15 March 2016
14:45 - Doors Open; Participants Take Their Seats
15:00 - Welcome & Opening Remarks
15:05 - Keynote Address
15:15 - Spotlight: Bridging the Gap - Partners, Expertise and Scale
15:25 - “The World We Want”: Delivering for the 2030 Development Agenda
Gender equality is both a sustainable development objective and solution. The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) provide a ready-made platform to scale up business action on gender equality and help achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Session includes discussions of: Expanding Access to Decent Jobs; Family and Child Care: From Conundrum to Strategy and Sharing the Value: Bringing Together Business and Women Entrepreneurs. Discussion and audience participation.
16:30 - Partners for Gender Equality: WEPs Stakeholders in Action
The Women’s Empowerment Principles are taking hold in companies and countries around the world, inspiring new collaborations and helping to pave the way to “Planet 50-50 by 2030”. WEPs Stakeholders report on achievements, future goals, and partnerships in action.
16:50 - Leading by Example: 2016 WEPs CEO Leadership Awards
Five CEO recipients of this year’s coveted WEPs CEO Leadership Awards discuss the commitment, strategy and planning needed to implement the 7 Principles and make concrete progress towards gender equality in their workplace, marketplace and community. Discussion and audience participation.
17:45 - Spotlight Speaker: Agency and Action
17:50 - Concluding Remarks
Followed by WEPs Special Reception hosted by Swarovski
The reception will take place in the Delegates Dining Room at United Nations Headquarters and include remarks by:
8:00 - Morning Breakout Sessions
Simultaneous programmes strengthen the WEPs communities of practice by diving deep and sharing lessons from three strategies:
1) Changing Behavior and Workplace Culture for Inclusion: This unique training session provides practical solutions for participants seeking to create inclusive workplaces by changing individual behavior, organizational culture and processes.
2) Ending Violence Against Women is Everyone’s Business - Workplace Action and Responses: Learn why coalitions from business, NGOs and Governments are coming together to show that violence against women is a workplace issue and innovative approaches companies are taking to prevent and respond to violence that is impacting their employees and women in their communities.
3) Women and the Value Chain - Lessons Learned: Companies and international organizations share innovative good practices on engaging women throughout the value chain to improve business models to become inclusive and sustainable.
9:30 - Welcome
9:40 - Spotlight: Men, Business, and the Gender Equality Advantage
10:00 - Action Plans for Impact: Setting Goals, Targets and Measurements
With the adoption of the SDGs, and in particular SDG 5, Governments are looking to the private sector to help meet national and global goals. In order to do its part, business will need to set ambitious goals and identify targets to track and report on progress. For more than five years, the WEPs have served as comprehensive guidance to help business shape gender inclusive strategies and many companies can now offer vital lessons on how to track and measure results. Discussion and audience participation.
11:30 - Break
12:00 - WEPs Around the World: Partnering for 2030
From Brazil to Turkey, South Africa to the United Kingdom, India to Columbia, WEPs stakeholder coalitions aim to remove barriers to women’s empowerment, benefit society and improve business at the same time. Discussion and audience participation.
13:00 - Lunch & Spotlight: Stories from the Frontlines - Women Leading Business
14:00 - Afternoon Breakout Sessions
Simultaneous programmes strengthen the WEPs communities of practice by diving deep into new research and highlighting emerging topics:
1) Accelerating Gender Equality in Practice - Male Middle Managers’ Role: This discussion draws on recent research exploring how male middle managers can support gender parity efforts and highlights practices to engage men as supporters of gender inclusion in the workplace.
2) Why Women’s Health in the Workplace Matters - Prescriptions for Action: Principle 3 covers health, safety and freedom from violence, emphasizing the need for companies to take into account the different needs of women and men. Explore the challenges companies face and the solutions designed to support women’s health in the workplace and throughout value chains.
3) Employees, Employers and Economies Agree - Childcare Now on the Agenda: Access to childcare, included in Principle 2, bring positive results to employees, employers and economies as it can foster workplace gender diversity; improve productivity; and decrease absenteeism and turnover. This discussion highlights the business case, innovative models for supporting childcare services, lessons from employers, and employees, and findings that can provide stepping stones to replication and expansion. Discussion and audience participation.
15:30 - All In: Build the Action Agenda
15:50 - Taking Aim at 2030: The Next Generation of Change Agents
Today’s youth steer their peers, parents, leaders and business to make the SDGs and gender equality real and bring us “the world we want”. This session presents young women and men breaking through stereotypes, utilizing technology, connecting through social media and taking concrete actions to present fresh and successful approaches to long standing problems. Discussion and audience participation.
16:50 - Closing Remarks & Special Performance
17:00 - Reception
Year 2015, a number of global milestones – the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action (PfA) and the launch of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – provide a unique opportunity to ensure that the business community is a key partner in achieving gender equality. Held as part of the official CSW59/Beijing+20 programme, the 2015 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Annual Event brought together leaders from business, Government, the UN and civil society to reflect on the implications of the PfA and the SDGs, and project an action agenda driven by WEPs champions. Held on 10-11 March 2015 in New York, the event also focused on concrete steps and actions that business can take to advance gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.
The UN Global Compact and UN Women were pleased to announce Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State of the United States, as the featured keynote speaker at the 2015 WEPs Event on 10 March. After nearly four decades of public service as First Lady, Senator, and U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton now helps lead the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Throughout her career, she has championed rights and opportunities for women and girls. She led the U.S. delegation to the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing, where she delivered her historic speech and proclaimed “women’s rights are human rights”. In her keynote address, Secretary Clinton reflected on progress made in implementing the agenda set in Beijing two decades ago. She also presented key findings and recommendations from "No Ceilings: The Full Participation Report" and outlined an agenda to accelerate the full participation of women and girls around the world.
Gender Equality and the Global Jobs Challenge
Held over two days, the 6th Annual Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) event, Gender Equality and the Global Jobs Challenge, spotlighted business strategies, experience and challenges on increasing and enhancing job opportunities for women and expanding access to decent jobs. The main event on 6 March, held at the United Nations Headquarters, featured a Morning Plenary, WEPs Leadership Awards, WEPs Luncheon and Afternoon Roundtable Sessions. The 5 March programme, held at 3 West Club, featured a series of WEPs conversations, followed by a government hosted opening reception. Hosted by the WEPs, a partnership initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact, the event brought together the experience of leading stakeholders from business, government and civil society to strengthen local and global solutions. With more than 680 CEO Signatories worldwide, the WEPs provide a roadmap for companies to advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
For a complete event roundup, visit the Guardian Women in Leadership's live blog with videos, interviews and perspectives, and our own Storify featuring coverage and conversations on #EqualityMeansJobs. We also invite you to continue the #WEPs conversation beyond the event on Twitter (@WEPrinciples) and Facebook.
Check out the Business in Society programme featuring the WEPs, Anne-Marie Slaughter and other champions of women's empowerment.
The event-held in observance of International Women's Day-focused on how inclusive business strategies and practices drive change towards realizing the Women's Empowerment Principles and featured innovative approaches the private sector is taking to overcome challenges to achieve gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community. Participants included business leaders and representatives from a wide range of sectors and geographical regions and other key stakeholders from civil society, government and academia.
Companies that have signed the CEO Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles, as well as other businesses and stakeholders, convened to discuss how corporate behaviour and practices are being transformed to align with the WEPs. As in previous years, participants shared their experiences in implementing the WEPs, including best practices, challenges and lessons-learned. The meeting also provided an opportunity for discussion on key topics and themes, including how gender equality fits into the agendas of corporate sustainability and sustainable development.
One year after the launch of the Women's Empowerment Principles, representatives from the private sector, Government, civil society and the UN will met at UN Headquarters to take stock of how the Principles have been operationalized to advance company efforts to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community and identify areas for improvement.
The event marked the launch of the Women's Empowerment Principles, explored their practical relevance for business, and investigated how best to build support for the spirit of the WEPs.
Meeting Report | Agenda | List of Event Participants | Press Release | Press Statement by Ms. Ines Alberdi, Executive Director, UNIFEM | Press Statement by Mr. Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact | Press Statement by Ms. Susie C.Pontarolli, Aide - Environment and Corporate Citizenship Division, COPEL
The event brought together business, civil society, academia, labour, governments and the UN to identify what business can and is doing to advance women around the world and how these efforts relate to corporate citizenship. Ultimately, Advancing Women in the Global Marketplace aimed to develop a more coherent and multi-faceted vision of the many ways in which business can help empower women around the world.
The event featured a series of interactive sessions on creating the optimum workplace, women and entrepreneurship, public-private partnerships, and other initiatives. As a central element of the day's agenda, participants discussed whether a set of Women's Principles, a new voluntary code of conduct for business designed to promote gender equality, might be useful to stimulate further progress.