Women’s Empowerment Principles

Business Case

An overview of the business case for Women’s Empowerment Principles and how the Global Compact is supporting business efforts.


Inspire participants’ organizational learning, and support companies to develop and implement corporate sustainability strategies, operations and management practices in line with the Global Compact Ten Principles. Read more about Learning.

Learning Activities

  • Collaborate with UN Women country chapters or other partners on events raising awareness about the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and the role of business in promoting gender equality.
  • Launch a CEO Statement of Support signature drive.
  • Translate WEPs materials and/or WEPs website into local language(s); promote and disseminate material to corporate participants. Access WEPs material.
  • Collect and showcase examples of what businesses are doing to empower women and advance the goals of the WEPs at national, regional or global events.

Learning Benefits

  • Increased number of Global Compact companies (and other stakeholders) that are aware of the WEPs. Increased understanding of gender equality and women's empowerment as a key component of corporate sustainability.
  • Increased number of CEO Statement of Support for the WEPs signatories.
  • Increased number of Global Compact companies reporting their gender empowerment efforts through the annual communication on progress. Access WEPs reporting guidance.
  • Increased visibility of Local Networks to companies and key stakeholders that are interested in gender equality.

Learning Local Examples

  • Global Compact Network USA presented a symposium called “The Business Value of Women’s Empowerment.” The event fostered discussion and offered expert insights on how empowering women can boost opportunities overall, both economically and socially. Key topics centered around girls’ education, gender balance in the boardroom, compensation parity, flexible work schedules and women’s empowerment globally. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to learn, share and network with senior leaders from prominent companies and organizations.
  • Global Compact Network United Kingdom and UN Women collaborated to present “Equality Means Business,” an event to explore the issues of gender and business in the UK. The meeting introduced the WEPs, facilitated discussion of the business case for diversity in the workplace, and identified examples of best practices in the UK. Participants also engaged in discussions during roundtable sessions and shared personal insights on obstacles and concerns.

Policy Dialogue

Aim to bring businesses and other stakeholders together to exchange best practices, identify new and emerging issues; promote multi-stakeholder trust and interaction; and support advocacy to policymakers. Read more about Policy Dialogue.

Policy Dialogue Activities

  • Convene and support meetings where companies can share lessons learned and discuss challenges and opportunities related to advancing gender equality and women's empowerment.
  • Host meetings where companies, governments and other stakeholders can discuss gender related public policy issues that are relevant to corporations.
  • Facilitate participation of champion companies in key international policy processes focusing on gender equality such as the Committee on the Status of Women meetings and the annual Women's Empowerment Principles event convened on International Women's Day.

Policy Dialogue Benefits

  • Evidence of Local Network convening power on gender equality and WEPs related issues.
  • Increased opportunities for collaboration between Local Networks and other stakeholders.

Policy Dialogue Local Examples

  • Spain: Empowering Women and Fostering Business and Human Rights. Symposium attended by 180 representatives from business, civil society, and academia.
  • Germany: Women’s Empowerment Principles. Together with UN Women, the network hosted an event with panel discussions on issues addressed by the ten principles.

Collective Action & Partnerships

Through partnerships, private and public actors can combine their resources, skills and expertise to enhance results and impact. With collective action multiple companies join forces to engage in identifying, developing and implementing innovative solutions to systematic challenges. Read more about Collective Action.

Collective Action Activities

  • Facilitate the launch of business-led local collective action initiatives that focus on one of WEPs and/or sub-themes/topics of the WEPs that are material to local companies.
  • Together with UN Women and other partners, convene meetings where companies can learn about opportunities to advance the WEPs or gender equality in partnership with civil society, government ministries and/or the United Nations.
  • Support relevant existing initiatives, events and platforms such as the Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum and facilitate business engagement.

Collective Action Benefits

  • Increased awareness among companies of specific actions and partnerships they can take together with other stakeholders to promote gender equality in workplace, marketplace, and communities.
  • Increased opportunities for collaboration between Local Networks, government ministries, and other key sponsors/funders with gender expertise.

Collective Action Local Examples

  • Global Compact Network Turkey hosted its annual conference, “Equality Means Business: Empowering Women in the Workplace, Marketplace and Community,” during which speakers shared case examples on how businesses are partnering with civil society to implement the principles in business practices. Representatives from Local Networks from the Gulf States and Iraq shared examples of how businesses are partnering with civil society to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
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