ISS has signed the CEO statement for the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), reflecting its vow to people and society – and aims towards at least a 40 per cent gender balance at group leadership level by 2025.
The WEPs are a set of principles offering guidance to businesses on how to promote gender equality and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
They were jointly established by UN Women and UN Global Compact, and are informed by international labour and human rights standards and grounded in the recognition that businesses have a stake in – and responsibility for – gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Jacob Aarup-Andersen, CEO of ISS World Services A/S, said: “I am very pleased to endorse this important initiative. Gender inequality is one of the largest human rights issues facing the world today, with huge economic and social consequences for all of society.
“As a company with almost 400,000 employees around the world, ISS has a responsibility to ensure that all genders are treated equally and fairly. We are not there yet – women make up 50 per cent of our frontline placemakers, however, they only represent 25 per cent of our senior leaders in both the executive group management and country leadership teams.
He added: “Over the last 12 months we have moved from 3 per cent of our revenue being managed by female country managers to now 35 per cent. I am convinced that the advancement of women in every function and at every level of our organisation will also lead to greater innovation, improved organisational performance, and better service to our customers.”
Liz Benison, CEO of ISS UK and Ireland, added: “ISS is committed to providing equal opportunities for everyone and I am deeply excited to empower women across our organisation to reach for the sky.”
ISS has pledged to launch specific initiatives to empower women, such as job-grading systems to guarantee equal pay for equal jobs, diversity and inclusion-focused mentoring programming and initiatives to influence gender equality in the supply chain.
The WEPs are also the primary vehicle for corporate delivery on gender equality and women’s empowerment dimensions of the 2030 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They set out aims to:
- Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
- Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination.
- Ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all female and male workers.
- Promote education, training and professional development for women.
- Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
- Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
- Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.