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UN Global Compact on the Empowerment of Women Event with Deloitte and Hansell LLP

To honour the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), Deloitte & Hansell LLP invited the UN Global Compact, and the Global Compact Network Canada to talk about the WEPs and the GCNC. The event was held at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Empowerment of Women

The event started with introductory words from Lauren Gula, Senior Manager of Sustainability & Women’s Empowerment at the United Nations Global Compact, and Helle Bank Jorgensen, President of the Global Compact Network Canada.

Lauren and Helle introduced the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which constitute seven principles that promote gender equality.

The 7 Principles of Women’s Empowerment

Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination
Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women
Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality

Lauren stressed the importance for WEPs by giving three real life examples of what is happening in the current work place. The first case outlines a scenario where a potential client blurs the professional line at a social event, leaving a young woman wondering what is exactly expected of her. The second and third cases are all too familiar among young families – a soon-to-be father who feels that he can’t take the paternity leave that he’s entitled to because no one before him did so; or a soon-to-be mother who is encouraged to take a less client-facing track so that she can better balance work and life responsibilities. Empowerment of Women

These real life scenarios are epitomes of the need for action; there is a lot of work to be done and companies can take the first step by incorporating the WEPs. Lauren concluded by stating that “Research shows, if businesses want to achieve efficiency, women involvement is needed especially in the top level management!” Empowerment of Women

Helle provided the audience with insights on the Global Compact Network Canada, and the organization’s plans to assist companies with WEPs integration. Empowerment of Women

Frank Vettese, the Managing Partner of Deloitte Canada, who is also the first to be awarded the WEPs CEO Cultural Change for Empowerment Award stated the collective effort at Deloitte, which has led the organizaiton to beome a leader in gender equality. Frank highlighted some key initiatives undertaken by Deloitte Canada to drive change and the company’s continuous plan to combat gender inequality in the future. Empowerment of Women

The day ended with Carol Hansen, Founder and Senior Partner at Hansell LLP, introducing Mimi Quillin, NYC Broadway physical theatre performer, who presented an astonishing performance – Lunch with Bob Fosse. The performance dealt with the topic of women empowerment and how the main protagonist, Mimi found her way to Broadway. Empowerment of Women

As a final note – while the WEPs initiative is a global community of practice, the Principles also provide a framework for businesses at the national level to exchange good practices and work collectively to raise the bar for gender equality. To see how your company or organization can get involved, please see the Global Compact Network Canada’s programs and initiatives.

19 November 2019

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