Carrefour subscribes to the United Nations’ Women Empowerment Principles developed by UN Women
The Carrefour group, represented by its CEO Georges Plassat, has signed the United Nations’ Women Empowerment Principles, 7 principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace. This new commitment is in line with Carrefour's existing initiatives designed to support the professional development of women within the company. The Principles were signed in the presence of the UN Committee “Femmes France” and the Business and Professional Women network (BPW) as part of an internal event promoting gender equality attended by nearly a hundred male and female senior managers from 11 different countries.
With nearly 360,000 employees throughout the world, Carrefour supports their professional development within the Group, and attaches particular importance to the role that women – who make up nearly 60% of its staff – play within the company.
In a bid to help them get promoted to senior management level, in 2011, Carrefour launched the "Women Leaders" programme. While encapsulating the joint ambition that is shared by all the countries in which The Group operates, this programme is also tailored to cater to specific local situations, encouraging people to share examples of best practice between countries. In France, for example, Carrefour has set up special carriers committees for women which look out for exceptionally talented women and support them as effectively as possible. It has also created a mentoring programme that has just been extended to include a number of other countries: female employees at Carrefour Belgium, Carrefour Poland, Carrefour Romania and at The Group's head office will also be able to take advantage of personalised support from a manager so as to speed up their professional development within the company. Another example is Carrefour Argentina: in 2012, within the framework of the "Young professionals" programme which was set up to recruit talented young people for management positions, all of the new employees were women. And once again this year, Carrefour Argentina has made sure that there are equal numbers of men and women among the people it has recruited for management positions.
These various concrete initiatives, implemented by the various countries with the support and involvement of top management, are now starting to yield their first results: there are now 6% more women in The Group than there were in 2009. In 2012, they accounted for 35.7% of its management staff. But the Carrefour group wanted to go still further, which is why it has now signed the UN Women Empowerment Principles, 7 principles to further strengthen the role that women play in companies and support their professional development – irrespective of their position or job function.
That Women's Empowerment Principles provide companies and the private sector with practical instructions on how to empower women in the workplace, on the job market and in communities. Developed within the framework of a partnership between UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact, they were designed as a means of helping companies review their existing policies and practices, or develop new ones that more effectively promote the empowerment of women.
By adhering to the Women's Empowerment Principles, Carrefour is undertaking to comply with 7 major principles that empower women in the workplace:
1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality;
2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination;
3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers;
4. Promote education, training and professional development for women;
5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women;
6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy;
7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.
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