Women’s Empowerment Principles
- Establish high-level corporate leadership for
- Affirm high-level support and direct top-level
policies for gender equality and human rights.
- Establish company-wide goals and targets for gender equality
and include progress as a factor in managers’ performance reviews.
- Engage internal and external stakeholders in the development
of company policies, programmes and implementation plans that
- Ensure that all policies are gender-sensitive — identifying
factors that impact women and men differently — and that corporate
culture advances equality and inclusion.
- Treat all women and men fairly at work — respect
and support human rights and nondiscrimination.
- Pay equal remuneration, including benefits, for work of equal
value and strive to pay a living wage to all women and men.
- Ensure that workplace policies and practices are free from
- Implement gender-sensitive recruitment and retention practices
and proactively recruit and appoint women to managerial and executive
positions and to the corporate board of directors.
- Assure sufficient participation of women — 30% or greater —
in decision-making and governance at all levels and across all
- Offer flexible work options, leave and re-entry opportunities
to positions of equal pay and status.
- Support access to child and dependent care by providing services,
resources and information to both women and men.
- Ensure the health, safety and well-being of
all women and men workers.
- Taking into account differential impacts on women and men,
provide safe working conditions and protection from exposure
to hazardous materials and disclose potential risks, including
to reproductive health.
- Establish a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of violence
at work, including verbal and/or physical abuse, and prevent
- Strive to offer health insurance or other needed services —
including for survivors of domestic violence — and ensure equal
access for all employees.
- Respect women and men workers’ rights to time off for medical
care and counseling for themselves and their dependents.
- In consultation with employees, identify and address security
issues, including the safety of women traveling to and from work
and on company-related business.
- Train security staff and managers to recognize signs of violence
against women and understand laws and company policies on human
trafficking, labour and sexual exploitation.
- Promote education, training and professional
development for women.
- Invest in workplace policies and programmes that open avenues
for advancement of women at all levels and across all business
areas, and encourage women to enter nontraditional job fields.
- Ensure equal access to all company-supported education and
training programmes, including literacy classes, vocational and
information technology training.
- Provide equal opportunities for formal and informal networking
- Offer opportunities to promote the business case for women’s
empowerment and the positive impact of inclusion for men as well
- Implement enterprise development, supply chain
and marketing practices that empower women.
- Expand business relationships with women-owned enterprises,
including small businesses, and women entrepreneurs.
- Support gender-sensitive solutions to credit and lending barriers.
- Ask business partners and peers to respect the company’s commitment
to advancing equality and inclusion.
- Respect the dignity of women in all marketing and other company
- Ensure that company products, services and facilities are not
used for human trafficking and/or labour or sexual exploitation.
- Promote equality through community initiatives
- Lead by example — showcase company commitment to gender equality
and women’s empowerment.
- Leverage influence, alone or in partnership, to advocate for
gender equality and collaborate with business partners, suppliers
and community leaders to promote inclusion.
- Work with community stakeholders, officials and others to eliminate
discrimination and exploitation and open opportunities for women
- Promote and recognize women’s leadership in, and contributions
to, their communities and ensure sufficient representation of
women in any community consultation.
- Use philanthropy and grants programmes to support company commitment
to inclusion, equality and human rights.
- Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve
- Make public the company policies and implementation plan for
promoting gender equality.
- Establish benchmarks that quantify inclusion of women at all
- Measure and report on progress, both internally and externally,
using data disaggregated by gender.
- Incorporate gender markers into ongoing reporting obligations.
The Women’s Empowerment Principles, the product of a collaboration
between UN Women and the UN
Global Compact informed by an international
multi-stakeholder consultation, are adapted from the Calvert
Women's Principles®. The Calvert Women's Principles were originally developed
in partnership with UNIFEM (now UN Women) and launched in 2004 as the first global
corporate code of conduct focused exclusively on empowering, advancing
and investing in women worldwide.