WEPs Awards Regional Winners
We are excited to announce the winners of the first-ever UN Women 2020 Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards!
Big congratulations to all the winners who have committed themselves to advancing gender equality and women's economic empowerment. These gender champions from different countries, sectors, and fields are acknowledged respectively for their outstanding Leadership Commitment, Youth Leadership, Gender-inclusive Workplace, Gender-responsive Marketplace, Community and Industry Engagement, and COVID-19 Action.
Watch the National Winners' Highlights
To learn more, visit the UN Women 2020 Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards website: https://www.asiapacificwepsawards.org
Ms. Durreen Shahnaz
Leadership Action & Commitment: Professor Durreen Shahnaz, Founder & CEO, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX)
A global leader of social impact and impact investing, in 2009 Professor Durreen Shanaz founded IIX, the world’s first public trading platform for social enterprises that integrates gender into the core of the investment process. Among her many notable achievements leading IIX is the creation of the Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB), the world’s first impact investing instrument focused on women to be listed on a stock exchange. Now in it’s third iteration, WLB3 is focused on building COVID-resilience for underserved women, featuring a portfolio of women-focused enterprises to scale their impact.
Ms. Katrina Rausa Chan
Youth Leadership: Ms. Katrina Rausa Chan, Executive Director, QBO Innovation Hub
Katrina Rausa Chan is the Executive Director of QBO Innovation Hub in the Philippines. She set up a program called StartUp Pinay to reach out and support more women in leading, innovating and creating a better future. This effort has led to almost doubling their female signups and tenfold increase in resources devoted to female founders. She hopes to continue influencing and elevating the presence of women in the ecosystem of technopreneurs - making it healthier and competitive space to prosperity.
One of IKEA India's key commitments is to build and grow a gender-balanced organization – 50/50 at all levels and in all functions. Currently, women represent 44% workforce with 40% in managerial roles at IKEA. The company has worked towards gender equality across all levels in their organisations. Since 2014, IKEA has worked with a multidimensional approach to have an equal platform for recruitment, addressing women’s health, emotional and financial wellness to internal development, and culminating in commitment to have equal pay.
Unilever Thailand received top marks for the progressive “Hair Talk” advertisement and campaign, which was led by Unilever’s Sunsilk hair care brand. The advertisement raised awareness of the barriers and discrimination that trans women face every day in Thailand. Reaching 65 million views online, “Hair Talk” also sparked nation-wide discussions about challenging gender norms and even encouraged some of their peer brands to increase representation of transgender people in their content.
COCA-COLA FAR EAST LIMITED
Community and Industry Engagement
With Coca Cola's program 5by20, a global commitment to enable economic empowerment of 5 million women across the company’s value chain by 2020 – Coca-Cola Philippines has enabled more than 200,000 women entrepreneurs and micro-retailers since 2011 through provision of entrepreneurship and financial literacy trainings as well as access to additional capital. This allowed women microentrepreneurs to have additional cash to support and expand their business operations. This year, the company launched an online version of this programme which aims to help not only women from the communities but also returning migrant workers.
Pakistani microfinance institution the Kashf Foundation wins for their initiative “Don’t Let Corona Impact Your Business,” an economic rehabilitation program launched in response to the pandemic that works to ensure women micro entrepreneurs have access to the necessary financial and non-financial products and services to help them rebuild their businesses. Kashf Foundation carried out three in-depth research surveys to assess the needs of women microentrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 and had more than 100 women have received specialized business continuity training as of September 2020.
Leadership Commitment: Lucky Chhetri, Chief Executive Director 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking
In 1998, Lucky and her two sisters founded 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking, the first women-owned trekking company and still the only trekking agency which specializes in offering trained female guides and assistant guides. Lucky is also the founder of Empowering Women of Nepal (WEN), a non-profit the works collaboratively with 3 Sisters to provides practical, skills-based training programs combined with gainful employment opportunities for women from poor, isolated mountainous regions in Nepal. With a strong track record of working in partnership and collaboration with peers, industry networks, and key stakeholders, Lucky Chhetri challenges stereotypes of poverty, ignorance, and isolation and empowers rural women by harnessing the growing demand for female mountaineers and adventure tourism professionals.
Youth Leadership: Vania Santoso, Co-Founder, heySTARTIC, Artistic Eco Fashio
Vania was only 12 years when she first started her environmental project that she named heySTARTIC. heySTARTIC then grew to become an innovation-for-upcycling specialist that promotes sustainable fashion and circular economy. It empowers local communities, especially women with low incomes, to hone skills on waste management, handcrafting, public speaking and entrepreneurship. As a young woman entrepreneur, Vania has utilized heySTARTIC to combat stereotypes of women's roles in the community, demonstrating that women, too, can be skilled entrepreneurs and even become family breadwinners through their upcycling innovations. Vania is also a motivation speaker and has been invited to various forums on entrepreneurship, where she continues to motivate and share her experience with fellow young women entrepreneurs.
Deloitte wins for their global ‘ALL IN’ initiative to accelerate gender and inclusion. Seeking to systematically address low numbers of women progressing into leadership roles, the company took steps to rule out bias in evaluation promotion readiness and regularly feature female role models in their communications to highlight the viability of a leadership career pathway. They also have mentoring programmes available where aspiring women leaders are partnered with senior women partners. To build leadership readiness, the firm has ‘Next Gen Leader: Women’s Leading Edge,’ a 12- month mentoring programme for new talent, and the ‘Emerging Leaders Development Programme’ where future women partners are identified and groomed for success. Deloitte has also translated the global initiative to the local Malaysian context, taking targeted steps to empower female professionals in the traditionally male dominated tax field.
Sodexo Services India wins the award for their Women Entrepreneur policy, which was rolled out in 2017 with the commitment of increasing the number of women suppliers and increasing the value of women-owned businesses in the wider supplier ecosystem. One of the ways the company did this was by creating awareness among their existing suppliers in order to increase the number of women entrepreneurs contracted by them. Also, realising that many of these enterprises did not meet their internal health and safety standards, Sodexo Services India trained them on their internal requirements. As a result, Sodexo increased their purchasing from women entrepreneurs by 200 per cent.
Community and Industry Engagement
NatWest wins for their support to the RBS Foundation India’s Supporting Enterprise program, which works extensively for the upliftment of women and their families in rural areas. The program has supported over 2,321 women’s self-help groups (SHGs) that are serving across 938 villages and supported over 20,000 women-led enterprises, which has improved the lives of rural women across 8 states of India. Through the self-help groups, rural women have successfully led various village level enterprises such as dairy business, agri-business, spices and honey production and micro-finance for their financial and social inclusion.
7.ai’s ‘IN it to WIN it’ initiative comprises numerous activities to engage with and help employees during the pandemic, especially targeting female employees to adjust to and succeed in working from home. These measures include: ‘Special Offs’ to protect people from being laid off during the lockdown, part and flexi time work options for women in caring positions, a health team consisting of female members, a COVID-19 protection insurance policy, and a helpdesk of female members for employees to make enquiries about their and their families’ well-being.
Leadership Commitment: Anil Kariwala, Founder and CEO of Kariwala Industries
Kariwala set up all-women manufacturing unit in West Bengal, providing skill training to more than 5,000 women over the last 30 years. The company also provides interest-free bicycle and two-wheeler loans for promoting women's economic empowerment, safety and independence. His efforts have enabled women to be financially independent and has given immense confidence into women in villages and small districts to be equals in their homes.
Youth Leadership: Divya Rathod, Founder, SilveryNanos Innovations LLP
Divya is the initiator of NARI ‘Saaf Toilet Ki Sawari,’ an initiative for women's hygiene in public toilets started in March 2020 with the product HAPITO. HAPITO is a disinfectant which, sprayed only once, disinfects toilets for one month, both impacting the environment by consuming less water and preventing urinary tract infection among women. An order has been given by Indian Railways for use in toilets in each railway station and also in trains where public toilets are built, covering 20 stations and over 200 toilets. SilveryNanos also has plans to establish similar partnerships with airports in India.
Country: VIET NAM
Unilever Viet Nam adopted gender-inclusive workplace, including equal recruitment, flexible work arrangements, actions to guarantee the safety and well-being of female and male employees, and promotion of women’s career development and leadership. The company designs an unbiased recruitment process and proactively balances the ratio of men and women in departments and develops a gender-equitable social security policy and working conditions such as gender-inclusive restrooms, arranging lactation rooms for women, Young Mothers’ Association, flexible working environment including work from home, and paternity leave. Unilever Viet Nam also breaks the glass ceiling for women at all management levels across departments. The company has Chairwoman, 2 female Vice Presidents, female Channel & Category Development Director, female Supply Chain Planning Director, and more.
GREAT is an acronym for “Gender Responsive Economic Action for the Transformation” of women. GREAT Women’s Brand Platform merges capacity development and enterprise collaboration for inclusive business to help women entrepreneurs from local, especially indigenous, communities bring their products to markets. With the focus on optimizing the use of their brand, GREAT Women hopes to harness technology to integrate marketplace that can purchase from women-owned businesses and support quality standards as a supply chain integrator.
Community and Industry Engagement
Through the #PerempuanAmanBersamaGojek (#WomenAreSafeWithGojek) initiative, GOJEK demonstrates transformational action towards ensuring safe mobility and access to public spaces for women. GOJEK identified a lack of safe spaces for women in public spaces in Jakarta as a key issue inhibiting women’s equal access to economic opportunities, education, and services. Based on evidence, the company developed a comprehensive campaign to fight it – with visuals, technology tools, outreach, training of their staff, physical responses, and business products adapted to women's clientele. The company also has measurement metrics to report on progress. This creative, comprehensive response also actively encourages industry partners to invest and act on a major gender equality issue in Indonesia and across the region.
AGREA Agricultural Systems Internationa
AGREA wins this award for their FORWARD program (Finding Opportunities and Roles of Women in Agriculture and Rural Development) which focuses on food security, sustainable livelihood and education and aims to place women at the center of moving agriculture forward post-COVID-19. Partnering with farmers and other stakeholders, the team was able to move 183,706 Kilograms of fresh vegetables and fruits, supporting 20,902 Filipino farmers, and ensuring food for 73,427 Filipino families. AGREA also partnered with NGOs, peer companies, and foundations to provide healthy food for 3,500 women in correctional facilities, deliver food that feed 2,500 frontline workers (the majority of whom are women), and provide 400 vegetable grow kits to women and mothers in at-risk communities.