PARIS — To mark International Women’s Day, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Thursday that it is joining the French task force on gender equality established by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.French President Emmanuel Macron has designated gender equality a top priority for his five-year mandate.In January, he said France would be the first European country to take part in the initiative, which aims to share and promote best practices in gender equality, from salaries to support for entrepreneurs and career development. The others are Mexico, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Chile, Argentina, Panama and Peru.Macron, accompanied by State Secretary for Gender Equality Marlène Schiappa and other key ministers, on Thursday visited the headquarters of real estate investment trust Gecina, which has distinguished itself for its efforts to promote women and wipe out the gender pay gap.During the visit, Gecina and LVMH signed a letter of intent alongside two other private sector companies — energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric and food services firm Sodexo — and public establishments Caisse des Dépôts and Banque Publique d'Investissement.The plan is to create a working group that will involve other companies and establish concrete proposals to be submitted to the government, LVMH said.“LVMH views gender equality as both natural and essential, a social objective and at the same time an asset that enhances competitiveness. We owe it to our 145,000 employees — of whom 73 percent are women — to make a strong commitment to driving progress,” said Antoine Arnault, chief executive officer of Berluti and a member of the LVMH board.Arnault noted the group has already introduced initiatives to promote gender equality through its EllesVMH program, launched in 2007 at the initiative of Chantal Gaemperle, group executive vice president of human resources and synergies.He added that the task force was “especially consistent” with the launch last year of a charter set up by LVMH and rival luxury group Kering to ensure the well-being of models.This is the second international commitment endorsed by LVMH, following the signature in 2013 of the United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles.“LVMH's decision to join the task force on gender equality at businesses reflects the group's longstanding commitment, a commitment that is stronger than ever today,” Gaemperle said.
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