Global 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 and leadership.

Target Gender Equality at a glance

How Target Gender Equality is making a difference:

  • Target Gender Equality contributed to a 45% increase in companies using the WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool in 2020 to assess their gender equality performance.

    79% of companies are planning to take the WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool to analyze their performance over time.

  • We know that identifying an ambitious but realistic target for your company’s context takes time and depends on many internal and external factors. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. For illustration, here are some examples of how past Target Gender Equality participants would describe their new targets:
  • More than 90% of Target Gender Equality participants either have targets for gender equality in place, are adapting existing targets or drafting new targets.
  • 83% of companies are building a new Action Plan or adapting an existing Action Plan based on learnings from Target Gender Equality.
  • As a result of Target Gender Equality, participating companies have committed to 800+ interventions, policies and programmes aimed at advancing gender equality in their companies, including the below. 212 completed actions have reported to have been completed one year after the end of the first programmatic Round of Target Gender Equality:
    • 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
    • Implementing flexible and family-friendly workplace practices
    • Investing in accountability mechanisms and progress tracking
    • Raising awareness for gender equality through trainings and communications campaigns
    • Ensuring top leadership commitment such as by establishing committees and oversight
    • Tackling stereotypes such as by ensuring gender-inclusive language

Long-term impact

  • One year later, 96.6% of participants say they have benefited from the prgoramme. Besides knowledge increase that close to all participants reported, additionally 39% say they gained confidence to talk about the topic of gender equality with colleagues, and 37% said they gained motivation to also personally break down barriers as woman in the workplace.
  • 81.6% said they shared the results of the WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool with the company’s management and 75% confirm that it informed their leadership’s decision making.
  • One year after the programme’s completion, 83% of companies report that they actually set new targets for gender equality.
  • 56% of companies have already achieved gender balance at the executive and senior management level or are set to achieve it by 2025 based on current targets and action plans.
  • 66% of companies have already achieved gender balance at the board level or are set to achieve it by 2025 based on current targets and action plans.
  • 23% of companies have created a dedicated Council or Working Group with members from across departments to take plans for gender equality forward. In the majority of other companies the Human Resources or Sustianability Teams hold this responsibility.
  • Close to 70% of participants reported to have put in place KPIs in order to track progress towards the company's objectives to advance gender equality.

Local 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.

Explore the local impact of Target Gender Equality. For more stories of local impact, check out our past newsletters.


In Global Compact Network Brazil, 15 companies set public targets for women's representation and leadership at the outset of the programme, aiming for either 30% of women in senior positions by 2025 or 50% by 2030. Companies then identified gaps and opportunities based on their starting points using the WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool and developed tailored action plans to meet targets set.

Learn more here >>


Global Compact Network Croatia ran an all-female Target Gender Equality programme and focused on tackling obstacles in women's career advancement. By addressing challenges such as inferior mindset, imposter syndrome, unrealized potential, lack of self-advocacy and lack of confidence to apply for higher positions, the programme tackled goal-setting with their participants to elevate career development opportunities. By connecting both their personal and professional goals, Target Gender Equality equipped women with new tools that were well received by participating companies.

Learn more here >>


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

Explore the case studies >>


Global Compact Network Kenya put together a video series sharing case studies of seven Kenyan companies that advance gender equality: companies share their learnings tackling issues from sexual harassment and parental leave to gender parity on board and workplace wellness.

Check out the playlist >>


Overall, Lebanon suffers from extreme structural gender inequalities, ranking 145 out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, due to low rates of women’s economic and political participation and patriarchal socio-cultural norms. Despite the compounded crisis hitting Lebanon, the private sector continues to demonstrate their WEPS commitment as they address increasing gender inequalities by ensuring provision of women-friendly personal protective equipment for staff, promoting measures to address the care burden of women workers, or providing donations to support women-owned businesses impacted by the Beirut blast.

Learn more here >>


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. Signing on as flagship companies to the initiative are Accenture Portugal, Altice Portugal, Aguas de Portugal, Energias de Portugal, Grupo Bel and Lidl Portugal. The National Target was launched with the support of the Portuguese government.

Learn more here >>


In Global Compact Network Spain, over 70 companies have been participating in Target Gender Equality. Participants have identified concrete actions to achieve results, ranging from setting targets to reduce the gender pay gap and ensure regular audits, to developing manuals for inclusive language that tackles stereotypes, to widening the female applicant pool by working with STEM focused Universities. All of the companies in Spain have identified that they are working on their targets, while around one third are aiming for gender balance by 2025 or earlier.

Learn more here >>

Hear from female leaders from across Africa

Company Impact

Target Gender Equality aims to scale up stories of action and impact across the globe, amplifying the voices of UN Global Compact participating companies and the individuals that are driving change within their organizations and beyond.

  • CaixaBank

  • CaixaBank is participating in Target Gender Equality in Spain and is aiming to have 43% women in management positions by 2021. Learn more about CaixaBank's targets and actions.
  • Capgemini India

  • At Capgemini, having more women across their ranks means being more effective in corporate philanthropy and having higher-quality corporate social responsibility initiatives. Learn how having a diverse workforce powers business growth.
  • BBVA México

  • BBVA is focusing on driving Diversity & Inclusion and the increase of women in leadership positions. Gender Equality is an issue that is considered a strategic priority for the entire business, not just for the human resources area.
  • Natura & Co

  • Natura & Co is setting targets for equal representation for women, including 50% women on board and senior teams, equitable pay to close the gender pay gap, and living wages (or above) for associates at Natura &Co.

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.

Eva Muñoz, Corporate Communications Director, Solunion Seguros

Eva Muñoz strategically implements small changes to create a trickle-down effect towards normalizing the broader SDGs in the work culture at Solunion Seguros

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

At the SuperHuman Race, Gapandeep Bhullar is continue to build 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 helps save women by increasing their access to financial inclusion and fighting the uphill battle against typical Egyptian 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.