Gender equality is everybody’s business


Gender equality is a fundamental human right, and the responsibility to respect human rights is a global standard of expected conduct for all businesses wherever they operate.

Empowering women and promoting gender equality creates social and economic value in the marketplace, workplace and community. Gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, and it has a multiplier effect across all other development areas. Equality of opportunity and treatment for all genders is an essential aspect of decent work

Current standards and regulation as well as upcoming EU due diligence legislation, require businesses to look at the impact of their operations on gender equality in their own organization, as well as in their supply chain and other business relationships.

Whether it is the upcoming legislation, corporate identity, a moral compass, or a clear business case, businesses want to understand their social footprint, but struggle to identify, address and prevent gender-related human rights risks in their supply chain.

Gender-responsive procurement is an important strategy and opportunity to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in both the public and private sectors. Procurement policies and practices have a significant impact on women’s economic participation, access to services, and overall well-being. Therefore, it is critical that organizations have the knowledge and skills necessary to implement gender-responsive procurement policies and practices.

* SheSupplies supports all girls, women, boys, girls and non-binary people. We recognise that the term gender can be viewed as a spectrum (e.g., including transgender, gender non-conforming, unspecified and other groups) rather than following the binary definition of male/female.


Why introduce gender-responsive sourcing & procurement in your organization?

Buyers can advance gender equality and promote non-discrimination through procurement decisions and have different business benefits when sourcing from women-owned, gender balanced or gender-responsive businesses.

While we focus on advancing gender equality in supply chains, it also recognises the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including factors such as race, ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, health, social status, age, class, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity, national extraction or social origin.

The enormous purchasing power of corporations and governments represents a huge opportunity to promote gender equality in the supply chain and diversify the supplier base by building an enabling environment for women’s businesses. It is a key instrument to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, but there are several reasons to introduce gender-responsive sourcing & procurement:



Addressing gender inequality in the supply chain is crucial for protecting an organization’s reputation, as it can affect stakeholders such as consumers, employees, investors, and shareholders. In today’s tight labor market, recruitment and retainment of talent is important and difficult. For younger generations, a company’s reputation may be the deciding factor in their decision to join or not. A company’s reputation is essential to its long-term sustainability.


The right thing to do

Regardless of the industry, any business can become sustainable, not just financially but also in terms of its social impact. Prioritizing the well-being of employees and supply chain workers, ensuring equal rights and opportunities, and conducting business ethically promotes sustainability and aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals.Sustainability has become crucial for businesses, as they recognize that their future success is directly tied to more sustainable conduct.


Compliance with rules and regulations

 Improving gender equality in the supply chain is crucial to comply with international and national rules and regulations, such as the United Nations Guiding Principles and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The EU Commission has proposed a new Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence that will require businesses to address and prevent human rights risks in their value chain.

Lilianne Ploumen giving speech

The Business Case

Research shows that there are several business benefits when an organization adds a gender lens to their sourcing & procurement policies and practices, including:

    • Increased revenue and reduced procurement spend,
    • Increased productivity and reduced production costt,
    • Greater supplier availability and resilience,
    • Strengthened brand reputation,
    • Enhanced interest from the financial sector, Improved ability to recruit and retain employees,
    • More innovation and adaptability, Improved service delivery due to greater agility.

Why Work With Us


Shesupplies provides valuable insights on integrating a gender lens into your organization’s procurement processes and policies, along with guidance for developing and implementing an action plan that includes:

  • Develop a better understanding of gender issues and insights into gender-specific risks in your supply chain.
  • Set clear goals and smart targets for achieving gender equality in your supply chain.
  • Collect strategic gender-disaggregated supplier data to gain insight into your supplier base.
  • Adapt or develop gender-responsive sourcing and procurement policies and practices.
  • Enhance staff capacity and accountability to develop and implement strategic actions.
  • Foster trust and collaboration with strategic suppliers and other key stakeholders in the sector.
  • Measure progress and evaluate and adapt activities.
  • Enhance transparency and communication around gender equality performance and progress to key stakeholders, including the board, employees, suppliers, investors, and consumers.
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