On 17th July, Equalities Minister Maria Miller spoke about the Government’s gender equality initiatives at an event coordinated by the UK National Committee for UN Women to mark the first anniversary of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in the UK. WEPs are a joint initiative between UN Women and the UN Global Compact offering businesses guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
The attendees included senior representatives from organisations across a range of industries, including Anglo American – who also hosted the event, Accenture, Opportunity Now, and members of the UN Women UKNC Corporate Advisory Group.
The Equalities Minister praised the principles, which are designed to complement national and regional gender equality initiatives and provide guidance for businesses operating in global markets.
The UK National Committee (UKNC) for UN Women is the voice for UN Women in the UK, supporting the work of UN Women in its mission for gender equality and the empowerment of women. Working with Government, parliamentarians, corporate partners, and civil society it is focused on influencing and raising awareness to create change in the treatment of women and girls here in the UK and throughout the world. It supports UK-based businesses to implement the WEPs, both through educational and developmental services.
The UKNC for UN Women is supporting British businesses to empower women at work through the seven principles of the WEPs devised by global businesses in partnership with UN bodies. The principles offer guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The principles are actively being implemented by over 550 companies around the world to promote gender equality. In the UK, an increasing number of high profile and forward thinking CEOs are signing up to the WEPs Statement of Support.
The WEPs work with the Government’s Think, Act, Report initiative, which now has 125 leading organisations signed up covering almost two million employees across the UK.
There are areas where businesses can benefit from the guidance of the WEPs beyond their UK operations. For example, the WEPs encourage businesses to respond to and tackle violence against women as it affects women throughout their global supply chains, to support gender equality within procurement and commissioning policy and practice, and to consider the gender equality implications of corporate activity within communities in multiple countries and in their advocacy at local levels.
Jan Grasty is the President of the UK National Committee for UN Women.
Learn more about the WEPs and how your business can benefit
Find out more about Think, Act, Report
Companies signed-up to Think, Act, Report are committed to greater transparency around women in the workforce, including on issues such as recruitment, retention, promotion and pay.