12 CEOs sign the Women’s Empowerment Principles in the presence of Serbia’s President

Date: Monday, April 23, 2012

Twelve CEOs from major companies have signed the CEO Statement of Support for the Women's Empowerment Principles, at an event organized by UN Women and the UN Global Compact in Serbia on 7 March.

The event was attended by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Boris Tadic, who voiced his support for the Principles.

By signing the statement, the CEOs have committed the companies to transforming their corporate behavior and practices, and making gender equality and women's empowerment core business objectives.

The private sector champions were identified by UN Women through a series of consultations. They are: Avon, Actavis, Banca Intesa, B92 Media, Carlsberg, Coca Cola Hellenic Group Serbia, Deloitte, Erste Bank, IBM, Serbia Post, Transnafta and VIP Mobile. Many had already begun to implement a range of programmes to empower women, such as those to develop and track the leadership potential of female employees.

The Principles offer companies tools to motivate and guide them as they work to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community, through policy and action. They approach such actions as integral and necessary parts of corporate sustainability.

Good practices include the systematic use of gender sensitive language, measures to support maternal health and reintegrate women returning from maternity leave, the rolling out of flexible working arrangements, and the recognition of the specific status of working parents.

Additional recommended actions focus on implementing enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women, and promoting gender equality through community initiatives and advocacy. Women suppliers, partners and the communities in which these companies are located, are seen as an integral part of their operations.

Good practice holds that money and effort therefore be invested in actions that address the priorities of women in their communities, whether advocacy actions to abolish taxes on baby food, or the setting up of women's safe houses.