Aitken Spence Amongst the World’s Firsts to Sign Up to the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles

22 Jun

Aitken Spence PLC is among the first 38 leading companies worldwide who have signed up to the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles, comprising of actions that advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community, and communicate progress. The diversified conglomerate is the only publicly-listed company in Sri Lanka to sign up to the Women’s Empowerment Principles.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles—Equality Means Business, an initiative by The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the United Nations Global Compact were launched at the UN on 8 March 2010.

“Aitken Spence has embraced the Women’s Empowerment Principles, in an effort to strengthen our commitment towards internationally proclaimed human rights. We believe that concerted action on these principles would help businesses perform better by facilitating the development of a stronger human resource. We commend UNIFEM and the UN Global Compact for spearheading this initiative”, said Mr. J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman/Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC.

“Growth of the employee and the organization are intertwined in our human resources strategy. We believe that the Women’s Empowerment Principles provide a robust global framework for companies to nurture a fair and productive work culture that would drive business results”, said Mr.  Rohan Pandithakorralage, Head of HR, Aitken Spence PLC.

The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Aitken Spence PLC became a signatory to the Global Compact in 2002 and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Local Network.

UNIFEM provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programmes and strategies to foster women’s empowerment and gender equality.

The Principles offer a practical approach to advance women and point the way to a business and social environment that is both fairer and more prosperous for everyone.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles
1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination.
3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers.
4. Promote education, training and professional development for women.
5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.

Media Release – 21 June 2010

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