Senior Finance Director
Sodexo North America
During March we observe Women’s History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. Today, March 8th, marks a focal point during this commemorative month — International Women’s Day (IWD). IWD is a global day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Both occasions mark a moment-in-time to reflect on how far women have come in the workforce.
While women have made significant advances, there’s still work to be done. Consider this – the World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. This is too long a wait. In an effort to accelerate gender parity, the theme of this year’s IWD is #BeBoldForChange. It’s a call-to-action for women and men to help forge a more inclusive, gender equal workplace and world.
UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, in partnership with the UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact created the Women’s Empowerment Principles to offer practical guidance to business and the private sector on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. Since the launch of the Women’s Empowerment Principles in 2010, over 1,000 CEOs from around the world have signed the CEO Statement of Support, including Sodexo.
The Principles are:
- Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
- Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination
- 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
So as we celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, how you can leverage the principles to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community? Share your thoughts in the comments below.