Dow Signs Women’s Empowerment Principles to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace
Company continues its commitment to women’s advancement and equality worldwide, celebrates 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day with Renewed Women’s Innovation Network
Midland, Michigan - March 08, 2011
The Dow Chemical Company today announced its Chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris has signed the CEO statement of support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a partnership initiative of UN Women and UN Global Compact, – joining 167 companies and other organizations from around the world, in their mission to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Originated and disseminated by UN Women and the UN Global Compact, the Women’s Empowerment Principles offer businesses guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community and are designed to support companies in reviewing existing policies and practices – or establishing new ones – to realize women’s empowerment. Subtitled “Equality Means Business,” the principles emphasize the business case for corporate action to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and are informed by real-life business practices and input gathered from across the globe. They also reflect the interest of governments and civil society and serve to support interactions among stakeholders, as achieving gender equality requires the participation of all stakeholders at all levels.
“A recently released White House study detailing the social and economic well-being of women in America showed that women continue to be significantly underrepresented in the workplace – particularly in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company. “Ensuring the inclusion of women’s talents, skills and energies – from executive offices to the factory floor – requires intentional actions and deliberate policies, and Dow will continue its efforts to support women’s advancement and to show the business case for women’s empowerment and equality not only in the U.S., but around the world.”
The Women’s Empowerment Principles – introduced on International Women’s Day 2010 after a year long multi-stakeholder consultation – are adapted from the Calvert Women’s Principles®, which were originally developed in partnership with UNIFEM (now UN Women) and launched in 2004 as the first global corporate code of conduct focused exclusively on empowering, advancing and investing in women.
“The Principles represent a practical collaboration with the private sector,” said Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and the first executive director of UN Women. “They align with the growing business-case research that empowering women is a strategy for a healthier bottom line.”
Signing of these principles is the latest in a series of efforts by Dow to develop strategies and action plans to address issues affecting women. On the first day of Women’s History Month (March), and in coordination with Dow’s global sponsorship of the International Year of Chemistry, Dow hosted a virtual conference entitled “The Future We Create” – available to anyone and at no cost – where participants heard from female scientific thought leaders on the future of women in chemistry and other sciences, business and women’s studies.
Two days later, the Company announced the establishment of the MIT- Dow Outreach Fund designed to develop and support the science and engineering careers of underrepresented minorities and women. The five-year commitment from Dow will result in the development of resources aimed at inspiring interest in the physical sciences, particularly chemistry, among high school students – particularly females and minorities – and teachers worldwide.
Earlier this year, Dow partnered with the Global Business Coalition (GBC) and the U.S. State Department, as well as other leading corporations, to launch a two-year strategic initiative called “Healthy Women, Healthy Economies” – a unique forum for business that will shape over the next two years a powerful agenda for corporate investment in women and girls.
The Company’s Women’s Innovation Network (WIN) – Dow’s internal network which serves to maximize the contributions of Dow women to the Company's success by helping women define and realize their own personal visions of achievement – recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. WIN is Dow’s first and largest employee resource group and currently comprises more than 70 chapters in countries on four continents. In conjunction with the signing of the Principles, WIN has released a renewed women’s advancement strategy designed to support women fulfill their career aspirations, and contribute their unique viewpoints and perspectives to driving Dow’s growth and innovation strategy forward.
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