We recognise that gender equality, women’s rights, education for women and girls worldwide, and women’s empowerment are critical to Creating Shared Value for our business and for society. We believe that different ways of thinking complement each other and lead to better decisions. In other words, gender balance simply makes business sense. It is therefore essential that we help to increase women’s participation in, and contribution to, the value chain in a sustainable way.
In an attempt to overcome some of the challenges women face, such as limited financial resources, knowledge gaps and access to credit and lending, we have developed several initiatives that promote training and professional development for women, in line with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
In 2013, we signed up to the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a set of seven steps that businesses can take to advance gender equality and empower women to participate fully in economic life in three key areas – workplace, marketplace and community – as outlined below.
However, we remain opposed to setting artificial quotas, preferring to put strategic steps in place to encourage a natural gender balance, promoting the best person for the role.