'Gender Equality for Sustainable Business'

SAI & UN Women's Gender Equity Seal (GES) highlighted for International Women's Day

March 2012

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"Amidst all the challenges and opportunities in our world today, one fact is unassailable: countries and companies with higher gender equality enjoy higher levels of growth and performance"

- Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women


On 6 March, SAI attended the 4th Annual Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) meeting, focused on Gender Equality for Sustainable Business - particularly in the context of the upcoming Rio+20, UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

The topic of gender equality is timely and important, as SAI and UN Women are in the process of developing the GES, a new certification standard. SAI highlighted the GES at one of the five major sessions titled "Demystifying the Metrics: Overcoming Obstacles to Increase Transparency." SAI explained the potential of GES for measuring the degree of gender equality and GES' place as part of a "belt of tools" that could be used by a company.

The GES complements other initiatives, such as the WEPs Reporting Guidance (modeled on the GRI framework), which was also launched at the event. The GES also supports the WEPs by establishing performance requirements that enable tracking the degree of inclusion of women in a company's supply chain. It is designed to be verified as part of a company's existing social standards audit, and includes a management system requirement that will help companies to develop and implement systems to improve gender equity. 

The event was hosted by the UN Development Fund for Women and the UN Global Compact. View the webcast from this event @bit.ly/GKPzcB. For inquiries, please contact SAI Research Associate Caroline Lewis (CLewis@sa-intl.org).

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