Women’s empowerment: event discusses the role of entrepreneurship in promoting equality
Administration
11 August 2017

Women’s empowerment: event discusses the role of entrepreneurship in promoting equality

The event will discuss the barriers and challenges that prevent enterprises spearheaded by women from accessing to truly joining local and global value chains.

For many women, entrepreneurship offers a path to economic empowerment, and it is up to the global community – including companies – to help lay out the groundwork leading up to this goal. To discuss this important topic, FGV’s Sao Paulo School of Business Administration (EAESP), in partnership with UN Women, will host the ‘UN Women Forum – The Power of Supplies: how to buy from businesses led by women,’ on August 18, starting at 9 a.m.

The event will discuss the barriers and challenges that prevent enterprises spearheaded by women from accessing to truly joining local and global value chains, in addition to supporting the signatory companies of the Women’s Empowerment Principles.

According to the document, issued jointly by UN Women and the UN Global Compact, organizations should take steps aimed at implementing business development and supply chain and marketing practices that empower women, in addition to providing the tools and techniques needed to mitigate or eliminate barriers and challenges, while leveraging the vast untapped economic potential that female suppliers represent. In addition, organization must also outline the essential components for a comprehensive plan of gender-sensitive purchases.

The topic of women’s empowerment has come under the spotlight and companies have taken the lead in this sense by fostering good conditions to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in their workplaces, throughout communities, and by purchasing practices and policies. The sheer size and volume of corporate purchases around the world indicate that corporations have the potential to significantly influence how suppliers and supply chains operate.

Every year, organizations spend trillions of dollars on product and service purchases, but purchases made from enterprises led by women amount to only 1% of the total spent. By failing to pay attention to companies led by women, many corporations are neglecting the opportunity to expand their global markets, diversify their supply networks, and strengthen the economy, while improving the lives of women and girls around the world.

According to UN Women, gender inequality is currently a part of entrepreneurial activities in all regions, largely due to an unequal market for men and women, among other obstacles. In addition, women have not achieved equality with men in areas such as education, wages, political empowerment, and economic participation in both developed and emerging economies.

Like most businesses, those that belong to and are run by women are mostly micro or small enterprises. Unlike their male counterparts, however, women who lead company must face a unique and unequal set of challenges, in addition to challenges that affect small businesses in a broader scope. These challenges discourage some women to go public and keep others from growing. In other words, these challenges directly contribute to gender inequality. In this sense, promoting women’s entrepreneurship through corporate purchases is a way to eliminate or at least reduce gender inequality. At the same time, a greater participation of companies led by women in corporate supply chains will also yield tangible benefits to corporations.

Go to the website to learn more and register.