such as poverty and inequality are experienced by 3.6 million girls and boys and for this reason, among others, initiatives have been generated to guarantee them a better life. worthy of the sector of organized civic organizations as well as companies.

However, to ensure a dignified life for girls and boys, more companies need to join the cause. For this reason, the Business Advisory Council Network organized a forum where it invited more companies to join and work together for children. Then we tell you the details and who participated in it to show their interest.

Red CCE and companies’ commitment to children

Based on the issues facing girls and boys between the ages of 0 and 6, the Business Advisory Council Network—the highest representative body of the private sector that brings together the 14 leading business organizations—conducted Early Childhood and Resilience Forum. In which several strategies and questions were presented to generate dialogue around these issues.

The forum featured various authorities on the issue who discussed companies’ commitment to children, including:

  • Karen Farias, director of sustainability and ASG at Grupo Coppel—one of the largest department store chains in Mexico—.
  • Rocio Aboud, director of the Koppel Foundation.
  • Ricardo Bucio, President of the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI), who discussed the commitment of companies to children.

The speakers expressed their intention to promote childhood development from the social and governance aspects of the ESG criteria (ESG for its acronym in EnglishEnvironmental, Social and Governance-), since childhood is the future; however, the state of the world will determine the development of girls and boys when they reach adulthood.

With this in mind, Karen Farias, Director of Sustainability and ESG at Grupo Coppel asks: “How do we position the issue of early childhood at the decision-making and discussion tables in companies when managing a sustainability strategy?”.

Speakers pointed out that it is important to act now to ensure a better future for this population group. This statement is consistent with what UNICEF has said that “efforts to improve early childhood development are an investment, not a cost.”

A private initiative committed to children

Investing in comprehensive care for children means that when they enter the workforce as adults, the return on that investment will be four or five times higher, according to UNICEF. So implementing child-focused resilience strategies also benefits from different angles. In addition, it is a major attraction for investors interested in companies that integrate ESG criteria into their operations.

During his participation in the forum, Karen Farias, director of Sustainability and ESG of Grupo Coppel, spoke about the commitment of companies with children, which must start by establishing where social investments will be made to benefit them. This is in view of the well-being of the associates who have daughters and sons.

“Companies are stepping up and taking action for their employees, mums, dads, carers, families and communities.”

Rocio Aboud, director of the Koppel Foundation.

For this reason, providing workers with workshops and parental leave also implies a benefit for boys and girls, as they receive some of the most important aspects of their development, that is, the constant care and tender attention they need. Which, in addition to good nutrition and optimal health, stimulate learning and growth.

So mothers and fathers must have the opportunity and ability to create a safe, sensitive and responsive parenting environment. But mothers, for example, come into conflict during the breastfeeding period because they have to choose whether to take care of their children or go to work.

This is where the social responsibility strategies of companies and other organizations, such as Fundación De Acero—Grupo DEACERO’s business foundation that funds CSO projects for the development and well-being of communities in Mexico—step in to provide a work environment in which associates can live respectful breastfeeding, while workers learn about it.

Work for children is work for the future

Helping girls and boys to develop fully is important throughout their growth, because if they don’t live in the right conditions, they won’t be able to reach their full potential. And early childhood is the most critical stage for intervention because “a good foundation in the early years matters for later learning in adulthood and even offers a better start for the next generation.”

In this sense, the commitment of companies to children, as in the case of Grupo Coppel and Grupo DEACERO, has also allowed them to advance in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As Karen Farias points out, this particularly affects SDG 1: End poverty; 2: Zero Hunger; 3: Health and Welfare; 4: Education and Health; 5: Gender equality; and 8: Decent work and economic growth.

“Companies are identifying where they would have the greatest impact on the theme of their social investment, where they could be much more strategic. So it is important to start positioning the problem and identifying what is needed.

Karen Farias, Director of Sustainability and ASG at Grupo Coppel.

Thanks to efforts like those of the CCE Network companies, it is possible to put this cause on the agenda of the business sector based on the sustainability of companies and hand in hand with the intervention of governments, the third sector and society. to consolidate the positive changes that give children a world in which they can fully develop.

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