On March 6th, as part of the build up to the International Women’s Day celebrations in Kenya, Nestle Kenya became a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) joining over 40 companies in Kenya and over 1800 companies globally. The WEPs are a set of 7 principles that offer guidance to corporates on advancing gender equality at the workplace, market place and community.
The event held at the Nestle factory in Industrial area and was attended by Nestle Equatorial Africa and Nestle Kenya Senior Management Team and staff members, clients, partners and suppliers.
UN Women Kenya Country Director, Ms. Zebib Kavuma inn her keynote address emphasized the pivotal role that private sector can play in advancing gender equality and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
During the ceremony Nestle Equatorial Africa Region Head Mr. Cornel Krummenacher made public the company’s commitment to women empowerment by signing the WEPs CEO statement of support. Nestle has expressed interest in engaging more deeply around Principle No 5 of the WEPs on implementing enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower
Apart from women making up 40 percent of its work force in Nairobi, Nestlé has embraced women empowerment at work.. These efforts include ensuring the participation of women in coffee farming and in leadership of Farmers’ Cooperative Societies through the Nescafé Plan programme. They have also trained over 6,000 women farmers on how to become entrepreneurs in coffee farming and in 2018 they will train another 6,000 female small holders.
The company also offers one of the most generous maternity and paternity leaves for both male and female primary care givers. For their female employees, they give a minimum of 14 weeks paid maternity leave and the right to extend their maternity leave up to six months. In addition, they also have fully equipped and modern lactation rooms to support breastfeeding at work.
The WEPs are a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. Launched in 2010, after a year-long international consultation with multiple stakeholders; the Seven Principles are clear and straightforward, offering guidance to business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
- Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
- Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination
- Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
- Promote education, training and professional development for women
- Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
- Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
- Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality
Since the launch of the Women’s Empowerment Principles in 2010, over 1800 companies from around the world have signed into the WEPs in support for gender equality and the guidance provided by the Principles. They are based on real-life company examples and provide a holistic framework for business action to advance women’s empowerment, covering topics from women in leadership, to access to child and dependent care, to sexual harassment, to networking and mentoring opportunities, to support for women’s entrepreneurship and community initiatives focused on the empowerment of women and girls.