Benchmarking Group Publishes Scoping Report on Gender Equality
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The World Benchmarking Alliance released a scoping report to assess needs on a gender equality and empowerment benchmark.

Such a benchmark be integrated (covering the full value chain), holistic (considering the many dimensions of gender equality and empowerment) and balanced (recognizing the many ways in which companies can take action and drive change).

The methodology for this benchmark will be developed, reviewed and is expected to be published by end-2019.

November 2018: A scoping report by the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) explores the current landscape of gender equality initiatives and cites a “clear need” for a gender equality and empowerment benchmark (GEEB), which is being developed in partnership with gender data provider Equileap. The report notes that a GEEB can measure companies’ progress towards achieving SDG 5 (gender equality), in addition to other SDG issues that overlap with gender equality.

The publication titled, ‘Gender Equality and Empowerment Benchmark: Initial Scoping Research Report,’ emphasizes the importance of an integrated, holistic and balanced benchmark. Such a benchmark, it notes, must cover a company’s full value chain, consider the many dimensions of gender equality, and recognize the multitude of ways in which a company can take action to drive change. The report suggests key themes, industries and companies to be prioritized in a gender equality and empowerment benchmark, with a supporting rationale for each.

The GEEB is expected to cover personal, economic, health and safety, and sociocultural themes, including areas such as discrimination, gender-based violence, unpaid care and access to resources. The report notes additional aspects for potential inclusion, given varying approaches to—and definitions for—gender equality and empowerment. Because all companies touch upon gender issues, the WBA is focusing on companies spanning multiple sectors and industries. Those currently being considered for inclusion are: apparel, food and beverage, finance, information technology, and media and communication services.

Reviewing the current landscape, the report categorizes gender equality initiatives as being either macro- or company-level, and gender-focused or non-gender-specific. The review reveals a landscape of: inconsistent approaches to gender issues; challenges and gaps around gender data; low levels of transparency; lack of a comprehensive ranking exclusion of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and underrepresentation of emerging markets, among other shortcomings. The full set of existing initiatives examined is available in an annex to the report.

The methodology for the benchmark is currently under development. It will be reviewed through a stakeholder consultation process, and is expected to be published by the end of 2019. WBA is also developing a Seafood Stewardship Index for late 2019.

The Alliance was formally launched in September 2018 during Global Goals Week. By 2020 it aims to publish additional benchmarks, on climate and energy, food and agriculture, and digital inclusion. [Gender Equality and Empowerment Benchmark: Initial Scoping Research Report] [WBA Gender Equality and Empowerment Homepage]

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