Business leaders in Beijing discuss gender equality and corporate social responsibility

Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2019

[Joint press release]

CSR 2019 Partners

English | 中文

Beijing, China — Organised by UN Women China, in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to China and the Embassy of Sweden in China, the 2019 International Conference on Gender Equality and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concluded in Beijing today, noting progress made and actions required to address gender barriers in the private sector.

Photo: UN Women
Photo: UN Women"

Highlighting the critical role of CSR programmes in advancing equality in our workplaces and societies, delegates explored core challenges and opportunities of gender mainstreaming in companies as well as innovative approaches to promote women’s leadership, decent work and digital inclusion.

Attended by over 250 private sector leaders, social entrepreneurs, civil society representatives along with EU and UN officials, the conference took place ahead of the Asia-Pacific Regional Review of the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25 Review), to be held at the UN Conference Centre, Bangkok from 27-29 November 2019.

Despite recent progress in advancing gender equality globally, the World Economic Forum estimates that the economic opportunity gender gap remains the dimension that will require the longest time to close completely — in 202 years. Research from McKinsey Global Institute also shows that failure to achieve gender equality could cost China up to USD 2.6 trillion by 2025. While the enormous opportunities presented by China’s rapid economic growth are clear, some women in the country still face various challenges and discrimination in the workplace, marketplace and the community.

At the opening, Smriti Aryal, Head of UN Women China office called on all participants to take stock of progress on gender equality and renew their commitment to a fair, safe and equitable workplace where all women can succeed. She mentioned, “UN Women supports a stronger commitment for partnership and cooperation from the private sector to make a tangible inter-generational impact for improving the lives of women and girls”.

Ms. H.E. Helena Sångeland, Ambassador of Sweden to China, emphasized that Sweden’s overarching principle for gender equality is that everyone, regardless of gender, has the right to work and support themselves, to balance career and family life, and to live without the fear of abuse or violence. She underlined that the business case of gender equality is very compelling, not only to business as such, but also for the whole society, and said, “there is a great untapped potential to harness corporate resources for gender equality, and social sustainability in general.”

Mr. Tim Harrington, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to China, reminded the audience about the European Union’s longstanding commitment towards gender equality as well as Corporate Social Responsibility promotion. This commitment is reflected, for example, by the progress made in the appointment of women as middle and senior managers in the European Commission as well as by the European Commission's trade policy's "commitment to identify opportunities for responsible supply chain partnerships", as stated by Mr. Harrington.

Ms. Zhao Hongju, Vice Director-General of the Liaison Department, All-China Women’s Federation, mentioned: “Chinese women’s cause is facing unprecedented historical opportunities, and the vast number of Chinese women will certainly be able to make great contributions in this great process”.

The conference was also the occasion for the EU and UN Women to kick off the WeEmpowerAsia programme in China. The regional programme aims to increase the number of women who lead, participate in and have to access business opportunities and leadership in the private sector to advance inclusive and sustainable growth in Asia, while contributing to more gender-equal trade opportunities between Asia and Europe.

For private sector companies, a first step to realising the commitment to responsible business conduct can be done through the signature of the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of guidelines on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. Reiterating the commitment to these principles, Ms. Guan Yue, HeForShe Advocate and CEO of Tongyue Mingxin Cultural Media Co. Ltd. shared her WEPs journey as a representative of the WEPs signatories at the conference. To date, 41 companies in China have pledged action to advance the WEPs, and more than 2,700 companies have done so globally. An international network of like-minded companies, the WEPs platform connects businesses of all sizes across multiple industries, ranging from multinational corporations such as Alcatel-Lucent, IKEA, Microsoft and Unilever, to enterprises at the local level such as Zhilian Zhaopin, among many others—as signatories.

Editor’s note

About the co-organisers:

UN Women

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. Working in China since 1998, UN Women provides technical and financial assistance to innovative programmes and strategies for gender equality and women's empowerment. UN Women’s China Office in Beijing supports and carries out work on (i) enhancing women's economic empowerment; (ii) providing support for advancing normative agenda on gender equality and women’s empowerment, particularly to address gender based violence and discrimination; and (iii) ) innovative partnerships to address gender issues in China and bring good practices from China to other countries globally. In addition to the above, UN Women also actively participates and contributes to various UN inter-agency processes and collaborates with UN organizations around specific programme areas.

Delegation of the European Union to China

The European Union is represented in China by the Delegation in Beijing. The Delegation was established in Beijing in October 1988.

The Delegation has full diplomatic privileges and immunities with the Head of Delegation accorded full ambassadorial status. The Delegation is responsible for the conduct of official relations between China and the European Union. In all matters pertaining to the European Union, the Delegation works closely with the diplomatic missions of the EU Member States. The Delegation is a natural point of contact between the EU and the Chinese authorities as well as others in China.

The Embassy of Sweden in China

Sweden and China share a long history of cooperation. Sino-Swedish exchange is growing and incorporates a broad range of issues such as an open and constructive political dialogue on international issues and human rights.

Trade promotion is an important task for the Embassy, as well as press- and culture issues and migration- and consular services.

The Embassy's sphere of responsibility includes Mongolia. The Ambassador is also accredited to Ulaanbaatar.

Media Inquiry

Zhao Wenting, Communication Analyst, UN Women China

Tel:+86(0)10 85325250 | Email: wenting.zhao@unwomen.org

 

商界领袖会聚北京讨论性别平等与企业社会责任

[联合新闻稿]

CSR 2019 Partners

English | 中文

2019年11月26日,北京 — 由联合国妇女署中国办公室、欧洲联盟驻华代表团及瑞典驻华大使馆联合举办的2019性别平等与企业社会责任国际会议,旨在评估总结私营部门推动性别平等取得的进展和仍需采取的行动。

Photo: UN Women
Photo: UN Women"

近250位私营企业领袖、社会企业家、社会组织代表及欧盟、联合国官员汇聚北京,探讨性别平等与企业社会责任之间的关系。

此次会议聚焦将性别平等视角纳入公司政策及企业社会责任所面临的挑战及机遇,并探讨了提升女性领导力、为女性争取体面工作、提升女性在数字化世界中的参与等重要议题。

此次会议举办正值《北京宣言》和《北京行动纲要》(北京+25)回顾前夕。为纪念第四次世界妇女大会暨《北京宣言》和《北京行动纲要》通过25周年的亚太区域回顾于2019年11月27至29日在位于曼谷的联合国会议中心举行。

尽管近年来全球推进性别平等取得进展,据世界经济论坛推断,以目前的速度在全球范围内消弭经济机会的性别差距,还需202年。来自麦肯锡全球研究所的报告显示,截至2025年,性别不平等会为中国造成高达2.6万亿美元的经济损失。尽管中国经济快速发展带来的机会显而易见,部分女性仍然在工作场所、市场和社区中遭遇挑战和歧视。

联合国妇女署中国办公室国别主任安思齐(Smriti Aryal)在开幕致辞呼吁大家评估在性别平等方面取得的进展,并建立一个所有妇女都能成功的平等、安全和公平的工作场所,“联合国妇女署支持私营部门就伙伴关系和合作作出更有力的承诺,这将对改善妇女和女童的生活产生切实的代际影响”。

中华全国妇女联合会(全国妇联)联络部副部长赵红菊指出:“中国妇女事业面临着前所未有的历史机遇,广大中国妇女也一定能在这一伟大进程中大有作为,贡献巾帼力量。”

瑞典驻华大使宋莲女士(H.E. Helena Sångeland) 强调了瑞典性别平等的整体原则,即每个人都应有权利工作和养活自己,平衡职业和家庭生活以及不必担心暴力。她还强调,性别平等的经济意义对企业本身和对整个社会都很有说服力。她表示:“在利用企业资源促进性别平等和社会可持续发展方面存在着巨大潜力,有待我们去发掘。”

欧盟驻华代表团副团长何云腾(Tim Harrington)先生在致辞中重申欧盟长期致力于推动性别平等和企业社会责任,如任命女性为欧盟委员会中高级管理人员方面取得的进展,及欧盟贸易政策中“致力于为负责任的供应链合作伙伴关系寻找机会”,都反映了为此承诺所做的努力。

值此契机,欧盟驻华代表团和联合国妇女署在中国共同开启了WeEmpowerAsia项目。 WeEmpowerAsia 是由欧盟和联合国妇女署共同发起的亚太区域项目,旨在提升私营部门女性的经济参与度和获得的商业机会,以促进亚洲七个国家的可持续性和包容性增长,并为亚洲与欧洲创造更多性别平等的贸易机会。

签署《赋权予妇女原则》(WEPs)可以是私营部门实践负责任商业行为的第一步,它包含7条原则,指导企业如何在工作场所、市场及社区推动性别平等。 会上,HeForShe倡导者、佟悦名新文化传媒创始人关悦女士作为《赋权予妇女原则》签署机构代表,重申了对WEPs的承诺,并分享了其公司在签署后基于行业需求开发的女性人才培训计划等政策。迄今为止,全球范围内,包括阿尔卡特朗讯、宜家、微软和联合利华等2700多家公司和智联招聘等41家中国企业都已签署并承诺采取行动来倡导WEPs原则。

关于主办方:

联合国妇女署

联合国妇女署致力于促进性别平等、增强妇女权能。作为联合国机构之一,联合国妇女署力求加快进程,以满足全球妇女和女童的需求。自1998年起,联合国妇女署开始在中国开展工作,为推广性别平等和妇女赋权提供战略、创新方案、技术和财政援助。重点围绕以下方面开展工作:消除针对妇女的暴力;加强女性的经济保障和经济权利;从社会性别角度面对气候变化和环境影响;社会性别敏感的政府治理和妇女政治赋权;消除艾滋病女性化;运用媒体来促进社会性别平等。

欧洲联盟驻华代表团

欧洲联盟驻中国代表团是欧洲委员会常设在中国的代表机构。代表团成立于1988年10月。

代表团享有一切外交特权与豁免权,代表团团长享有全权大使待遇。代表团的职责是处理中国与欧洲联盟之间的官方关系。在所有有关欧盟的事务中,代表团与欧盟成员国外交使团,尤其是与每六个月轮换一次的欧盟轮值主席国保持着密切的工作关系。

瑞典驻华大使馆

瑞典和中国有着悠久的合作历史。中瑞两国在一系列广泛的问题上开展交流,例如在国际问题和人权问题上进行公开和具有建设性的政治对话。

贸易促进、传媒与文化事务、移民与领事服务也是瑞典驻华大使馆的重要职责。

瑞典驻华使馆的职责范围还包括蒙古国,大使也被委任为驻乌兰巴托的大使。

媒体查询

赵文婷 邮箱:wenting.zhao@unwomen.org 电话:+10 85325250

联合国妇女署中国办公室新闻官员