Gender Equality

Empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community is fundamental to building strong economies, ensuring a more stable and just society, and achieving sustainable development. The Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business (WEPs), developed by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, provide practical guidance for business on how to do this.

The Sustainable Development Goals also recognise the importance of gender equality as a cross-cutting issue of, and a necessary foundation for achieving, sustainable development.

“While much has been accomplished through the integration of principles and actions on corporate responsibility, diversity and inclusion, the full participation of women throughout the private sector – from the CEO’s office to the factory floor to the supply chain – remains unfulfilled. Current research demonstrating that gender diversity helps business perform better signals that self interest and common interest can come together. Governments also recognise that women’s inclusion drives development…”

The WEPs elaborate the gender dimension of corporate responsibility, the UN Global Compact and the private sector’s role in sustainable development.

To bolster high-level corporate leadership for gender equality, in 2010 the UN Global Compact and UN Women launched the CEO Statement of Support for the WEPs. By signing the Statement, CEOs demonstrate leadership on gender equality and women’s empowerment and encourage fellow business leaders to do the same.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are:


Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination.
Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers.
Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women.
Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.

Engagement Platforms

Women’s Empowerment Principles
Website:Women’s Empowerment Principles

Key resources are available here

Case Studies

ANZ Bank: Building Women Leaders in Laos
EY: Equipping Women Entrepreneurs for Scale
Intrepid Travel: Empowering Women through Community-Based Tourism
Rio Tinto: Staying Safe at Work…and at Home
Westpac: Supporting Women-Owned Businesses in its Supply Chain
Woolworths: Tackling the Gender Pay Gap