IOE and BPW International uncover economic dividend of gender equality
“The essential starting point for policies to foster women’s entrepreneurship is to create and promote a culture of entrepreneurship to remove barriers for women to access the labour market and provide an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises,” said Amelia Espejo, IOE Adviser on Gender and Women’s Entrepreneurship during the BPW International (Turkey) Conference. The Conference was held in conjunction with Yeditepe University and took place on 14 November 2014 in Istanbul.
The objective of the Conference was to promote the UN Women and UN Global Compact Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and the engagement and growing cooperation of the business sector in the adoption of the Principles.
Ms Espejo intervened in a panel discussion that explored the Principle: expanding business relationships with women-owned enterprises. She highlighted the business case for the economic empowerment of women.
In that regard, Ms Espejo affirmed that employers can demonstrate leadership to ensure full access to equal opportunities for women, enhancing opportunities to facilitate women’s entrepreneurship. She also said employers lead in ensuring balanced participation and integration of women in the workforce. This can be achieved by engaging with government on policy to support equal opportunities for education and career development. Supporting gender-sensitive solutions to removing credit and lending barriers and promoting an enabling environment to create and maintain sustainable enterprises are equally crucial.
Ms Espejo outlined the importance of promoting and implementing global initiatives to advance women’s empowerment such as the WEPs. She also recommended engaging in the WEPs’ business platform to share best business practices for women’s economic and sustainable advancement.
The participation of the IOE in this BPW event marked the importance of the cooperation between the two organisations. It provided the opportunity to reinforce the IOE’s engagement in promoting women’s entrepreneurship and to highlight areas of synergy and cooperation across the IOE and BPW International networks for the joint promotion of gender equality and the economic empowerment of women.
It was announced that the new BPW International President is Dr Yasmin Darwich, who replaces past President Ms Freda Miriklis.
For further information on IOE’s ongoing collaboration with BPW International, please contact Amelia Espejo, IOE Adviser on Gender and Women’s Entrepreneurship or visit the dedicated sections of the IOE website.