Kenya welcomes 50th signatory to the Women Empowerment Principles



Photo:UN Women/Tabitha Icuga
Photo: UN Women/Tabitha Icuga

Stanbic Bank Kenya has officially signed the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPS), a global set of standards established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, 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 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.

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 organisations 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.”

Under this particular partnership with the UN, the bank will be contributing to the social and economic pillars with 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.