2019 Women's Empowerment Principles Forum

  • Overview

    The global movement for gender equality and women’s empowerment has broken new ground in recent years, making headlines in the media on sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace and putting the business community in the spotlight. From driving the representation and leadership of women in management and investment decisions and from ensuring equal pay for work of equal value, to increasing support for women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, companies of all sizes and from all sectors play a tremendous role in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.

    In tandem with the emergence of gender equality as a critical corporate sustainability and risk mitigation issue, business action to advance women’s empowerment is also central to the achievement of global multi-stakeholder agendas, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    These issues set the context for the 2019 Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum, to be held on 14 March 2019. Since its launch in 2010, the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) initiative has been at the forefront of transforming business policies, practices and approaches to advance gender equality and create opportunities for women and girls, engaging more than 2,000 businesses globally to date.

    The 2019 WEPs Forum will look to the future and consider how the WEPs can help business, investors, Governments and other stakeholders navigate new opportunities and work collectively to ensure that women help define and benefit from opportunities in the future of work. The Forum will also explore how to maintain momentum on advancing gender equality, accelerate the pace of progress and position responsible businesses to rise to the challenge.


    15.00 - 15.10

    Welcome and Opening Remarks

    15.10 - 15.30

    Fireside Chat

    15.30 - 16.10 

    Panel 1: Gender Smart Investing

    16.10 - 16.50 

    Panel 2: Making the “Future of Work” Work for Women

    16.50 – 17.30 

    Panel 3: #MeToo, #TimesUp, What’s Next?

    17.30 – 17.50

    Think Build Innovate – Dialogues, Debates and Discussions

    17:50 – 18:00

    Closing Remarks

    CEO Roundtable

    The increasing demand for gender equality has generated significant momentum, reaching all corners of the globe with initiatives such as the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. However, there is also a significant level of resistance emerging in response to the implementation of gender diversity initiatives. Such responses often perceive gender equality as a zero-sum game. These concerns are usually underlain by drivers such as lack of understanding, fear, change fatigue, cultural norms and industry norms that contribute to a view that efforts to achieve gender equality have “gone too far”.

    On 14 March, directly before the 2019 Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum, the UN Global Compact and Male Champions of Change will bring together business leaders to a CEO Roundtable on Gender Equality to understand and identify ways to address backlash and resistance to progress on gender equality.

    CEO Roundtable Agenda
    CEO Roundtable Partipants 
    Participants Compendium CEO Roundtable