The 10-point statement outlines how business, the UN and Governments can scale up engagement to deliver for women and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Developed by the WEPs Secretariat and partner organizations with the support of the WEPs Leadership Group and its co-Chairs, the statement was adopted by acclamation by over 350 representatives from business, Government, civil society and the UN who gathered for the 2015 WEPs Annual Event, Unlimited Potential: Business Partners for Gender Equality, on 11 March 2015.
The WEPs video, Equality Means Business, features compelling business leaders and others from around the world who make the case for implementing the 7 Principles and the importance of realizing gender equality. To share the WEPs Video with your network or screen either the short (2.46 min) or long version (5.46 min) at your next event click: Short Version | Long Version
To receive an electronic copy of the video, please contact the WEPs team.
The CEO Statement of Support encourages business leaders to use the seven Women’s Empowerment Principles as guide posts for actions that advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community, and communicate progress through the use of sex-disaggregated data and other benchmarks. Signers underscore that equal treatment of women and men is not just the right thing to do — it is also good for business and needs to be a priority. Learn more.
This brief publication highlights why Equality Means Business, providing context for the WEPs initiative and outlining each of the Principles in more detail. Additionally, it highlights current business practices that advance the WEPs and companies’ goals, summarizes reporting tips to help any business get started on the path, provides facts and figures and defines gender terms.
Identifying the importance of gender equality to the business case, companies around the world have taken steps to advance and empower women. To view concrete business examples and actions, click here.
Companies recognize that taking an active stance to eliminate violence against women is not just the right thing to do, but good for business. As a company’s workforce is the driver of productivity, the costs and consequences for not addressing gender-based violence are too great to ignore. Learn more about the concrete steps companies are taking to address gender-based violence in their workplaces and communities.
Principle 7: Transparency, Measuring and Reporting provides companies with added incentives to publicly report on progress towards their gender equality plan. The WEPs Reporting Guidance is a road map for how to acquire data and set benchmarks along the WEPs 7 Principle areas and also includes key references from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to encourage integrating this material into existing reporting activities. Learn more.
With the development of the Post-2015 agenda and discussion of the scope of potential sustainable development goals, the United Nations Global Compact has been asked to bring private sector perspectives and action to the global development agenda. As one of the priority areas designated by the UN Global Compact’s LEAD companies, Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality aims ensure that all sustainable development goals be inclusive and gender-sensitive to facilitate maximum impact and avoid increasing inequalities. This issue paper explores the responsible business community’s willingness to contribute to the creation of women’s empowerment goals as well as to inform government and policy makers in future implementation of efforts involving the private sector. In addition, gender is incorporated into all ten (10) Issue Briefs exploring a different priority issue area as identified through extensive consultations with LEAD companies and other stakeholders.
This paper explores the linkages between gender equality, corproate sustainabililty and sustainable development, and provides concrete examples of how companies are placing women's empowerment at the heart of coporate sustainability initiatives to ensure that they reach their intended mark. View the paper. To recommend a company example to add to this paper, email the WEPs team.
This brief explanatory note explains the relationship between the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), the UN Global Compact and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Principle 3 of the Women’s Empowerment Principles encourages companies to ensure the health, including sexual and reproductive health, of all workers. Investing in women’s health not only benefits employees and surrounding communities, but it can also have a positive social and economic effect on the private sector. In ensuring that workers have safe working conditions and available health services, companies establish healthier staff, better relationships, and in many cases higher Return-on-investment (ROI). Discover strategies businesses can implement to respect and support women’s health, as well as find real life examples in our company annex. Read entire Call to Action.
Fostering women’s entrepreneurship is critical to achieving sustainable businesses, economic growth and to meet current and future sustainable development goals and targets. By leveraging the talents, skills and innovation of these women entrepreneurs, women can bring needed action to global challenges such as climate change and water scarcity. In support of the launch of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED), 19 November 2014, the Women’s Empowerment Principles encourages companies to implement Principle 5 of the WEPS, which among other things calls on business to expand inclusive sourcing practices and support women entrepreneurship, and pledge their support to women- owned businesses and or for an individual women entrepreneur. Learn more here.
Companies and organizations are making tremendous strides in creating policies that support inclusive and diverse environments; however data shows that women, as well as other minority groups such as ethnic and/or racial minorities, persons with disabilities etc… continue to be underrepresented and face barriers to achieving their full potential. While there are several factors that contribute to this global reality, one factor that is often overlooked is the need to address unconscious biases and implicit associations that can form an unintended and often an invisible barrier, restricting a company’s gender equality policies and programmes from reaching their intended mark. To achieve truly inclusive business environments the WEPs call on companies to take steps to uncover, raise awareness about, address and reduce unconscious biases throughout their organization, including at the management and leadership levels. Learn more here.
For additional free resources on unconscious bias please click here.
Empowering women to participate in full and productive employment is essential to expand economic growth, promote social development and enhance business performance. However, the positive impacts of women-focused employment practices on firms, communities and the economy are often under appreciated. To achieve sustainable development and unlock future growth, WINvest and the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) call on business to invest in better employment opportunities for women. Learn more here.
Women's Empowerment Principle 5 encourages companies to expand their business relationship with women-owned enterprises. Supply chains offer a unique opportunity and means for companies to promote human rights and have a positive impact on economic development by offering economically disadvantage groups an equal opportunity to compete for business. The Women's Empowerment Principles call for companies to make inclusive sourcing a key pillar in their business strategy. Learn more here.
The Women's Empowerment Principles call on companies to assure sufficient participation of women - 30 percent or greater - in decision-making and governance at all levels and across all business areas. Learn more. For a list of related organizations and registers, click here.
Stock exchanges around the world joined UN Global Compact, UN Women and the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative to ring the bell in support of gender equality and the WEPs. The series of global bell ringings began in Egypt on 2 March and the sound traveled to Nigeria, Poland, Sweden, Turkey and India, and culminated on 9 March with a bell ringing at NASDAQ in New York City, bringing together WEPs stakeholders in advance of the 2015 WEPs Annual Event.
Business In Society (BIS) reports on how the private sector can have an influential effect on our lives through sustainable and responsible business. This programme features the WEPs and interviews with Ms. Anne-Marie Slaughter, President of The New America Foundation, Ms. Barbara Krumsiek, CEO of Calvert Investments, and Ursula Wynhoven, Chief, Governance and Social Sustainability and General Counsel of the United Nations Global Compact by John Paluszek of BIS. In these interviews, a spotlight is put on the WEPs and the tipping point for women’s empowerment in business, government, civil society and other institutions. Read press release.
An official side event of the 58th Commission on the Status of Women, Women’s Empowerment Principles - Equality Means Business: Re-Visioning the Development Agenda - a Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue brought together a range of participants, including representatives from the private sector, to examine the role of businesses in gender equality, particularly addressing the barriers to jobs and decent employment. Co-sponsored by the Government of Australia, UN Global Compact, UN Women, International Federation of Business and Professional Women and the NGO CSW, this event aimed to highlight the importance of collaboration while presenting a variety of opportunities, stakeholder roles and responsibilities, lessons learned and how to get involved.
Focusing on Principle 2 and 3 of the Women’s Empowerment Principles - which encourage companies to offer flexible work options, leave and re-entry opportunities and to ensure the health including sexual and reproductive health of all workers - this webinar provides an overview of the topic, business case data, and good practice to employees and employers on successful maternity/parental leave schemes. It highlights the latest research on pregnancy and return to work, as well as the trends, challenges and lessons learned on how to create a fairer environment for pregnant women and mothers and fathers returning to work.
Companies have a unique opportunity to advance economic development through their supply chains by promoting human rights and offering equal opportunity for men and women to develop business solutions that reflect the demographics of the communities in which the company serves. Ensuring women have an equal opportunity to compete through inclusive sourcing policies and practices makes good business sense and is a key pillar of sustainable procurement. This webinar hosted by the UN Global Compact and the International Trade Centre explored the business case for inclusive sourcing and concrete opportunities such as the Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum that facilitate the execution of business relationships between global supply chains and women entrepreneurs. The discussion was grounded in Principle 5 of the Women's Empowerment Principles (a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact) which encourages companies to expand their business relationships with women-enterprises.
Principle 3 of the Women’s Empowerment Principles encourages companies to ensure the health, including sexual and reproductive health, of all workers. Investing in women’s health not only benefits employees and surrounding communities, but it can also have a positive social and economic effect on the private sector. In ensuring that workers have safe working conditions and available health services, companies establish healthier staff, better relationships, and in many cases higher Return-on-investment (ROI). This webinar highlights the benefits of investing in women's health, real life examples from Levi Strauss & Company and Merck, and strategies that businesses can implement to respect and support women’s health. For further information, please see the Call to Action on Investing in Women's Right to Health and the accompanying company annex.
The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) has introduced four new gender-specific questions that UN Global Compact participants that have signed the CEO Statement of Support for the WEPs, will now answer when submitting their Communication on Progress (COP). These questions went live on 1 October 2014, and will provide an opportunity for companies to transparently disclose their efforts around women’s empowerment and gender equality. This resource, recorded by the Women’s Empowerment Principles and the United Nations Global Compact Reporting Team, should serve as guidance for companies in implementing these new questions. For further support, kindly contact WEPs@unglobalcompact.org or email@example.com.
This webinar will explore the challenges responsible businesses can face when addressing gender-based discrimination and promoting gender equality in their operations and supply chains. In particular, the webinar will examine how companies can responsibly navigate this issue where local cultural, legal and/or business norms permit or promote discrimination. The webinar will also explore a range of relevant good practice – including the integration of the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a joint initiative of the Global Compact and UN Women, into business policies and practices – as well as examples of multi-national companies that have addressed this issue.
Embedding corporate sustainability goals and objectives throughout the value chain remains a significant challenge for businesses around the world from all sectors. This webinar will focus on the gender dimension of responsible value chain management and highlight the specific challenges and opportunities faced by companies. Principle 5 of the Women's Empowerment Principles -- which encourages companies to implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women -- will provide a starting point for discussion. Company experiences, new programmes and engagement opportunities aimed at assisting companies to better apply a gender lens to their responsible value chain strategies will be presented.
Many business leaders worldwide support inclusion and diversity, and a number of organizations are raising unconscious bias awareness in an effort to foster an inclusive culture. Tackling bias through training sessions on unconscious bias are an important step but far from enough. This webinar will look at practical interventions called 'Inclusion Nudges' that passively and actively ‘push’ the unconscious mind to help the brain make better decisions and promote more inclusive behaviour - that will stick. The purpose of Inclusion Nudges is to motivate, steer, empower and outsmart the brain towards more objective evaluations and decision in the employee life cycle that will promote gender equality and inclusion of diversity. Ms. Tinna C. Nielsen, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Collaboration at Arla Foods and Ms. Lisa Kepinski, Founder & CEO of Inclusion-Institute will share their concept and how Inclusion Nudges work and have been proven to work in various organizations globally.
Empowering women to participate in full and productive employment is essential to expand economic growth, promote social and sustainable development and enhance business performance. However, the positive impacts of women-focused employment practices on firms, communities and the economy are often under appreciated. Co-hosted by the UN Global Compact, the International Finance Corporation, and the International Labour Organization, this webinar presents the latest research on the business case for gender diversity in the workplace. The discussions highlight the key challenges and opportunities for advancing women’s employment and retention and present key engagement opportunities to further promote gender equality including the Women's Empowerment Principles and WINvest.
Co-convened by the UN Global Compact, the International Trade Centre, WEConnect International and BPW International, this webinar explores the "why" and "how" of sourcing from women-owned businesses. Principle 5 of the Women's Empowerment Principles, which encourages companies to expand their business relationships with women-owned businesses provides the foundation to explore why inclusive sourcing makes good business sense and is a key pillar of sustainable procurement.
This webinar introduces examples of innovative approaches to empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community by focusing on women's health initiatives in the private sector. These inspirational examples illustrate some of the concrete ways in which companies can and are taking action to implement the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs).
Companies and investors alike have been paying increasing attention to the business case for having robust diversity and gender equality policies and practices. This webinar brings together Global Compact participants and signatories of Principles for Responsible Investment to take stock of the growth and impact of the Women's Empowerment Principles initiative to date. To highlight the investment opportunity of gender equity, Catalyst, a leading nonporfit organization working to expand opportunities for women and business, presents cutting-edge research that supports the business case and Pax World Investments and Calvert Investments, investment management companies, discuss how the investor community can help advance gender equality and women's empowerment by encouraging companies to embrace the WEPs.
Co-hosted by the UN Global Compact, UN Women, GBCHealth and the RAISE Health Initiative, this webinar will explore leading practices in meeting the health needs of women workers in the workplace of supplier factories and corporate subsidiaries. It will feature a panel discussion describing activities that can enable companies to achieve gender-specific development goals and to respect and support human rights. These include the Family Planning 2020 Goals, the Millennium Development Goals, Women’s Empowerment Principles and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.