UN Women Joins with Zhaopin to Promote Equal Employment
For immediate release
Beijing, China — UN Women and Zhaopin Limited, one of China’s leading career platforms, have jointly launched an annual award for companies committed to international standards of empowering female employees.
The China Best Employers for Female Employees Award is part of Zhaopin’s China Best Employers Awards. The award, initiated by Zhaopin in 2011, previously was given based on voting by female internet users. With UN Women as a partner, the award will now integrate the Women’s Empowerment Principles into the selection criteria. This set of globally recognized principles on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community was jointly developed by UN Women and the UN Global Compact.
The newly designed award was opened for nomination on 02 August; winners will be announced at Zhaopin’s annual awarding ceremony in December. The China Best Employers Awards are well-known for employers in China.
Julie Broussard, Country Programme Manager of UN Women China, said: “Private sector companies can play an important role in promoting gender equality. The partnership with Zhaopin on the China Best Employers for Female Employees will be another solid step to promote equal employment and women’s empowerment in China.”
To rate the nominees, UN Women will design a survey based on the Women’s Empowerment Principles. A professional panel of judges including UN Women, gender equality experts, private-sector specialists and others will choose the winners. Thus the selection will go beyond the impressions of female internet users and instead focus on whether the companies have actually created women-friendly workplaces and empowered female employees. By encouraging companies to reflect on their current policies, UN Women hopes to encourage the private sector to make changes that respond to the needs and concerns of women.
Gender diversity is not yet a strategic imperative for many Chinese companies. A clear pattern of income inequality has been found in Chinese Women’s Social Status surveys done by the All-China Women’s Federation and the National Bureau of Statistics of China. They found that in 2010, the income of women was only 67.3 per cent of men’s in the cities and 56 per cent of men’s in the rural areas, though the figures have fallen from 77.5 per cent and 79 per cent respectively in 1990. The management consulting firm McKinsey & Company found that in 2011, women accounted for more than 50 per cent of university graduates in China, but only 8 per cent of company board members and 1 per cent of CEOs. Yet studies by the management consulting firm Gallup and others have shown that gender equality in the workplace gives significant benefits to companies, including higher profits. Globally, more than 1,400 companies have committed to the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Communications Associate, UN Women China
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About UN Women
UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, the organization was established in 2010 to accelerate progress on women’s rights worldwide. UN Women’s efforts are based on the fundamental belief that every woman has the right to live a life free from violence, poverty, and discrimination, and that gender equality is a prerequisite to achieving global development.