New resource: SheWorks: Putting Gender-Smart Commitments into Practice at the Workplace

The report—SheWorks: Putting Gender-Smart Commitments into Practice—highlights private sector approaches and learning in recruiting, retaining, and promoting women. It draws on global business case data, practical guidance, best practices, and lessons learned shared by SheWorks members and strategic partners to show how companies across regions and sectors can further invest in their female talent to strengthen the bottom line.

Chapter 4 'Supporting Women in the Value Chain as Employees and Entrepreneurs' makes the case for gender diversity in value chains, present best practices and the following lessons learnt:

Including more women in the value chain as employees and entrepreneurs can be challenging in the absence of gender-disaggregated baseline data and a commitment to diversity throughout the company. Best practices from different regions and industries show that creating and sustaining gender-diverse value chains should be at the core of companies’ strategic business development goals and not just a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. SheWorks members recommend taking small steps and starting initiatives in one region or location and then expanding efforts to include other business locations. Here are a few lessons that SheWorks members have learned as they strived to make their value chains more gender diverse:

  • PROMOTE companies’ workplace gender equality efforts in the value chain as part of a long-term risk management strategy and socioeconomic investment in people, communities, and sustainable business.
  • CONSIDER training and employing more women in procurement and value chain management functions so that they can help foster greater gender diversity in value chains and make procurement processes more gender inclusive.
  • DISTINGUISH your company and your suppliers from other market players, and attract investors and buyers by attaining a global, firm-level gender equality certification.
  • ESTABLISH a baseline of how many suppliers are women-owned or -led businesses to more effectively monitor the progress of value chain diversity efforts.
  • ACTIVELY SUPPORT women-owned businesses along the value chain to expand their market access and diversify their customer base, because a diverse, profitable value chain is critical to business growth and profitability.
  • PARTNER with banks and financial institutions to provide credit lines and other financial and nonfinancial services tailored to the needs of women entrepreneurs.
  • PROMOTE technical trainings and business skills so women can effectively and efficiently invest their capital, reap returns, and pay off their loans.

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