Global Impact

Target Gender Equality Impact

Business leaders across the globe agree that gender equality is a business priority. The business case to adopt a holistic approach to gender equality is clear — not only is advancing gender equality the right thing to do, but it is also good for business and a key component in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Research shows that companies with high female representation have annual returns 3 percentage points higher (Morgan Stanley, 2019) and women’s business leadership is linked to better ESG performance, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, stronger worker relations and reduced incidence of fraud, insider trading, and other unethical practices (IFC, 2019).

Target Gender Equality, an accelerator programme of the UN Global Compact, is designed to enable companies to set and reach ambitious corporate targets for women’s representation, equal pay and leadership in business.

Target Gender Equality at a glance










Intended actions


Completed actions

How Target Gender Equality is making a difference

The Target Gender Equality programme starts by companies assessing their current gender equality performance using the WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool. The WEPs Tool helps companies to identify their gaps and opportunities when it comes to gender equality at the workplace, marketplace and community. Simply put, in order to set ambitious yet realistic targets for gender equality, you have to know your starting line. In 2020, when Target Gender Equality kicked off, the initiative contributed to a 45% increase in companies using the WEPs Tool. Encouragingly, 78% of companies that completed Target Gender Equality shared the WEPs Tool results with their company’s executive leadership team or board. In addition, 82% of companies that completed Target Gender Equality are planning to take the WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool on a regular basis to analyze their performance over time.

No. of WEPs users:

Survey results show that out of past target gender equality company participants..

97.3% of Target Gender Equality survey respondents, indicated that they have action plans in place or are currently drafting them in order to make their targets become a reality. As a result of Target Gender Equality, participating companies have committed to 1850+ interventions, policies and programmes aimed at advancing gender equality in their companies, including the below. 400+ actions have reported to have been completed three years after the end of the first programmatic round of Target Gender Equality. These actions focus on:

  • Fostering professional development opportunities for women such as establishing mentorship networks
  • Revising hiring practices such as ensuring gender-balanced interview panels
  • Increasing efforts to close the gender pay gap such as conducting audits and setting aside budgets
  • Implementing flexible and family-supportive workplace practices such as establishing childcare facilities
  • Investing in accountability mechanisms and progress tracking such as creating real-time dashboards and ensuring board oversight
  • Raising awareness for gender equality through trainings and communications campaigns
  • Ensuring top leadership commitment such as by establishing committees and incentives
  • Tackling stereotypes such as by ensuring gender-inclusive language and images

One year after programme completion, Target Gender Equality participants reported the following...

Local Impact Section:

Target Gender Equality Impact

Target Gender Equality is mobilizing and supporting companies to set ambitious targets and take bold action to advance gender equality across all regions of the globe. The accelerator programme is run in collaboration with Global Compact Local Networks. Check out the gatherings of past Target Gender Equality groups from China, Uruguay and Korea in the pictures. For regular updates and more stories of local impact, check out our past newsletters.

Brazil: Global Compact Network Brazil took Target Gender Equality a step further and turned the methodology into a movement called ‘Elas Lideram 2030’. The movement calls on companies to set a target for 30% women in leadership positions by 2025 and 50% by 2030 - in line with the ambition of SDG5. Over 70 companies have set these targets to date.

Learn more here >>

Canada: Global Compact Network Canada became an ‘Ecosystem Partner’ supporting the Government’s 50-30 Challenge. Challenge participants have committed to 50% women and 30% diverse representation from other communities. The Network is building on the Target Gender Equality methodology to support organizations in meeting the 50-30 Challenge goals over the course of three years.

Learn more here >>

Chile and Uruguay: Both Global Compact Network Chile and Uruguay teamed up with Starbucks to launch a new local newspaper called ‘Woman Times’. These feature leadership interviews, practice examples, trends and impact stories about local gender equality challenges and progress.

Check it out here >>

China: Global Compact Local Network China launched a new report Women at Work: Chinese companies taking action on gender equality. The global publication, available in English and Chinese, provides insights and best practices for advancing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on gender equality in the workplace.

Check it out here >>

Ecuador: In collaboration with UN Women, Global Compact Network Ecuador is putting particular emphasis on guiding its Target Gender Equality companies to make a public commitment by signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles. Besides being the country with the most Target Gender Equality participants in Latin America, the Network met its milestone of over 100 WEPs signatories.

Read more here >>

Georgia: Global Compact Network Georgia expanded the Target Gender Equality programme by organizing a conference on ‘Promoting Access to Finance for Women in Georgia’ discussing the role of companies in adapting gender-sensitive procurement practices and increasing access to finance for women entrepreneurs.

Read more here >>

Greece: As an outcome of Target Gender Equality, Global Compact Network Greece has not only launched a Working Group to keep the conversation going but also signed an MoU with the General Secretariat for Demography and Family Policy and Gender Equality to jointly advance gender equality with the Government of Greece. Greek case examples and other learnings are featured in a local report.

Read about the outcomes >>

Japan: Global Compact Network Japan collected over 20 case studies building on interviews with corporate gender equality representatives from a variety of industries. These summarize the different actions and measures taken to advance diversity and inclusion throughout the organizations.

Explore the case studies >>

Kenya: Global Compact Network Kenya is putting additional effort into following the journeys of their Target Gender Equality companies by following up on the status of their action plans. The Network also put together a video series sharing case studies of seven Kenyan companies that advance gender equality: from tackling sexual harassment, to advancing parental leave and workplace wellness.

Check out the playlist >>

Mexico: In collaboration with UN Women and supported by Tecnológico de Monterrey, Global Compact Network Mexico has supported over 100 companies through Target Gender Equality. Besides offering additional deep dives such as on the gender pay gap, the Network launched a Gender Equality Guide including a variety of corporate good practices.

Access the Guide >>

Poland: Since the launch of Target Gender Equality, Global Compact Network Poland has enriched the programme by developing additional research. Besides diving deeper into parental leave policies, the Network partnered with the 30% Club to interview more than 4000 Polish women on their corporate experiences.

Explore the latest findings >>

Portugal: Global Compact Network Portugal launched a National Target on Gender Equality, challenging Portuguese companies to achieve 40% of women in decision-making positions by 2030. The National Target was launched with the support of the Portuguese government.

Learn more here >>

Republic of Korea: Building on three years of implementing Target Gender Equality, Global Compact Network Korea took on the feedback of one of the participating companies and expanded the initiative with a ‘Women Leaders Network Programme’ to further empower individual women to break the glass ceiling. The inaugural cohort is kicking off this year.

Stay tuned >>

Spain: In Spain, over 100 companies have been participating in Target Gender Equality over the course of three years - making it the largest Target Gender Equality cohort to date. Global Compact Network Spain is tracking impact through annual reports, where participants share updates around their targets and action plans for gender equality.

Check out the latest results report >>

Sri Lanka: Global Compact Network Sri Lanka launched a Gender & Diversity Working Group, comprised of members of the Target Gender Equality programme who wanted to move beyond the accelerator’s objectives, keep learning and publicly advocate for change. A large focus area are women in STEM as many member companies are part of traditionally male-dominated sectors. In an impact story, the Network shares insight about their targets and progress.

Check out the impact story >>

Turkey: Besides implementing Target Gender Equality for three years, Global Compact Network Turkey’s Working Group launched a Diversity & Inclusion Guide where the methodology of the WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool was used to provide practical corporate guidance on inclusion of refugees, persons with disabilities and the LGBTI+ community.

Read the report >>

Company Impact

Target Gender Equality Impact

Over the course of four years, hundreds of case studies and corporate good practices have emerged from Target Gender Equality.

Interloop Pakistan: Interloop’s goal is to increase from a starting point of 8% women’s workforce participation to 30% by 2025. The Pakistani textile company created a roadmap with six pillars and a clear governance structure ensuring responsibility is co-owned across the organization. Particularly interesting is the holistic family support system, as well as regular “listen and learn” sessions where women from across all levels meet directly with the CEO.

Alain Afflelou Spain: Alain Afflelou Spain surveyed its customers asking which sustainability areas the company should focus on, and leveraged the 12,000+ responses to make the case to the global management team to make gender equality, diversity and inclusion a core priority going forward. Every country is now tasked with building its own KPIs which for Spain include that 1) 100% of the workforce of all genders receive regular training around gender equality, diversity and inclusion, 2) reducing the gender pay gap, and 3) increasing the share of women in leadership positions.

Amartha Indonesia: Amartha already achieved its target of 30% women’s representation at board and C-level, and in 2022 surpassed its target to serve over one million female customers. Besides providing nurseries and children’s playground at Amartha offices, additional mental health support, and flexibility options have been established for working mothers. To unpack common gender stereotypes Amartha established circles specifically for male colleagues. This includes training to go to rural offices and initiate such conversations beyond headquarters.

Vesta Mexico: Vesta established three KPIs for the area of gender equality and women’s leadership: reducing the gender pay gap to 15% at directorial and managerial levels, include three women as permanent board members, and embed gender equality through clear metrics within all social impact projects. An ESG Working Group drives progress throughout the year and feeds important issues to the ESG Committee which meets twice a year and also ensures that the board is briefed about all progress and challenges with regards to gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

Vodafone Turkey: The Group’s overarching targets are to become the best employer for women as well as having 40% of their managerial roles filled by women by 2025. Based on local demographics and context, Vodafone Turkey tailored the global targets by making them even more ambitious, aiming to reach equal presence of genders across the organization by 2025. A flagship initiative is offering matching leave and benefits for both maternity and paternity leave, which encouraged other companies in the industry to follow suit.

Chalhoub Group: Chalhoub Group, headquartered in the UAE, has achieved its target to maintain 50% gender balance across the organization. The remaining aim is to reach 33% of women’s representation by 2024 at top levels, starting from a baseline of 27.3%. Remarkable about the Group’s journey is the time and detail invested in collecting sex-disaggregated data to inform its initiatives. For example, a survey was sent to past female employees to better understand their reasons for leaving the company and the support they wish they would have received.

Hear advice from past Target Gender Equality participants from the US, Indonesia, Ecuador, Serbia, Canada and Tanzania

Testimonials from Target Gender Equality Companies

Women Driving Impact

Learn more about women who are driving change on gender equality within their organizations and beyond.

Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited

As Chairperson of the Board of Directors, I led the remarkable turnaround and return to profitability of the 20-year FBN Insurance Brokers

Gagandeep K. Bhullar, Founder & CEO, The SuperHuman Race Private Limited

At the SuperHuman Race, Gapandeep Bhullar is building capacity across the company's ecosystem of partners to enable them to measure their progress against the 17 SDGs using data and technology

Sharon Thuku, CEO, Ends International Company Limited

Running a leading construction company in Kenya, Sharon Thuku knows firsthand the bias that women in male dominated industries face. Now she's focused on equipping young women with the skills needed to compete

Marijana Bacic, Vice President for Corporate Customers and ICT, Hrvatski Telekom (Croatian Telecom Inc.)

At Hrvatski Telekom, women hold about 40% of the managerial positions. Learn how Marijana Bacic is dedicated to pushing the gender equality agenda in her role and company

Vaishali Nigam Sinha, Chief Sustainability, CSR and Communications Officer, ReNew Power and Founding Chair, Renew Foundation

At ReNew Power, Vaishali Nigam Sinha implements impact-oriented sustainability and gender parity across all levels of her organization

May Abulnaga, First Sub-Governor, Central Bank of Egypt

At the Central Bank of Egypt, May Abulnaga supports women by increasing their access to financial inclusion and fighting the uphill battle against typical cultural gender norms

Men Driving Impact

Explore the stories of male allies leveraging their roles as business executives to be advocates for gender equality.

Jorge Rosillo, CEO & General Manager, Galápagos Ecological Airport

We, men, sometimes don't understand something because we don't live it. We don’t suffer that discrimination and sexist jokes. How men and women interact is different now than three years ago when we started our efforts. It’s more like a partnership

Reynaldo Goto, Chief Compliance Officer, BRF SA

When you start to pay attention, you really see inequality, but more importantly, you see how men could play an important role

Martin Ochien’g, Group Managing Director, Sasini PLC

If you want to correct these inequities from the past, you’ve got to drive what you want to achieve deliberately

Jose Luis Conde, Operations Aviation & Network Lead, Exolum

Diversity is one of the best tools that we have to achieve our goals as an organization

Krishan Balendra, Chairman, John Keells Holdings PLC

How can you have a group of men, a boardroom or executive committee of men, debating the decisions that affect the consumers who are women?

Martin Wassell, Managing Director, Chaucer Group Ltd.

It’s about human capital as much as it is around natural capital. As a business, it's going to help us be more successful, and ultimately it’s going to help our clients be more successful