22 Asia-Pacific firms recognized by UN Women for exemplary action for gender equality


[Press release]

Bangkok, Thailand — Twenty-two companies (22) and individuals across Asia and the Pacific region were named awardees in the UN Women 2022 Regional Women’s Empowerment Principles Awards (WEPs Awards), which recognize outstanding initiatives and practices that promote gender equality in the world of work.

The awardees of the UN Women 2022 Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards stood out from over 500 applications from 19 Asia-Pacific countries and among them are major corporates along with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across different industries and sectors. All awardees were determined by a panel of expert judges assembled from various sectors including government, UN agencies, civil society, business support organisations and academia.

The WEPs Awards is an annual event initiated during WeEmpowerAsia (2019-2022), a programme funded by and in partnership with the European Union, which aimed to foster gender inclusivity in business and promote economic empowerment of women across Asia and the Pacific region. Ambassador of the European Delegation to Thailand, H.E. Mr David Daly expressed his support for women’s empowerment in his keynote address. “The Women’s Empowerment Principles provide a holistic roadmap for companies wanting to start the journey and join this growing movement. We hope that the achievements of the winners of the 2022 Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards will inspire more businesses to follow their examples”, he said.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, support for the WEPs has gathered regional momentum over the past three years with over 2,000 companies in Asia and the Pacific already made a public commitment to support and implement the WEPs.

Sarah Knibbs, Regional Director ai, UN Women Regional Office for Asia and Pacific reflected on the WEPs Awards as a powerful platform to mobilise the private sector and showcase best practices. “Since its inception in 2020, the Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards has received more than 1,500 applications from over 700 participating businesses across the region. This is a testament to the incredible amount of action being taken for gender equality through the WEPs. It sends an unmistakable signal that business can and must be leaders in shaping a gender-inclusive future.”

In 2022, the UN Women Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards had the continued support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australian Government, as part of UN Women’s and DFAT’s broader strategic partnership in Asia and the Pacific.

Sarah Goulding, the Assistant Secretary of the Gender Equality Branch, DFAT in her special remarks emphasized the importance of the WEPs to shape gender-inclusive business conduct, saying “Businesses in Asia and the Pacific are making commitments and taking action on gender equality. The WEPs have been successfully used by thousands of businesses seeking to improve gender equality in their workplaces and reap the many benefits of doing so. The Australian Government is proud to partner with UN Women to again support the WEPs Awards this year.”

UN Women also launched the “Trends and Opportunities to Advance Gender Equality in Business in Asia and the Pacific”. The report is written for businesses in Asia- Pacific, as well as for gender and private-sector field builders (such as the United Nations, support organizations, researchers, donors, and investors), stock exchanges, policymakers, and regulators in Asia. It seeks to provide them with the motivation, inspiration, and recommendations to advance gender equality in the private sector.

The regional champions across the seven awards categories are:

Leadership Commitment:

  • Winner: Emma Sri Martini, Director of Finance of PT Pertamina (Persero) Indonesia
  • 1st runner-up: Wajeeha Khalid, Business Head of Nishat Mills Limited Apparel Division Pakistan
  • 2nd runner-up: Niraj Parihar, Executive Vice President, Leader-Insights and Data Global Business Line-India, Diversity & Inclusion Business Champion-India of Capgemini Technology Services India Ltd.

Gender-Inclusive Workplace:

  • Winner: Jazz Pakistan
  • 1st runner-up: AMARTHA Indonesia
  • 2nd runner-up: Siam Makro Public Company Limited Thailand

Gender-Responsive Marketplace:

  • Winner: Unilever Thai Trading Limited
  • 1st runner-up: PT. AMAAN Indonesia
  • 2nd runner-up: PepsiCo Pakistan

Community Engagement and Partnerships:

  • Winner: Sekisui House, Ltd. Japan
  • 1st runner-up: Unilever Vietnam International Company Limited
  • 2nd runner-up: The Insular Life Assurance Company, Ltd. (Philippines)

Transparency & Reporting:

  • Winner: Fujitsu Global Delivery Center Philippines
  • 1st runner-up: St Barbara Australia
  • 2nd runner-up: PwC China

Youth Leadership:

  • Winner: Roshni Ravindranathan, Manager & Lead Organizational Transformation Initiatives of Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics India
  • 1st runner-up: Sharon M. Vaswani, O.D., CEO of PanOpthalmics Enterprise Viet Nam
  • 2nd runner-up: Nguyen Ngoc My, Vice Chairwoman cum General Director of Alphanam Group Viet Nam
  • 2nd runner-up: Takia Sultana Nova, CEO and Founder of RoadBook BD

SME Championship:

  • Winner in Gender-Inclusive Workplace: PT SRC Indonesia Sembilan
  • 1st runner-up in Gender-Responsive Marketplace: ONOW Myanmar
  • 2nd runner-up in Community Engagement and Partnerships: ThriveWell Sdn Bhd Malaysia

Media Contact:

Zoya Khanday
International Communications Consultant, Women’s Economic Empowerment and Partnerships
UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific | Email: zoya.khanday@unwomen.org

About Asia-Pacific WEPS Awards

The UN Women Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards is the first regional awards initiative that recognizes companies who are taking action for gender equality in the region aligned to the Women’s Empowerment Principles, with the ultimate objective to make good practices visible and encourage more business to take action by joining the WEPs.