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United Nations Global Compact

United Nations Global Compact

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United Nations Global Compact: More than 600 representatives call for gender equality

15.03.2019 Share

The United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) and UN Women convened over 600 representatives from business, Government and civil society this week to discuss business action to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Held in the ECOSOC Chamber at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York, the 2019 Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum discussed how the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) can help business, investors, Governments and other stakeholders ensure that women help define and benefit from opportunities in the changing world of work. Convened each March as part of the annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the WEPs Forum is the key moment for business to come to the table at the UN to discuss strategies and best practices from the private sector on empowering women and advancing their equal participation in the global workforce.

“It’s time for all companies to get really serious about women’s empowerment,” said Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “Gender equality can drive economic growth, financial performance and corporate sustainability, but we are still 202 years away from economic parity between men and women. We need all stakeholders to take urgent action.”

“The UN Office for Partnerships is proud to support the 2019 Women Empowerment Principles Forum,” said Robert Skinner, Executive Director of UNOP. “It is key for the UN system to engage the private sector to strengthen action on gender equality at the workplace, in supply chains and in communities.”

Reflecting on the business case for women’s empowerment, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, said: “The evidence is clear: investing in women as employees, entrepreneurs, customers, decision-makers, community partners and advocates is good for everyone. With thanks to the contribution and partnership of the European Union, UN Women continues to promote and scale the Women’s Empowerment Principles, to provide businesses with a framework to advance gender equality while increasing their profitability, sustainability and credibility.”

The Women’s Empowerment Principles emphasize the business case for corporate action to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. Since their launch in 2010, the principles have helped transform business policies, practices and approaches to advance gender equality and create opportunities for women and girls. To date, more than 2,200 businesses have endorsed the principles.

The Forum was be moderated by Katherine Bell, Editor in Chief, Barron’s and speakers included Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, Lise Kingo, Executive Director of UN Global Compact, Robert Skinner, Executive Director, UN Office for Partnerships, Mara Marinaki Ambassador, Principal Advisor of the European Union, and Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer, Mary Kay Inc., among others.

The Forum was made possible with the generous support of the European Union and Mary Kay Inc., a Women’s Empowerment Principles signatory.  

Companies everywhere are encouraged to sign the Women’s Empowerment Principles — get started here.

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