Leading companies join forces to drive women’s empowerment in supply chains.

Announcing the Women & Supplier Diversity Daring Circle Women’s Forum Global Meeting, Paris, 14-16 November 2018

Along with its strategic members, P&G, L’Oréal and Publicis Groupe, the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society is delighted to announce the launch of the Women & Supplier Diversity Daring Circle. The Daring Circle, led by P&G, will partner with WEConnect International – a global, corporate-led non-profit that facilitates inclusive and sustainable economic growth by empowering and connecting women business owners – as well as with UN Women through its EU-funded programme WE EMPOWER in G7 countries and the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) secretariat.

There are approximately 224 million women entrepreneurs worldwide who participate in the ownership of nearly 35% of firms in the formal economy. However, on average, less than 1% of global corporate or government spend is made to women-owned businesses. This is a missed opportunity of enormous proportions, not only for women’s economic and social empowerment but also for the businesses, governments and other organisations that stand to benefit from more diverse, innovative and agile supply chains.

Through their supply chain practices, large corporations can have a significant positive impact on women. They can do this by supporting businesses that are owned by, led by and that empower women, and by encouraging suppliers and other companies to adopt policies and practices that promote women’s empowerment.

Our ambition

The Women & Supplier Diversity Daring Circle will seek to:

* Advance the current understanding of the state of supplier diversity in Europe, and build measurement and scorecard principles for women’s economic empowerment,

* Take individual and collective action to set up the infrastructure that will enable all companies to improve their supplier diversity and supply chain practices,

* Establish, through the Women’s Forum, further Women’s Businesses Enterprise certification* capabilities in Europe, which will facilitate access to the supply chains of major international corporations,

* Build the capabilities and networks of women suppliers in our supply chains and beyond,

* Help large companies and their suppliers to adopt gender-responsive practices, support the communication of the business case for supplier diversity, and facilitate knowledge sharing opportunities and dissemination of best practices.

Our call to action

The Women’s Forum and the Circle partners call upon women-owned businesses in Europe to self-register with WEConnect and for corporates and women empowered businesses to sign onto the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.**

We invite partners of the Women’s Forum, as well as institutions, experts and other organisations to join this Daring Circle. We also welcome the interest of Knowledge Partners whose expertise and research capacity will help drive the Daring Circle’s impactful agenda.

This is a collaborative effort between the partners of the Women’s Forum, WEConnect and UN Women. Notably, competitors and organisations from multiple industries are coming together to take concrete actions to work on this solution together and have an impact. The Daring Circle will shape and deliver an ambition of more diverse and gender responsive supply chains, serving as an accelerator for women’s economic empowerment.

 

* WEConnect’s Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification is a formal verification for corporations that they are purchasing goods and/or services from women-owned businesses that meet universal standards for certification. The four criteria considered for WBE certification are ownership, management, control, and independence, and businesses that meet the criteria are determined to be at least 51% owned, as well as, managed and controlled by one or more women. The Business Readiness and Certification Assessment includes a one-on-one evaluation of a business and whether it meets the universal standards for certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise. All applicant businesses that successfully complete WEConnect’s process to determine compliance with their certification criteria will become certified WBEs

**Self-registration offers an opportunity to create a profile in the WEConnect eNetwork and access to training modules to assess business readiness and build capacity. www.weconnectinternational.org

Signing the WEPs means that the Chief Executive Officer signs the CEO Statement of Support and complete the form on www.empowerwomen.org/en/weps/signtheweps

About the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society: Since 2005, the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society has been a global platform committed to bringing a gendered perspective to the social and economic issues affecting all people around the world. With the Daring Circles, our ambition is to drive new, innovative solutions at scale and at pace through collaboration between businesses, public entities, NGOs and the media to have impact on issues where women are disproportionately affected and are where their leadership is paramount