This rapid review provides information of a selection of corporate initiatives related to promoting female economic empowerment and supplier diversity. Not many corporations make detailed, specific information on these commitments available; instead the mapping has had to rely mostly on brief press releases or highlights posted on the company website.
From the information available it appears that many of the commitments do not fit all of the criteria for a SMART (Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound) initiative. Some corporations have goals to reach a set number of girls and women through training programmes and other empowerment initiatives by a certain date; very few provide up-front key performance indicators that involve assessing the actual impact of these initiatives. Some corporations (e.g. MAS Holdings) publish progress reports of output performance (e.g. numbers participating in training programmes). Others (e.g. Gap Inc., Goldman Sachs and Coca-Cola) have invested in rigorous mixed method impact evaluations of their empowerment initiatives, often in partnership with NGOs and research institutions.
There are different types of commitments. This mapping is organised into two parts: commitments that directly and immediately involve companies’ internal structures and/or supply chains, and broader programmes that may have longer-term goals. A variety of types of initiatives are sampled including setting targets and quotas for employment and for suppliers, business training, general education, technical skills training, financial inclusion, and developing independent trading opportunities.
Oddsdottir, F.; Carter, R.; Lucas, B. Mapping corporate commitments to female economic empowerment. EPS PEAKS, UK, (2013) 25 pp.