An evidence-based advocacy brief calls on the private sector to adopt gender-responsive sourcing strategies and integrate women-owned, led and gender-responsive businesses into value chains as a way to advance economic objectives and the social value of companies in accordance with sustainable development. Goals.

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA) today announced the release of an advocacy brief titled “Strategic Value of Sourcing: Why Gender-Sensitive Sourcing Makes Business Sense” which presents compelling evidence of the benefits of enhancing women’s participation in private sector supply chains to achieve inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

This press release is multimedia. See the full version here:

Strategic Value of Procurement: Why Gender-Responsive Procurement Makes Business Sense a UN Women publication (photo credit: UN Women/David Snyder)

Developed by UN Women and funded by Mary Kay Inc. in support of WEA, the advocacy brief highlights the setback in progress towards achieving gender equality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the how rising levels of economic insecurity, supply chain disruptions, and unprecedented climatic and environmental shocks disproportionately impact women given their unequal position in society.

The publication echoes previous studies which show that economies have better opportunities to grow and are more resilient to crises if women and men have equal rights.1 However, enormous challenges remain. Women entrepreneurs continue to face many barriers, including lack of access to capital in domestic and international markets; fewer entrepreneurial networks than men; and policies that discourage women’s participation in the labor market.2 Globally, while one in three businesses is owned by women,3 women only earn around 1% of global corporate spending.4 Unequal gender laws also hinder women’s economic opportunities. For example, nearly 2.4 billion women of working age still do not enjoy the same economic rights as men.5 Despite these statistics, women entrepreneurs remain a solution to many challenges facing the world today and evidence shows that there is a direct correlation between an increase in female entrepreneurship and economic growth, sustainable development and more inclusive and resilient societies.6

The data presented in the advocacy note describes how the adoption of gender-responsive policies and practices (GRP) through procurement processes is a strategic lever to mitigate the impact of structural barriers that women face while improving businesses and strengthening economies. The advocacy brief warns that not adopting GRP is a wasted opportunity. The evidence is clear. Reducing gender inequality is good for business and smart economics.

“Gender-responsive procurement affects business profitability, risk mitigation, innovation and sustainability. When women entrepreneurs are left out of the procurement pipeline, companies risk leaving behind a considerable amount of talent, creativity and expertise on the table. GRP is a winning business strategy as well as a powerful catalyst for change,” mentioned Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer, Mary Kay, Inc., and Founder of WEA.

To inform the advocacy brief, UN Women engaged over 350 stakeholders in 2021, including more than 150 private sector companies were represented, and included 7 case studies on company buying journeys create an evidence base of why companies should adopt gender-responsive procurement. Stakeholder engagement took the form of interviews, a survey and a community of practice, which benefited from dissemination through a wide range of networks, including Pact members and networks United Nations Global Council (UNGC).

Companies reported that GRP leads to:

  • Increased revenue and reduced procurement expenses,

  • Greater supplier availability and resilience,

  • Strengthening brand awareness,

  • More innovation and adaptability,

  • Improved service delivery through greater agility, and

  • Strengthened markets through local economic development and inclusive growth.

As the Advocacy Brief notes, “Inclusive and sustainable development is paramount for businesses looking to both stabilize in a volatile economy and benefit from its future growth. who rely on them.”

Reflecting the increased attention given to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues by companies, the advocacy note notes how “the implementation of GRPs enables companies to practice and institutionalize ESG values ​​and contribute important way to women’s empowerment and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Through the adoption of GRP principles, companies can make progress towards several goals, including gender equality (SDG 5) and the reduction of inequalities (SDG 10) in addition to responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), poverty eradication (SDG 1) and decent work and economic growth (SDG 8).

“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is not something that can be done by women alone, or by business alone, or by government alone. The only way we can truly make progress is if everyone – including businesses – work together towards a common goal,” mentioned Anita BhatiaAssistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women.

Through the publication of this report, WEA calls on the private sector to adopt GRP strategies and integrate women into global value chains as a vehicle to advance the SDGs. This makes business sense while advancing women’s economic empowerment, which benefits economies and societies as a whole.

The advocacy file is available here.

About the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA) is a multi-stakeholder partnership on women’s entrepreneurship established at UNGA 74. It brings together six UN agencies, the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Trade Center (ITC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UN Development (UNDP), UN Global Compact (UNGC), UN Women and Mary Kay Inc. to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2030 .

The ultimate goal of the initiative is to maximize the developmental impact of women’s entrepreneurship in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by creating an enabling ecosystem for women entrepreneurs around the world. The accelerator illustrates the transformative power of multi-partnership on a unique scale to harness the potential of women entrepreneurs. Learn more about we-accelerate. Follow us: Twitter (We_Accelerator), Instagram (@we_accelerator), Facebook (@womensentrepreneurshipaccelerator), LinkedIn (@womensentrepreneurshipaccelerator)

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