RSM South Africa is proud to have joined the UN Women Empowerment Community. By signing the Statement of support, we have joined a network of thousands of businesses across the globe and demonstrated our commitment to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.
About the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles
The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) guide businesses on how to promote gender equality and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. Jointly established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, the WEPs are underpinned by international labour standards and human rights and by the recognition that businesses have an important role in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
What are the Women’s Empowerment Principles?
The WEPs are informed by international labour and human rights standards and grounded in the recognition that businesses have a stake in, and a responsibility for, gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The principles are:
Principle 1 - High-Level corporate leadership
Corporate leadership is a key and integral part of making gender equality and women’s empowerment a top strategic priority. It publicly signals the CEO’s and the executive team’s goals and targets for implementing the WEPs and how the seven Principles will become part of the corporate sustainability strategy, day-to-day operations and organisational culture.
Principle 2 – Treat all women and men fairly at work without discrimination
Treating all women and men fairly at work aligns with international human rights principles. It also translates to better talent acquisition, higher employee retention and satisfaction, increased productivity and better decision making. Removing all forms of discrimination in corporate policies, strategies, culture and practices is a solid step forward in a company’s WEPs journey.
Principle 3 – Employee health, well-being and safety
Employers play a key role in preserving and promoting the physical and emotional health, safety and wellbeing of their women and men employees. Sexual harassment and violence signify high costs to women in terms of lost earnings, missed promotions and overall wellbeing. Companies are impacted in form of employee absenteeism and productivity losses.
Principle 4 – Education and training for career development
Training for all employees about how the company is advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment can align everyone around shared values and help ensure compliance with company policies and practices. Effective programmes to support women’s professional advancement include education and training that is complemented by networking and mentoring programmes.
Principle 5 – Enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices
Negative and diminished conceptions of women and girls are one of the greatest barriers for gender equality. Advertising is a powerful driver to change perceptions and impact social norms –portraying women and men in modern, authentic and multidimensional roles. Companies can also influence business partners through inclusive supply chain policies and standards of engagement.
Principle 6 – Community initiatives and advocacy
Companies are increasingly investing in community development programmes to make valuable, effective and responsible contributions to gender equality and women’s empowerment. A key motivation is to respond to consumer preferences to buy from companies with gender-responsive business practices and who are actively supporting community initiatives.
Principle 7 – Measurement and reporting
Transparency and accountability are required for companies to uphold their commitments to gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community. Measuring and reporting mechanisms are crucial to monitor and track performance and progress. Business leaders and stakeholders agree that while not everything of value can be counted, it is difficult to manage what is not measured.