Making the business case: Women’s economic empowerment

CSR Asia launches new business resource as part of the CSR Asia/Oxfam Inclusive Business Series.

This new resource from CSR Asia provides a comprehensive toolkit for organisations looking to improve their gender diversity performance. It provides an overview of legislation and policy across Asia Pacific as well as a summary of guidelines to help companies report performance and advice on designing strategic community investment programmes aimed at empowering women.

Since the launch of the United Nations (UN) Women’s Empowerment Principles in 2010, over 800 CEOs representing some of the largest to the smallest companies from around the world have pledged to empower women in their workplace and communities. Women’s economic empowerment is now being discussed on the global stage between governments and business leaders at major economic meetings such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC).

But whilst there is a growing consensus that empowering women is good for economic growth and for business, there is actually very little evidence of many companies taking the necessary steps to empower women in the office or in the community.

The business case for closing the gender employment gap is quite clear. Recent research from Action Aid shows that in poor countries closing this gap is estimated to be worth US$9 trillion - more than the combined GDPs of Britain, France and Germany.

Erin Lyon Executive Director at CSR Asia says “Closing the gender gap offers companies a competitive advantage in the global market place. Companies can see an improvement in their financial performance, harness untapped or under-utilised human talent, expand and create new markets, and also enhance their brand reputation.”

“The issue of women’s economic empowerment has not gained wide traction among companies in Asia even though attracting and retaining women can be a sizeable competitive advantage”says Richard Welford, Chairman of CSR Asia “particularly when we consider that half of the region’s graduates are women.”

Read more and access the full resource at:

This business resource written by CSR Asia is part of a partnership with Oxfam on inclusive business value chains.

CSR Asia is a leading provider of advisory, research and training services on sustainable business practices in Asia. For more information visit:

For media inquiries email: or call Helena Day on +65 6734 9744

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