Good Business Practices for Gender Equality

01.19.2022 | Guides & Tools

Since 2018, a series of conversations among different organizations in Medellin, Colombia, about the existence of gender gaps in the business sector have led to the creation of strategies that could address the root causes and close the identified gaps.

Concerns raised by the private sector resulted from the convergence of the Gender Equality for Urban and Rural Women of Medellín public policy and the measurement of the PAR Ranking prepared by consulting firm AEQUALES. At the same time, a global framework of increased attention to gender equality made it possible to identify gender gaps and international mechanisms to address them. Issues, such as a life free of violence, the care economy, work, education, urbanism, social and political participation, among others, have positioned gender inequality as a variable that prevents a more prosperous, peaceful, and sustainable world, as noted in Sustainable Development Goal #5 on Gender Equality.

The Business Alliance for Gender Equity in Antioquia, initially formed by PROANTIOQUIA, ANDI Seccional Antioquia, EAFIT, AEQUALES, Chamber of Commerce, AVON, COMFAMA, Grupo ARGOS, and the Women’s Secretariat of the Government of Medellin, launched in November 2020 to address current challenges for the business sector in gender equality.

The objective of the Business Alliance for Gender Equity: To create a scenario of collaboration and public-private action for Antioquia companies in knowledge management, public advocacy, and action to advance gender equity.

To achieve this objective, the Alliance proposes four lines of action:

  1. Knowledge management. Document, analyze and consolidate Antioquia businesses around actions that promote equity for gender equality, through: Quantitative analysis: characterization of the position and situation of women in the business sector. Construction of indicators for monitoring and evaluation. Qualitative analysis: mapping and characterization of companies. Identification of good and harmful practices in the promotion of equity for gender equality. Systematization of good practices of equity for gender equality that incorporates an analysis against the PAR Ranking and Seal Equipares in Antioquia and concrete actions: policies, protocols, committees, affirmative actions.
  2. Impact on public agenda: lead and promote a communication strategy that contributes to raising awareness about gender equity from the business sector. Recognition of good practices that encourage cultural change for equity within the business sector: inclusive and non-sexist communication, affirmative actions, incentives, policies and tools.
  3. Training and knowledge transfer: generate spaces for training and collective action around the challenges and opportunities of equity for gender equality within the business sector. Training spaces designed and implemented on gender equity at organizations. Spaces for the transfer of knowledge of good practices and tools between companies.
  4. Network of business allies – collective action: creation of a governance network for gender equity that leads the public agenda, common actions and strategies aimed at improving the conditions of women in the business sector.

In 2021 CIPE, through its Latin American Regional team and Center for Women’s Economic Empowerment, advanced the goals of the Business Alliance for Gender Equity in Antioquia with support to EAFIT University to develop criteria for the identification of good business practices for gender equity and an initial baseline measurement of Antioquia’s business sector. EAFIT University also documented 30 best practices for gender equality from small, medium and large enterprises in Antioquia. These three publications are available to the public in English and Spanish.