UN Women recognizes eight Chinese businesses for promoting gender equality


Author: Jinyi Wang and Zhao Wenting

Winners pose at the national 2022 UN Women WEPs Awards Ceremony. Photo: UN Women China/Zhang Peng
Representatives of the eight companies that won the 2022 Women’s Empowerment Principles Awards in China pose at the awards ceremony in Beijing on 27 October 2022. Photo: UN Women China/Zhang Peng

Beijing China — UN Women has given the national 2022 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Awards to eight companies in China for promoting gender equality and empowering women employees. In five of these companies, women hold more than half of the management positions.

UN Women and United Nations Global Compact launched the WEPs in 2010. The seven principles guide companies on ways to support women in the workplace, marketplace and community, and to help achieve the gender equality goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As of October, 343 companies in mainland China have signed the WEPs.

At today’s awards ceremony in Beijing, Yang Ruikan, Partnership Specialist of UN Women China, called on all stakeholders to implement international standards in corporate commitment, strategy and programme development.

“The private sector, as an employer, producer and a part of the community, plays an indispensable role in advancing gender equality,” she said.

During a panel discussion, representatives from Government agencies, industry associations, the private sector and academic institutions shared their views on ways to create a gender-responsive workplace.

Ma Chao, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Division of the Employers' Department of the China Enterprise Confederation, said that by creating an equal workplace, companies can attract and retain talent, unleash employees' potential, promote the company’s sustainable development, and contribute to economic and social development.

In a virtual address to the ceremony, Katja Freiwald, Regional Lead of Women's Economic Empowerment and Immigration, UN Women Asia and the Pacific, encouraged enterprises to more closely cooperate with each other to jointly promote gender equality. She said that signing the WEPs is only the first step -- what matters most is the action behind each signature and robust implementation of these principles.

The first Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards were launched in 2020 by WeEmpowerAsia, a UN Women programme funded by the European Union. This year’s awards are supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Here is a list of the winners in each category of the 2022 WEPs Awards in China:

Gender-Inclusive Workplace

Morgan Stanley Management Service (Shanghai) Limited provides employees with 26 weeks’ maternity leave and 16 weeks’ paternity leave, and supports them in parenthood and in transitioning back to working life.

Sumec Textile & Light Industry Co., Ltd. provides childcare support including after-school classes by working with local governments and schools.

Volvo Cars China provides 24 weeks’ parental leave for all employees, and encourages employees, especially male employees, to take the leave.

Hop Lun (Hongkong) Ltd. has established a mechanism to respond to gender-based violence, including sexual harassment in the workplace and domestic violence.

Community Engagement & Partnerships

KPMG China supports young women’s participation and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through programmes and internships.

Transparency & Reporting

PwC China integrates the goal of gender equality in the CEO’s key performance indicators (KPI), and publicly reports progress on this with sex-disaggregated data in its environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) report.

Youth Leadership

Yang Yang of the Institution of New Economic Development Co., Ltd. led the integration of gender perspectives into the organization’s human resources policies and other corporate procedures.

SME Champion

Ladies Who Tech brought a variety of partners on board for a project on women’s digital empowerment.

* The 2022 UN Women Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards recognize a very specific action of the company in the specific country in the year 2022, and are not an endorsement of the company.

For more information, please contact:

Zhao Wenting
Communications Specialist, UN Women China | Tel:+86(0)10 85325250 | e: [ Click to reveal ]