The benefits of committing to – and tracking – gender equality
There is a business case for gender equality. According to the UN, India's growth rate could increase by 4.2 percent if the private sector offered more opportunities to women. Hiring and enhancing the capacity of female employees has been shown to be beneficial to the company by McKinsey and Deloitte, amongst others. And, as CARE has documented previously, companies can benefit not only by working with direct employees, but also by looking into their supply chains as well.
Tracking key gender indicators isn't just an academic exercise: it benefits the company itself to monitor performance internally and document the social and business impacts of gender equality in the workplace in support of the business case.
How the Women's Empowerment Principles can help
The Women's Economic Empowerment Principles are a UN tool to help companies improve their progress towards gender equality. The Principles lay out seven key points to help prioritise a range of actions companies can undertake, from establishing high level corporate leadership on gender equality to implementing enterprise development initiatives which benefit women.
CARE's new tool goes a step further by laying out detailed action planning and reporting guidelines. It is specifically targeted to the Indian legal context and offers best-practice examples of how the WEP is being implemented across different sectors. It also shows how implementing the WEP standards can support Global Reporting Initiative or UN Global Compact reporting.
The potential of women's untapped skills is vast. What remains to be seen is which countries, and companies, harness them first. Joining the WEP – and rigorously applying its standards – can help companies promote gender equality, and measure the gains from doing so.