Listed above are the Women’s Empowerment Principles in brief… The seven Principles are designed to help the private sector focus on key elements for promoting gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Supporting women entrepreneurs
Supporting Women Entrepreneurs 14.9.2012 Salthill Hotel Galway, Ireland Tuulikki Juusela, CEO WomCo Ltd, Past International President of BPW International
Some historical remarks Beijing Platform for Action adopted by all 189 countries at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 and the Millennium Declaration adopted by 189 countries in 2000, contribute to the overarching human rights framework6.3. 2012 marked 2 years since the launch of the WEP
Nordic countries By having a strategic focus on supporting working parents and dual income families, these countries have the smallest gender gaps in terms of economic empowerment and political participation (World Economic Forum)and boast some of the highest birth rates in Europe as well as some of the most stable economies.
EMPOWERMENT Empowerment means that people -both women and men – can take control over their lives: set their own agendas, gain skills (or have their own skills and knowledge recognized), increase self-confidence, solve problems, anddevelop self-reliance. It is both a process and an outcome.
Women’s Empowerment Principles in Brief1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination.3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers.4. Promote education, training and professional development for women.5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.
Why get businessworld involved Gender diversity helps business perform better signals that self interest and common interest can come togetherThrough ”gender lens” business can survey and analyze current practices, benchmarks and reporting practices
Gender diversity and business outcome In Europe, of 89 publicly traded companies with a market capitalization of over 150 million pounds, those with more women in senior management and on the board had, on average, more than 10 percent higher return on equity than those companies with the least percentage of women in leadership.In Norway, Denmark and Finland a minimum representation of women on boards of (majority) state-owned companies had been mandated by law since many years
Research and studies: ‘Female Leadership and Firm Profitability’ by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA35 demonstrated that firms led by women are more profitable (10-20%) than those led by men.Corporate governance code: the recently (2008) updated code 36 includes the recommendation that ‘…both genders shall be represented on the board’. The code is applicable to large listed companies. Quick governmental action: government has set the right example by putting forward a target of appointing at least 40% women on boards of state-owned companies and achieving it quickly. Active role of the media: the Finnish media have actively published both positive stories of companies that made a difference and bad examples of companies with all-male boards. This has put pressure on companies to make the necessary changes and avoid negative publicity. The Finnish strategy, 4 components
Structures change Women and men, individually and collectively, challenge the routines, conventions, laws, family forms, kinshipstructures and taken-for-granted behaviors that shape their lives – the accepted forms of power and how these are perpetuated.
Good to read!http://bpw-international.org/images/WEP/2012/CEO_Quotes_What_Leaders_Are_Saying_June http://bpw-international.org/images/WEP/2012/WEPs%20Reporting%20Guidance.pdfhttp://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/quota-