In celebration of International Women’s Day, Woolworths Holdings Limited (WHL) is proud to
announce that it has become the first major South African retailer to be a signatory to the United
Nations (UN) Women Empowerment Principles.
Developed in partnership with the United Nations Women and the UN Global Compact Office, the
Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) are a set of seven guidelines that offer direction to
companies on how to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in the workplace and
WHL Group CEO, Roy Bagattini, said, “We are very proud to be a signatory to the Women
Empowerment Principles. It is particularly significant that this has taken place today, International
Women’s Day. As we know, International Women’s Day is an opportunity for the global community to
acknowledge the tremendous value and importance of gender equality and a world free of bias and
discrimination. We believe that, as an organisation, we have a profound responsibility to be an agent
for positive change, both within the workplace and within society at large.
As a Group, through our Inclusive Justice Initiative, we are striving to address all forms of
discrimination and injustice. To this end, we are driving programmes aimed at building an organisation
that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive, with a very specific focus on inclusive justice for women. We
acknowledge that this is a journey of listening and learning and, while we don’t have all the answers,
we are deeply committed to taking actions that will have a positive and enduring impact across our
organisation and within our communities.
Established in 2010, the WEP are informed by international labour and human rights standards and
grounded in the recognition that businesses have a stake in, and a responsibility for, gender equality
and women’s empowerment. The WEPs are a framework to guide organisations on the delivery on
gender equality dimensions of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
By joining the UN Women community, WHL signals its commitment to this important agenda and to
working collaboratively within multi-stakeholder networks to foster business practices that empower
women. These include pay equality, gender-inclusive supply chain practices and zero tolerance
against sexual harassment in the workplace.
In 2013, WHL signed up for the UN Global Compact signifying its support of and respect for human
rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. This undertaking now to the UN Women
Empowerment Principles further solidifies WHL’s commitment to ensuring an equal and inclusive
environment for its people, partners, and customers.
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