The first results of the Women’s Empowerment Principles piloting initiative in Moldovan private sector were presented

On December 4, a conference on "Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) - Equality means Business" was held, where the first results of the Women Empowerment Principles piloting initiative within the private sector of Moldova were presented.

Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Conference on "Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) - Equality means Business". Credit: UN Women Moldova

This pilot initiative is created in order to support private sector companies from different fields of the national economy in implementing the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). In order to achieve the proposed goals, a self-assessment tool was developed with the purpose to help companies identify their strengths, gaps, but also opportunities in implementing the principles of women’s empowerment.

In his welcome message, Adam Amberg, Head of Development Cooperation of the Swedish Embassy, mentioned: ”We cannot talk about substantive gender equality without economic empowerment. Let us consider these Women Empowerment Principles as a functional tool that once integrated and respected in a company will certainly change its internal culture, the dedication and satisfaction of the employees. Such principles can only improve business and therefore its profit.”

“We have also participated in the beginning of the discussions on the Women’s Empowerment Principles and the principles of corporate-social responsibility. Three years ago, in 2016, we started together with the UN Women team and within the National Platform for Women of Moldova to promote these principles, to discuss with companies and then were identified more than 200 companies that subscribed under these principles."- said Iulia Costin, General Director of the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises Sector Development (ODIMM).

"These Women's Empowerment Principles are created to eliminate the discrepancies and inequalities that arise between men and women employees. After listening about the experiences of local and international companies, I am sure you will want and will be able to do this in your companies as well." stated Lucretia Ciurea, Specialist in Monitoring and Evaluation, UN Women Moldova.

The event was also supported by representatives of the private sector who shared the good practices of implementing WEPs in their companies. Olga Surugiu, head of the International Operations department at Orange Systems, mentioned about the experience of the company she represents: "In the case of our company, recruitment advertising is not targeted specifically to women or men, we are looking for colleagues who will be willing to work in a professional way, regardless of gender. Our company is extremely focused on gender equality. The last year, we had a fantastic balance among our employees - 50 percent of women. This year we are in a small imbalance - 47 percent of women and 53 percent of men because the field of informational technologies has grown, and in this field activates fewer women, but on the level of top management, four out of ten current directors are women."

During the event, experts from the Business Consulting Institute presented the results of the pilot initiative of Women's Empowerment Principles in the private sector of Moldova. According to the results, out of the 7 WEPs, the most respected within the companies participating in the initiative is the 3rd Principle - ensuring the health, safety and well-being of all employed women and men (44%), and the 7th Principle - measuring and publicly reporting the progress made in achieving gender equality - is the least practiced in companies (7%). Experts say that the Women's Empowerment Principles are part of the social-corporate responsibility and can beneficially influence the development of the private sector.

The international experience and the best practices in the implementation of all the Women's Empowerment Principles, were presented at the event by Nino Janashia, international expert in the field of gender equality and human rights.

At the end of the event, private sector representatives signed the protocol on the commitment to implement the Women's Empowerment Principles. The document was signed by 10 organizations.

Commitment to Women's Empowerment Principles. Credit: UN Women Moldova

The event was organized by the Business Consulting Institute (BCI), The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and funded by Sweden.