Stanbic Bank Kenya has today officially signed the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPS), highlighting the bank’s unwavering support towards women.
The WEPs, established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, are a set of standards that provide businesses with guidance on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Stanbic Bank Kenya Chief Executive, Mr. Charles Mudiwa said, “Our commitment to women is reinforced by our It Can Be brand promise which drives us to empower and invest in individuals and help reach their potential. As a bank, we are keen on providing continuous support to women, through financial and non-financial solutions that help them not only grow as individuals, but also spread this growth to their communities. We are committed in our efforts because we understand that women are the pillars of our society, and when women are empowered, the community is empowered.”
The bank has agreed to adopt five of the seven principles which include Principle 1 – High-level Corporate Leadership, Principle 2 – Treat all Women and Men Fairly at Work without Discrimination, Principle 5 – Enterprise Development, Supply Chain and Marketing Practices, Principle 6 – Community Initiatives and Advocacy, and Principle 7- Measurement and Reporting.
The bank has already made strides in achieving milestones under these principles by ensuring that there is a higher representation of women in managerial positions and bridging the gender pay gap.
The bank has also rolled out a women proposition, DADA, which has successfully signed up over 29,000 women and offered capacity building and training in entrepreneurial skills to over 10,000 women.
On the bank’s supply chain, Stanbic Bank joined the Sourcing2Equal Kenya (S2E) private sector two-year peer learning platform to increase women’s participation in corporate procurement opportunities. The bank is committed to closing gender gaps in sourcing which is good for business, local communities and economies.
Speaking on the adopted principles, Head of Women Banking Proposition, Dr. Silpah Owich said, “As a society, we need to ensure that we are creating enabling environments to help us achieve gender equality and contribute to realizing the Global Sustainable Goals (SDGs).”
The signing of the principles mark Stanbic Bank as the 50th organization to sign the Women Empowerment Principles allowing the bank to join a global network of over 5,000 companies, including 49 companies in Kenya, that are committed to achieving gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Speaking during the event, UN Women Kenya Country Representative, Anna Mutavati said, “Our objective is to deepen, broaden and strengthen our private sector engagement to help shift behaviors for gender-responsive business conduct. For individual organizations to take bold and meaningful action to ensure that the talents, skills, and perspectives of women are valued all the way up to boardroom level is the smart thing to do. We are excited to see Stanbic’s concrete actions transform into tangible gains for women in business.”
Speaking during the event, Executive Director, Global Compact Network Kenya, Judy Njino said, “We commend Stanbic Bank for continuing to provide holistic financial benefits through financial literacy and education with the aim of boosting economic development and competitiveness in the financial sector. We believe the bank will fully harness the power of women’s potential in order to build a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable future for the generations to come.”
Under this partnership with the UN, the bank will be contributing to the social and economic pillars because of a solid understanding of the impact that women have and the importance of creating opportunities and healthy environments for them to thrive and reach their potential. By accelerating economic growth, human development and contributing to making a better life for communities, the bank’s objective is to create shared value – giving bank to the community while also achieving targeted financial returns.
The bank has been on a journey over the years forging strategic partnerships that have made a significant impact on the Social, Economic and Environmental pillars of the country. Focusing on seven Social Economic and Environmental (SEE) impact areas, the bank committed to several voluntary global standards regarding responsible business practice, including the UN Principles for Responsible
Banking, the Equator Principles, the UN Women He4She initiative, the Sourcing2Equal Kenya (S2E), the United Nations Sustainable Goals (UNSDGs), the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and now UN Women Empowerment Principles.
Stanbic bank ensures to participate in local and global business and industry forums and engage with civil society organizations with a focus on understanding the social, economic and environmental impacts as well as stakeholder concerns and expectations.
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