In support of gender equality, Professionals Australia CEO Chris Walton has joined community and business leaders around the world and become a signatory to the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles.
The UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles offer guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Professionals Australia CEO Chris Walton said that in supporting these principles, he hoped other leaders across the science, technology, engineering and management sectors would also show their support.
“Gender equality is now a business imperative, we simply must ensure that there is greater participation by women in these key sectors,” Mr Walton said.
The Principles are the result of a collaboration between the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, part of UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact.
The development of the Principles included an international multi-stakeholder consultation process and launched on International Women’s Day 2010. Sub-titled Equality Means Business, the Principles emphasise the business case for corporate action to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and are informed by real-life business practices and input gathered from across the globe.
Rather than being prescriptive or a new initiative to which business is asked to subscribe, the Women’s Empowerment Principles seek to point the way to best practice by elaborating the gender dimension of good corporate citizenship, the UN Global Compact, and business’ role in sustainable development.
As well as being a useful guide for business, it is hoped that Principles will inform other stakeholders, including governments, in their engagement with business.
In brief, the Women’s Empowerment Principles are:
- Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
- Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination.
- Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers.
- Promote education, training and professional development for women.
- Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
- Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
- Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.