CTG were thrilled to have collaborated with the United Nations Global Compact UK in their recent paper, on a cause that is close to our company’s heart: Women, Peace and Security: Guidance for Business.
The UNGC is the world’s largest sustainability initiative, driven by the goal to encourage companies to align their strategies and operations with the universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. CTG has been a participant of the UNGC since 2014, producing an annual communication on progress against the UNGC Ten Principles as part of this commitment.
2020 marked the 20th Anniversary since the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which launched the start of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. In honour of this milestone, the UNGC produced a paper exploring the links between the Agenda and the private sector’s role contributing to it. This guide builds on existing frameworks such as the UNGC Ten Principles, the Women’s Empowerment Principles and the UN Guiding principles on Human Rights to demonstrate how the private sector can become a valuable ally in mobilising action towards the Agenda.
Covering 4 key areas, the report offers tangible examples that can be adopted by different organisations worldwide. Here are some key takeaways:
1. Driving Action through Core Business Activities
CTG was recognised in the report for driving action towards the WPS Agenda through its core business activities. CTG’s commitment to improving women’s access to decent work opportunities in fragile and conflict-affected countries is brought to life by our Female First initiative. This gender parity recruitment programme is designed to address each stage of our recruitment process to ensure that female candidates are given fair opportunities for roles in the aid and development sectors. Our goal is that by 2030, 30% of our consultant roles delivering aid and development programmes will be represented by women.
Since its launch, Female First has grown to incorporate several additional dimensions: creating internship opportunities through our Women in Aid Internship Programme, offering job-readiness workshops to help ease women’s entry into the labour market, and advocating for adherence to the Women’s Empowerment Principles in the workplace, marketplace and community.
For more information on our progress, please visit our Gender Equality In Progress Report here.
2. Enhancing Business Value with Strategic Social Good
Social investments are resources used to facilitate positive change. They involve companies committing financial capital or in-kind support to UN Agencies or humanitarian organisations working within their area of interest.
Charlotte Tilbury, a UK make up brand, adopted this approach when the company pledged support for Women for Women International. This non-profit organisation provides female survivors of war and conflict with resources to be able to remove themselves from situations of conflict, violence and poverty.
In 2016 and 2019, Charlotte Tilbury donated £1 million to Women for Women in support off their programmes in Rwanda, Iraq and Nigeria. The aims behind this donation was not only to raise funds and awareness around the Agenda, but also to support women in enrolling in Charlotte Tilbury’s year-long training programme to become entrepreneurs.
Similar strategic investments can be made by organisations willing and able to offer such donations. However, companies must ensure comprehensive due diligence has been conducted on the recipient organisation to ensure the funds are being utilised in the appropriate manner.
3. Accelerating Action Together
In alignment with SDG 17 for Partnerships, a great way businesses can extend their contributions to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda is through partnerships and collective action.
In 2008 the World Bank launched the Adolescent Girls Initiative, driven by a public-private partnership with Nike Foundation as the primary corporate partner. The aim of this partnership was to increase economic opportunities to girls in post-conflict and developing countries by identifying employment needs and providing relevant skills training. By matching their skills training to high-growth in demand sectors, such as agriculture, entrepreneurship and emerging industries, this partnership was able to bring drastic economic and social change to the families of the girls that participated.
4. Small Steps are Better than No Steps
All businesses of any nature can make their own contributions to gender equality and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. While bold actions are preferable, organisations can begin their journey by considering what small actions fall within the parameters of their current financial and resource capabilities.
This could first involve assessing your organisation’s sustainable business practices in relation to human rights and gender equality, taking steps to implement best practice to ensure your organisation is not promoting practices that could be damaging the agenda. Committing to platforms such as the United Nations Global Compact and the Women’s Empowerment Principles offer a strong first step in taking action.
Beyond that, an organisation could host events, make in-kind donations, launch knowledge-based partnerships to share vital information to support the cause, or pledge to raise awareness throughout your sector and beyond. The opportunities are endless.
To read the Women, Peace and Security: Guidance for Business press here.
If your organisation is interested in learning more about what steps you could take to contribute to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, feel free to reach out to Mia at firstname.lastname@example.org.