Corporate Social Responsibility
Welcome to Wikigender’s Gender and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) page. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The workshop was for CSR Asia participants and practitioners who want to establish themselves as leaders in managing gender issues. It highlighted some of the existing and emerging business drivers for improving practices and reporting on material gender issues. In addition, legal and ethical imperatives for reporting on gender issues were discussed. Practical steps were offered on how to embed gender in sustainability reporting.
In particular, workshop leaders from GRI and IFC focused in depth on 3 areas of top priority as per interest expressed by the participants, and drew on the recently produced Gender and Sustainability Reporting Practitioners' Guide that is based on research and multi-stakeholder consultations in Brazil, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. An electronic copy of "Embedding Gender in Sustainability Reporting: A Practitioner's Guide" as well as an executive summary of the report are available.
For more information contact Carmen Niethammer at email@example.com or Katherine Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This section explores the intersection between gender issues and corporate social responsibility, with a particular focus on companies in emerging markets. It is meant to be a collaborative effort, taking into account the perspectives and experiences of a variety of stakeholders.
On this page you will find:
- An overview of the topic
- Definitions of key terms
- Information on practical approaches that companies can use to improve their gender impact reporting
- Best practices derived from the experiences of various organizations that are active in this area
It is hoped that this website will contribute to policy dialogue on gender and CSR. By becoming a focal point for the experiences of practitioners, it can also directly empower entrepreneurs to implement appropriate best practices, increase their outreach to women, and optimize the contribution of women in their organizations.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
According to Wikipedia, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby organizations consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, communities and the environment in all aspects of their operations. This obligation is seen to extend beyond the statutory obligation to comply with legislation and sees organizations voluntarily taking further steps to improve the quality of life for employees and their families as well as for the local community and society at large.”
2. Reporting on Gender
Why Reporting and Gender?
Companies reporting on gender equality was for many years confined to the reporting of policies, along with some program information. Increasingly, there are CSR initiatives that promote gender impact reporting so that companies will improve their understanding of gender in their business and put in place more effective systems to strengthen their business benefits. These initiatives also seek to improve company transparency with regard to gender impacts, enabling stakeholders to better engage with corporates on these issues.
Reporting offers a means to improve monitoring and evaluation efforts, identify opportunities for continuous improvement, and directly access some of these business benefits. For example, gender impact reporting can
- Aid companies in recruiting, retaining, and motivating female employees, thus optimizing human resource management
- Strengthen a company’s reputation as a “women-friendly” enterprise and thereby attract consumers and investors that are driven by ethical interests
- Improve brand-differentiation by targeting women customers or groups concerned with women’s interests
- Reduce the risk of negative publicity and reputation damage
Three main drivers motivate firms towards addressing, and reporting on, gender equality:
- The Market – including consumers, investors, business customers, and labor market pressures
- Governments – including regulatory requirements and compliance with equal rights legislation and supplier diversity requirements for government contracts
- Civil Society – including those that look to maximize shared benefits to the corporation and community stakeholders, as well as media pressure.
There also is an approach to gender and CSR reporting that views gender equality as a right with business benefits.
What to report on?
There is no concise global framework for gender and CSR reporting in place.
The Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Labor Practices and Decent Work core performance indicators, require companies to report:
- ‘Total number and rate of employee turnover by age group, gender, and region’.
- ‘Composition of governance bodies and breakdown of employees per category according to gender, age group, minority group membership, and other indicators of diversity’
- ‘Ratio of basic salary of men to women by employee category’.
An additional indicator suggests reporting:
- ‘Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees, by major operations’.
However, research by Grosser and Moon, has found that companies rarely report much of this data. Gender impact reporting by leading companies in this field typically includes a mix of gender statistics as they relate to:
- Gender breakdown of the workforce, and
- Gender breakdown of management
Fewer companies report any performance information relating to other important gender equality workplace issues such as:
- Career development, equal pay, employment of women in non-traditional jobs, and flexible work arrangements.
However, leading companies do increasingly report information about how gender equality is managed by the organization, such as where responsibility and accountability on this issue lies within the organization, staff consultation about gender and diversity, and training on these issues (very few companies, however, report information about poor performance, such as litigation relating to gender discrimination).
This has helped some companies generate investment, better position themselves in the market place, and improve relationships with communities.
A broader understanding of gender and CSR extends to other business dimensions and impacts to consider, such as
- Gender impacts of products and services
- Innovative approaches to product development using gender information
- Gender issues in supply chain labor practices
- Gender issues as part of company community and human rights impacts
- Community development and philanthropy efforts that build on input from women and respond to gender-specific needs in the community
Current challenges in CSR reporting on gender
- While some corporations value being seen as gender-reporting champions and seek to disclose information on key gender indicators, others are more reluctant to report on gender impacts due to possible negative perceptions of their performance.
- Many enterprises, particularly smaller businesses, don’t have the capacity or confidence to report on gender performance, in some cases due to a lack of specific guidance for their region, sector, or the nature of their business.
- Linked to the drivers motivating companies to report on gender, the disclosed information is often not systematic or comparable across companies within a country/region or industry.
- When legislation mandates gender equality, this is not necessarily accompanied by requirements for standardized reporting on performance and public disclosure of this information.
3. IFC and GRI Project on Gender and Sustainability Reporting
The Global Reporting Initiative and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, have collaborated on a gender and sustainability reporting. The aim of this research and consultation project is to help private enterprises worldwide create new opportunities for women, adopt best practices in sustainability reporting, and improve their bottom lines.
The result of this project is a publication entitled “Embedding Gender in Sustainability Reporting, A Practitioners’ Guide”, intended for companies that want to establish themselves as leaders in managing gender issues. It demonstrates the value of creating business opportunities through promoting gender equality, provide guidance on improving gender management through sustainability reporting, and help improve the quality and scope of gender reporting. New categories for reporting suggested in the publication include "Gender Equality in the Workplace", "Gender Equality, Organizational Governance, and Values", “Gender Equality in the supply chain”, “Gender Equality in the community”, “Gender Equality and consumers” and “Gender Equality and Investment”.
The project consisted of multi-stakeholder consultative workshops in London, Johannesburg, Sao Paulo, New Delhi, and Washington, DC, to explore linkages between sustainability reporting and gender, and provided input for the publication “Embedding Gender in Sustainability Reporting - A Practitioner's Guide” - to be launched on October 27, 2009, at the 2009 CSR Asia Summit.
During these workshops current gender and sustainability reporting practices, future expectations and possible indicators for measuring performance around gender were discussed.
The following questions were explored: what should organizations be doing on gender issues in terms of women as employees but also women entrepreneurs within the supply chain, women as consumers and members of the local community? What are participants’ expectations and priorities for organizations action on gender? Are current practices meeting these expectations? If not, why not? And what specific actions can be addressed through sustainability reporting?
A multi-stakeholder geographically diverse advisory group with representation from various business sectors and civil society organizations was identified to oversee the development of the Gender and Sustainability Reporting Resource Document.
The Advisory Group provided guidance, facilitated communication and promoted collaboration on gender and reporting activities for this project. Members of the group will be consulted on relevant content and will have opportunities to review drafts of the resource document.
For individuals who wanted to be kept up to date about the project, GRI managed a practitioners’ network on gender and reporting. Individuals who joined the network received regular communications about the project and had the opportunity to provide input to the project and share their own research and publications on gender with one another.
Contact GRI at email@example.com to join the network.
GRI Public Comment Periods for Gender,Human Rights and Community Revision Recommendations Public Comment Periods are now open for Community, Gender and Human Rights related thematic revisions to the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Framework, the G3 Guidelines. Visit the online survey to have your say on the proposals for how reporting organizations can better disclosure their gender, human rights and community impacts.
These thematic recommendations for edits to the current version of the G3 Guidelines will simultaneously be open for public comment for a period of 90 days in accordance with GRI’s due process. The outcome of this process will be integrated into the G3.1 revision of the G3 Guidelines.
The recommendations have been developed by three different international multi-stakeholder Working Groups with representative from a range of organizations and a diverse number of geographies including among others Australia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, India, Mongolia, South Africa, the USA, and the UK.
Find out more about the G3.1 process online at: http://www.globalreporting.org/CurrentPriorities/GenderandReporting/
"Voices" of Gender and Sustainability Reporting Website
Hear first-hand what multi-stakeholder workshop participants have said about gender and sustainability reporting by visiting IFC's Gender and Sustainability Reporting Website.
4. Organizations and Initiatives
- Accion RSE - Responsibilidad Social Empressarial - Santiago (Chile)
- Center for Work-Life Policy, New York (USA)
- Centre for Labour Law and Equality at Bifröst University (Iceland)
- Center for Social Research - An Inistitution for the Women of India
- Gender Equality Council - Men´s and Women´s Possibilities to Parental Leave (Iceland)
- Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
- Heifer International - Gender Equity
- International Centre for Women Leaders, Cranfield School of Management (U.K.)
- International Center for Work and Family, ICWF (Centro Internacional Trabajo y Familia), Barcelona (Spain)
- IFC's Social Responsibility Program
- International Center for Corporate Social Responsibility at Nottingham University (U.K.) - Gender Project Opportunity Now (U.K.)
- KETHI - Research Center for Gender Equality (Greece)
- Negotiating Women, Inc - Training, Consulting, Advancing Women (U.S)
- Opportunity Now (U.K)
- Simmons School of Management (U.S)
- Leadership for Women, IMD Business School (Switzerland)
- The Lehman Brothers Centre for Women in Business, London Business School (U.K.)
- Women Executive Leadership - Advocate, Educate and Connect
- Women on Boards - The Next Generation of Directors (Australia)
- Media.com - The Site for Working Women (U.S)
- Women Thrive Worldwide
- ABNAMRO & Rabobank - Promoting gender equality in the workplace
- Accenture Global Glass Ceiling Index
- Air France - Gender Equality
- Alcoa - The Alcoa Women's Network: for better leadership
- Australian Government - Women´s National Leadership Initiative
- Australian Government - Women´s Leadership and Development Programme
- British Government - Gender Equality Duty
- CAAWS - Women on Boards : A guide to getting involved
- Catalyst - Alliance for Board Diversity
- Corporate Equality Index
- Eliminating the Gender Wage Gap - ERI Distance Learning Center
- Firm Certification Models on Gender Equality for the Private Sector - English
- GAP joins hands with govt workers' rights in India
- Great Place to Work
- Her Project - Women’s Health at Business for Social Responsibility
- HUL Shakti Changing lives in rural India
- IBM - Valuing diversity
- Icelandic Equality Index
- IDEX - Women's Empowerment
- INSEAD - Gender Diversity Initiative
- Johnson & Johnson - HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Focusing on Women and Children
- MAS Holdings - Women go beyond
- Mexico Gender Equity Project "Generosidad"
- Network 2000 - Opening doors for Women
- San Francisco Gender Equality Principles Initiative
- Seminario Invirtiendo en Igualdad de Genero: El impacto productivo de la equidad en el mundo empresario - Spanish
- Unilever - Empowering Women
- UPS - Women's Leadership Development (WLD) initiative
- Where Women Want to Work
- Women on Boards - Annual Panel Event
- Working Mother Media
5. Further Reading
- Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council (2007) 'Women Business Owners in the United Arab Emirates'. The Center of Arab Women for Training and Research and the International Finance Corporation
- Accion RSE. Guía para impulsar la equidad de género en las empresas – Guía práctica para empresas. Chile, 2006.
- Adams, C A and Harte, G F (2000) ‘Making discrimination visible: the potential for social accounting’, Accounting Forum, 24, 1, pp 56-79
- Adams, C A and Harte, G F (1999) ‘Towards Corporate Accountability for Equal Opportunities Performance’, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Occasional Research Paper No. 26, London.
- Adams, C A and Harte, G F (1998) ‘The Changing portrayal of the employment of women in British banks’ and retail companies’ corporate annual reports’, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 23, 8, pp 781-812.
- Bell, E (2001) 'Gender and Governance: A Bibliography'. Institute of Development Studies
- Bernstein, A. (2009) 'Quantifying Labor and Human Rights Portfolio Risk'. Capital Matters June No. 4
- Bernstein, A. (2008) 'Incorporating Labor and Human Rights Risk Into Investment Decisions'. Capital Matters September No. 2
- Clean Clothes Campaign (2005) 'Made by Women Gender, the Global Garment Industry and the Movement for Women Workers’ Rights'
- University - Can CSR be used as a Business Strategy to (Re-) Engage Women with Mainstream Business?
- Business Week. Why Aren't There More Women on Boards?. 2008.
- Campbell, D and Slack, R. Narrative Reporting: Analysts's Perceptions of its Value and Relevance.
- Catalyst. The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity. 2004.
- Catalyst (2006) '2005 Catalyst Census of Women Board Directors of the Fortune 500'.
- COHRE (2002) 'Violence: The impact of forced evictions on women in Palestine, India and Nigeria'.
- Cranfield University School of Management. The Female FTSE Report 2007.
- Economist. Getting more women on board. 2008
- DFID (2007) 'Gender Equality at the Heart of Development: Why the role of women is crucial to ending world poverty'.
- Dovey, K. (2009) 'Putting Gender on the Business and Human Rights Agenda, scoping paper'. Realizing Rights, The Ethical Globalization Initiative
- Fawcett Women (2009) 'Corporate Sexism: The sex industry's infiltration of the modern workplace'
- Financial Times. Gender equality: a solid business case at last. October 28, 2007.
- Government Equalities Office. Female FTSE 100 Report - a Year of Encouraging Progress. 2008.
- Grosser, Kate and Moon, J. Developments in company reporting on workplace gender equality? A corporate social responsibility perspective. 2008.
- Grosser, K. and Moon, J. Gender Mainstreaming and Corporate Social Responsibility: Reporting Workplace Issues. 2004.
- Grosser, K. and Moon, J. (2006) 'Best Practice Reporting on Gender Equality in the UK: Data, Drivers and Reporting Choices' ICCSR Research Paper Series No. 35
- Grosser, Kate., Adams, Carol and Moon, J. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace: A Study of Corporate Disclosure. <span style="color: #3300cc" />
- Kemp, D. (2006) 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place:Community Relations Work in the Minerals Industry'. Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining University of Queensland, Australia
- Kilgour, Maureen A., 'The UN Global Compact and Substantive Equality for Women: revealing a "well-hidden" mandate, in Third World Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2007, pp. 751-773.
- Kramer, V. et al. (2006) 'Critical Mass on Corporate Boards:Why Three or More Women Enhance Governance'. Wellesley Centers for Women
- Harvard Business Review. Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership. 2007.
- Prescott, D. and Phelan, J. (2008) 'Shared Goals through Sport Getting a Sustainable return for Companies and Communities'. International Business Leaders Forum
- International Herald Tribune. Women take their place on corporate boards. 2008.
- Rake Obe, R. and Lewis, R. (2009) 'Just Below the Surface: gender stereotyping, the silent barrier to equality in the modern workplace?'. Fawcett Women
- Maitland, Alison. Top women tip the scales. 2007.
- McKinsey. Women's Network. 2008.
- Private Sector Development Blog - Gender. 2008.
- Red Puentes Chile. Problemática que enfrentan las mujeres en el campo laboral. Chile, 2004.
- Reuters. Women on boards bring more women to top jobs. 2008.
- Ryan, M. K., & Haslam, S. A. The Glass Cliff. 2005.
- Swedish Ministry of Sustainable Development (2006)'Initial study of lifestyles, consumption patterns,sustainable development and gender: Do women leave a smaller ecological footprint than men?'
- Dencker, John. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Corporate Restructuring and Sex Differences in Managerial Promotion. 2008.
- Veerapan, S. (2008) 'How are Private companies responding to HIV and AIDS in Mining communities'. Paper prepared for the WBS symposium on HIV and AIDS 29-30 May 2008
- Women's E-news. U.S. Employers Pushing Women Out of Work Force. 2008.
- Women's E-news. Women at Work Find Reinforced Glass Ceilings. 2008
- Women's Environmental Network (2007) 'Women’s Manifesto on Climate Change'.
6. Bibliography “Embedding Gender in Sustainability Reporting - A Practitioner's Guide”
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