There is growing evidence that women’s empowerment and gender equality has a multiplier effect on families, communities, businesses and sustainable economies


As the engine for jobs, innovation and investment, business has a critical role to play in advancing gender equality and empowering women to reach their full potential and has proven crucial to innovation, productivity and market growth.


To guide business on empowering women and advancing gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community, the UN Global Compact and UN Women developed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), launched in 2010. The Seven Principles offer a holistic framework based on real-life practices for business to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Beyond positive impacts for a company’s direct operations, implementing the WEPs contributes to a range of targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To date, over 1,800 CEOs from around the world have signed the CEO Statement of Support and have committed to continuous leadership and improvement on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

With the achievement of a critical mass of WEPs signatories, it became crucial to provide further guidance on what WEPs implementation looks like in practice. Rooted in good practices from around the world and real-life experience, the Women’s Empowerment Principles Gap Analysis Tool (WEPs Tool) was developed to provide businesses with a free, user-friendly and confidential self-assessment of their performance on women’s empowerment and gender equality. It was launched in March 2017 after consultations with over 190 companies and provides insights and data on the extent to which businesses are integrating gender into their policies, programs, metrics and reporting.

While many companies have one-off policies and programmes to advance gender equality within their organizations, very few companies are taking advantage of the full range of ways they can have positive impacts on women and girls.

As a free, user-friendly and confidential online platform, the WEPs Tool addresses this by supporting companies in adopting a holistic approach to gender equality and implementing the WEPs. Results are provided in a concise, clear format with links to related resources, allowing companies to easily identify areas where increased efforts can contribute to better conditions
for women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

As business leaders scale-up efforts around women’s empowerment to improve organizational performance and increase marketplace opportunities, the WEPs Tool provides a practical resource that companies can leverage to:

▪ Assess their strategic approach to gender equality

▪ Identify gaps and opportunities for continuous improvement

▪ Learn about best practices on gender equality globally

▪ Set concrete goals and targets and measure progress over time

▪ Benchmark against peers and industry standards

▪ Leverage global gender equality resources to guide future actions

▪ Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by investing in women and girls

Though the WEPs Tool provides information on how business is addressing women’s empowerment and gender equality at an aggregate level, confidentiality of individual company information is a priority. The data entered into the self- assessment is strictly confidential, and the results cannot be linked back to an individual company or publicly divulged. Data, such as that presented in this report, are solely used in aggregate form to better understand gender equality trends and areas needing further support and resources.


Report: WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT PRINCIPLES Global Trends Report 2018