UN Women returns with its annual Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Awards, which honor companies operating in the Philippines for their achievements in advancing gender equality in business.
Organized by the UN Women programme WeEmpowerAsia, the WEPs Awards is now accepting nominations from May 31 to July 31. The WeEmpowerAsia programme, funded by the European Union, promotes women’s participation and leadership in the workplace, marketplace, and community.
Nominees will compete in six categories: Leadership Commitment; Gender-inclusive Workplace; Gender-responsive Marketplace; Community Engagement and Partnerships; Transparency and Reporting; and Youth Leadership for Generation Equality. The latter three categories are new to this year’s awards. Also new are three Champion titles for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“As we now welcome more WEPs signatories than before, we are excited to work with new allies in the private sector,” said UN Women Philippines Programme Manager Ma Rosalyn Mesina. “We found great success with our collaborations with the winner’s pool last year. We look forward to an even more productive 2021 for gender equality!”
“The business case is clear,” according to Boots Garcia, co-chair of the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE), a partner of UN Women in the Philippines. “Embedding these concepts in corporate sustainability and governance, and business strategies will lead to quantifiable and positive results in attracting and sustaining the best talent in the market, increasing shareholder value, and promoting innovation,” Garcia said at the launch event and info session held online on 25 May.
WeEmpowerAsia received more than 400 nominations from 17 countries for the inaugural WEPs Awards in 2020.
Katrina Chan, Executive Director of QBO Innovation Hub in the Philippines, which won in the Youth Leadership category last year, said: “The Awards was an amazing opportunity for QBO, a young startup, to network with established organizations that share our vision. Attaining this recognition raises our profile around the efforts to ensure equal gender representation in tech becomes the norm.”
“We wanted to push ourselves to do more and to inspire others to do the same. It makes business sense to empower women on all levels and all fronts,” added Jonah De Lumen-Pernia, Director for Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability of Coca-Cola Philippines, winner of the Community and Industry Engagement category.
This year’s awards are supported by Investing in Women (IW), an initiative of the Australian Government, together with PBCWE and the Indonesia Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (IBCWE). IW aims to create enabling environments for women’s economic empowerment towards a more gender-equal world. The IW-supported PBCWE and IBCWE work with leading companies in the Philippines and Indonesia to introduce gender equality strategies and tools, enabling a more diverse workforce and the associated benefits to companies, employees, and wider society.
Save the date
The national WEPs Awards ceremony in the Philippines will be hosted by WeEmpowerAsia on 15 October 2021. All nominees will be eligible for the regional awards to be announced on 18 November 2021.
Nominations for the 2021 WEPs Awards are being accepted until Bangkok midnight on 31 July 2021. Nominate your business now! www.asiapacificwepsawards.org