Positive Georgian experience incentivizes new companies to sign Women’s Empowerment Principles

Date: Thursday, July 4, 2019

Private companies functioning in Georgia that have adopted the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) have already attained tangible and positive results. Their experience is a good incentive for business organizations that are now getting interested in joining this global initiative.

WEPs signatory companies sharing their experience at the panel discussion
WEPs signatory companies sharing their experience at the panel discussion; Photo: UN Women/Tako Robakidze

UN Women continues expanding the network of WEPs signatory companies and supports them as they share their examples with other businesses. To this effect, in cooperation with the Business Leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow”, a meeting was held with the members of the European Business Association on 4 July 2019 in Tbilisi. The meeting participants became familiar with the WEPs and the opportunities to implement them. The event also hosted other representatives of the private sector, many of whom were among the pioneers mainstreaming these principles in Georgia and are now ready to share their examples with others.

Archil Bakuradze, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the financial inclusion organization Crystal, informed the meeting participants about the initiatives that his company offered to women: “In March of this year, we created women’s bonds for the first time, developed special proposals for female entrepreneurs and reduced their credit service fees by 5 per cent. As a result, more than 2,000 women received loans that amounted to a total of GEL 4.2 million.”

Rusudan Telia, CEO of another WEPs signatory company, ACT Georgia, shared her experience with the participants: “Eighty-five per cent of our company’s employees are women. My colleagues’ and my own experience gave us an incentive to support our employees in maintaining a work-life balance. Therefore we introduced a flexible work schedule, which has had a positive impact on productivity and work satisfaction. It is our responsibility to contribute to women’s empowerment.”

At the end of the meeting, about 20 companies expressed their desire to sign on to the WEPs. UN Women will continue its regular work with the private sector to expand this network even more. Currently there are more than 30 WEPs signatory companies in Georgia.

The event was organized within the framework of UN Women’s project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia”, implemented with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.