Transparency and Reporting

Making & Measuring Progress

The following suggestions align with each of the seven Women’s Empowerment Principles and indicate approaches on how to make and measure progress. However, the most powerful assessment tools derive from an organization’s own culture and objectives, matched with a clear measurement framework. While we share common goals, the routes to get there will, by necessity, be diverse. Click on each of the principles below to see the examples.


Principle 1

Leadership Promotes Gender Equality

  • Define clearly company’s strategic case for advancing gender equality within the organization and in its field.

  • Establish a high-level task force to identify priority areas, establish benchmarks and monitor company progress.

  • Include company-wide goals for progress towards gender equality in job descriptions and performance reviews.

Things to consider…
  • Is the stated commitment to advancing equality and promoting nondiscrimination and fairness prominently featured on the company’s website, in company recruiting materials and corporate sustainability reports?

  • Is there a designated board-level individual who champions the organization’s gender equality policies and plans?

  • Are there trainings, including for male leaders, on the importance of women’s participation and inclusion?

  • Does the company’s annual report or sustainability report include leadership statements on reaching gender equality goals?


Principle 2

Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Nondiscrimination

  • Prominently publicize an explicit company statement that prohibits gender-based discrimination in hiring, retention policies, promotion, salaries and benefits.

  • Design recruitment initiatives that reach out to more women.

  • Review and analyze remuneration of all employees by gender, employee category and job title.

  • Ensure equal opportunities for women to lead on important assignments and task forces.

  • Survey employees to elicit the views of women and men towards company policies on equal opportunity, inclusion, nondiscrimination and retention.

  • Establish and implement a confidential grievance policy and procedure for incidents of discrimination, sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

Things to consider…
  • Is there a gender breakdown of the company’s board of directors and top management?

  • Does the company track and analyze promotions by gender, employee category and title?

  • Are fair pay reviews conducted on a regular basis?

  • Are sufficient numbers of women – 30 percent or greater – being recruited and interviewed?

  • Do interview panels have sufficient numbers of women participating?

  • What is the retention rate for female employees by employee category and job title compared to male employees?

  • Has the company designed flexible work options that incorporate the specific and different needs of women and men?

  • Are there accessible channels for filing grievances on gender-based discrimination, harassment and violence?


Principle 3

Health, Safety and Freedom from Violence

  • Prominently publicize the company's zero tolerance policy and provide ongoing training.

  • Undertake a gender-sensitive inventory of health and safety conditions.

  • Survey employees to elicit the views of women and men on health, safety and security issues.

  • Tailor company health and safety policies to serve the distinctive concerns and needs of women and men, including pregnant women, people with HIV /AIDs, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups and provide the resources to implement them.

Things to consider…
  • Is safety and other equipment the appropriate size for both women and men?

  • Are there separate toilets and, if necessary, changing facilities for both women and men?

  • Are company grounds adequately lit?

  • Are female health care professionals available in company-provided health services?


Principle 4

Education and Training

  • Train and educate employees, particularly male staff, on the company’s business case for women’s empowerment.

  • Offer career clinics and mentoring programmes for women’s career development at all stages.

  • Promote training programmes tailored for women.

Things to consider…
  • What is the distribution between women and men of training and professional development opportunities?

  • How many hours of training do women and men participate in annually, analyzed by job category and title?

  • Are the demands of employees’ family roles considered when scheduling trainings and education programmes?


Principle 5

Enterprise Development, Supply Chain and Marketing Practices

  • Prominently publicize an executive level policy statement on the organization’s support for gender equality practices in its supply chain.

  • Identify a ‘women’s enterprise champion’ within the organization to target women-owned enterprises and help develop their capacity to become quality suppliers.

  • Request information from current and potential suppliers on their gender and diversity policies and include these in criteria for business selection.

Things to consider…
  • Does the company perform analyses of its existing supply chain to establish the baseline number of suppliers that are women-owned enterprises?

  • How many of the company’s suppliers have gender equality policies and programmes?

  • What is the ratio of women-owned enterprises compared to other suppliers?

  • How does the company record complaints regarding its portrayal of women and girls in marketing and other public materials, and how does it act on these concerns?


Principle 6

Community Leadership and Engagement

  • Define company community engagement initiatives that empower women and girls.

  • Encourage company executives to undertake community consultations with local leaders –women and men—to establish strong ties and programmes that benefit all community members.

  • Craft a community impact analysis that marks the specific impacts on women and girls when establishing or expanding presence in a community.

Things to consider…
  • What initiatives are supported by the company to promote equality in the community and how many women and girls, men and boys do they reach?

  • Does the company survey participants through focus groups or written comments for feedback?

  • Does the company review its criteria and policies that determine community engagement activities against results and community feedback?

  • Are women’s contributions to their communities recognized and publicized?


Principle 7

Transparency, Measuring and Reporting

  • Report annually, by department, on company gender equality plans and policies, using established benchmarks.

  • Publicize findings on company efforts towards inclusion and advancing women through all appropriate channels and preexisting reporting obligations.

  • Include monitoring and evaluation of company gender equality goals into ongoing performance indicators.

Things to consider…
  • Does tracking along the benchmarks for advancing women demonstrate that the company is moving positively?

  • What opportunities exist throughout the company for review, analysis and discussion of performance?