Women Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business

BPW NZ logo Clear bkg (2)Womens Empowerment principles




A partnership initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. It encourages engagement with the private sector, non-governmental organisations, the United Nations and governments to advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Some Historic Background:

March 2010  “The Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality means Business” were launched at the Levin Institute in New York. BPW International was represented by President Liz Benham and Vice President Freda Miriklis.

June 2010 BPW International was represented by President Liz Benham and Vice President Freda Miriklis at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York.  More than 1,000 CEO’s, ministers, and heads of civil society met.  The WEPs’ were presented and discussion ensued on how to build a new era of sustainability; an era where environmental, social and governance issues are deeply integrated into business, based on both material and ethical rationales. Thirty-nine chief executives from all regions of the world representing diverse global and national companies expressed their commitment to advancing equality between men and women, the cornerstone of the seven WEPs.

July-August 2010 Following the BPW Oceania Conference Vice President Freda Miriklis gave a presentation to delegates representing BPW American Samoa, BPW Australia, BPW Cook Islands and BPW New Zealand. VP Freda Miriklis accompanied BPWNZ President Angela McLeod to a private reception with Hon Pansy Wong, Minister of Women’s Affairs and Rowena Phair, CEO Ministry of Women’s Affairs, seeking New Zealand’s support for the WEPs at the forthcoming 15th APEC Women Leaders Network (WLN) meeting in Japan.

September 2010 BPWI were involved where the WEPs were included in the WLN Recommendations at the 15th APECWLN meeting in Tokyo on the theme Creation of New Global Economic Activities by Women – Realization through People, Nature and Culture.  The recommendations were presented to APEC Leaders and Ministers.  BPWI were recognized for their commitment by Doraid Moez, UNIFEM Deputy Director, in his opening address to APEC WLN, Japan.

October 2010 BPW American Samoa introduced the WEPs’  to over 70 attendees at its Leadership Conference: Women mean Business.

July 2011 BPWNZ President Carolyn Savage presented to Petra Bagust on  “TV One Breakfast Show” the WEPs document and its potential for education and change.

August 2011 BPWNZ President Carolyn Savage met with UN Women President Rae Julian to discuss the opportunity for BPWNZ and UN Women to establish a WEP’s partnership in NZ.

Since September 2011 BPWNZ has worked in collaboration with UN Women and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission to launch the WEPs’ to New Zealand Businesses, Government departments, Local Government, and other stakeholders.

February 2012 the official launch of the Women’s Empowerment Principles hosted by the Governor General.  There were officially nine signatories with another four received either on the day or just after.  EEO Trust stepped forward to become a part of the committee.

Roadshows were hosted by signatories in Auckland and Wellington, with unfortunately Christchurch having to be cancelled.

Zonta Hamilton has led a successful campaign in Hamilton.

September 2013:  Suffrage Day, NZ held its first White Camellia Awards recognizing signatories who provided their reports on how they had implemented either one or more of the six principles.

To date the above has been undertaken by volunteers.