Women Empowerment Principles Event (New York 2013)

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PRINCIPLES: EQUALITY IS A GOOD BUSINESS

  • Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs for short ) are a set of principles to guide companies on how to empower women in the workplace , in the marketplace and in the community. They are the result of a collaboration between the UN Women Development Fund ( formerly UNIFEM , now integrated in UNWOMEN ) and the Global Compact of the United Nations.
  • The WEPs emphasizes the profitability that companies can achieve by the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women, and try to point the way to best practice through the inclusion of the gender dimension in citizenship , the Covenant World UN and companies , highlighting the role of women in sustainable development .
  • The WEPs inform the private sector of the greater profitability that equality means. It is imperative to provide the private sector with a roadmap to implement the change. The WEPs are that roadmap .
  • What are these principles?

THE WEPs

Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality ;

  1. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination ;
  2.   Ensure the health, safety and welfare of all working women and men;
  3.   Promote education, training and professional development for women;
  4.   Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women;
  5. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy ;
  6. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality .

In New York (March 2013), we took part in the annual event on the WEPS , where all social stakeholders gathered for its implementation, including the Director of UN Women, Ms. Bachelet , the Executive Director of the Global Compact , Georg Kell,  Valerie B.Jarret , senior adviser to President Obama and the Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki -moon.

Here are some of the most significant phrases that participants, both institutional and private sphere , talked about at the event.

  •  Georg Kell : To drive change , we need that each of us gets to make three companies sign the WEPs per year.
  •  M.Bachelet : Equal opportunities is not only about being fair but also about being smart : companies are 25% more productive by eliminating discrimination.
  • Elisabeth Broderick ( Australia – discrimination Commissioner ) the coordination depends on many factors , and involves the most senior CEOs. On the issue of gender, we need to prioritize  measure, act, speak . And put an equal target to all managers.
  •  Kim Sung- joo . Stresses the need to use social media to spread the message .
  •  Nia Joynson . Equality needs inclusive leaders (and this needs to be measured ) and “gender intelligence” (understanding gender differences and use them to improve business results )
  •  Maureen Kilgour: It is necessary to incorporate the WEP in schools ( in college it is too late !)
  •  Porie Saikia (PRIA Global), ” there is a special place in hell for women that do not help women”
  •  Navveen Narayanan (HCL Technologies) It is necessary to penalize companies that do not implement the WEPs in their contractual relations. We had to wait for Clinton to impose diversity on companies to contract with the government. They did not react before that.
  •  World Bank: Need to implement the obligation to explain non-compliance : “If not , why not”
  •  Claudia Lorenzo (Coca Cola Brazil ) : If we can distribute Coca everywhere, we can also do the same with social change.