Companies around the globe are promoting gender equality and women’s full participation and leadership in the workplace, marketplace and community. UN Women and UN Global Compact are encouraging firms of all sizes, in all countries, industries and sectors, to take decisive action towards gender equality with the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
By signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles, companies galvanize their shareholders and stakeholders to drive change for gender equality. They are becoming role models for attracting talent, entering new markets, serving their communities, while measurably improving the bottom line.
LEADERSHIP: Business leaders make gender equality a top priority by signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles. Working towards gender parity at all levels of a company is a great first step. But corporate cultures need to be transformed to put gender equality, diversity and inclusion into practice.
WORKPLACE: Women and men employees should have equal access to and enjoy the same resources, opportunities, benefits and rewards. Women’s Empowerment Principles signatories advance gender equality through their recruitment, retention and promotion policies; work-life balance measures, such as maternity and parental leave; and promotion of equal pay for work of equal value. They enforce zero-tolerance policies for violence and sexual harassment at work; and introduce measures to ensure workplace health and safety.
MARKETPLACE: Making purchasing policies and practices gender-responsive can be very effective to diversify suppliers and engage women entrepreneurs. WEPs signatories are also removing negative gender stereotypes from their advertising and marketing.
COMMUNITY: Companies that have signed the WEPs are tailoring their products and services to meet the expressed needs and priorities of women and girls. Investing in local communities builds good relationships and creates good will – and consumers prefer to buy from companies that are actively supporting community initiatives.
TRANSPARENCY: Gathering, analyzing and reporting sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics about company performance on gender equality is critical for transparency. Companies that actively track and benchmark their performance have discovered that this kind of analysis and reporting can lead to increased interest from investors who want to promote gender equality (commonly known as “gender-lens investing”).
The Women’s Empowerment Principles were adapted from the Calvert Women's Principles®.
What are Women's Empowerment Principles?
Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work — respect and support human rights and non-discrimination
Principle 3: Ensure health, safety and well-being of all workers, regardless of gender
Principle 4: Promote women’s education, training and professional development
Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality
Why join the Women's Empowerment Principle community?
“We look at the private sector to generate innovation, employment and financing that can bridge the gender gaps in the world of work and advance the Sustainable Development Goals. This will help our women, families and communities, and it is certainly good for the bottom line in business. Companies that invest in women and support women’s leadership and decision-making and commit to gender equality typically outperform their competitors. The Women’s Empowerment Principles offer a great platform for change.”
Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General at the 2018 Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum
What is your company doing to advance gender equality? Identify strengths and area where further action can be taken.
Find out about the WePrinciples tool here