Rueil-Malmaison (France), March 10, 2015 – In observance of International Women’s Day and the 20th anniversary of the historic UN World Conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing, over 350 leaders from business, civil society, Government and the UN gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York City for the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) event, Unlimited Potential: Business Partners for Gender Equality.
Since 2013, each WEPs Annual Event has included the announcement of the WEPs CEO Leadership Awards, saluting five exceptional CEOs for championing gender equality and the 7 WEPs Principles, in particular Principle One, which urges CEOs to lead by example. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Schneider Electric, was awarded one of the five Awards for his demonstrated commitment to and implementation of policies that advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The 2015 Business Case for Action Award recognized Schneider Electric’s for its Diversity and Inclusion policy, which prioritizes communicating the business case for diversity and creating a company-wide gender balance environment that extends beyond the parent company to more than 10 Schneider Electric CEOs of its international branches in countries from Viet Nam to Turkey.
“We are proud and honored by this prestigious recognition. Over the past several years, Schneider Electric has been striving to implement gender equality and to make diversity and inclusion an integral part of our company culture. This award is a great encouragement for all Schneider Electric leaders, managers, employees who have been active supporters in this journey,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire. “Addressing gender diversity and equality is a business and growth challenge. It is a key priority which impacts not only the performance of our organization, but also its reputation as world-class employer. For many reasons, that we know all, gender diversity and equality is no more an option but a business imperative!”
At Schneider Electric, progressing on diversity and gender balance has been a priority over the 5 past years. More than 300 leaders have dedicated half day to better understand the main blocking factors and to build gender diversity plans, more than 400 talented women have been mentored and coached, and 12 Schneider Electric Country Presidents, representing 120,000 employees have signed the WEP and have an active gender plan to make Schneider Electric a great place to work for women.
Conferring the awards in the historic ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations, Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commission, Australian Human Rights Commission and Chair, WEPs Leadership Group said: “What I’ve also come to understand vividly is that women’s empowerment desperately needs action on the ground and in the halls of power—be it Parliaments, Departments of Justice, at the UN or in the C-Suite offices around the world. As these five CEOs and their companies demonstrate, the 7 Principles are a unique gender equality roadmap for tangible actions and measurable results.”
The 2015 WEPS Leadership Awards also recognized: Alexander Wrabetz, Director General, Österreichischer Rundfunk (7 Principles); Angélica Fuentes, Chief Executive Officer, Omnilife, Founder, Angelíssima; and Founder and Chair, Angélica Fuentes Foundation (Benchmarking for Change); Frank Vettese, Managing Partner and Chief Executive, Deloitte Canada and Member, Global Executive Committee Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Cultural Change for Empowerment); and Symon Brewis-Weston, Chief Executive Officer, Sovereign Assurance (Community Engagement).
The two-day WEPs event, held as an official side event of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, included keynote speeches from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Hillary Rodham Clinton who urged business and Governments to work together to scale up investment in women and girls. The Women's Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business – a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact – is currently supported by nearly 900 CEOs and outlines seven steps for business to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management and automation with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Non-residential & Residential Buildings, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Utilities & Infrastructure and Data Centers & Networks. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the Group's 170,000 employees achieved revenues of 25 billion euros in 2014, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations make the most of their energy.
About the Women’s Empowerment Principles
The Women's Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business is a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The Principles outline seven steps for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The Principles highlight that empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity is essential to build strong economies; establish more stable and just societies; achieve internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability, and human rights; improve quality of life for women, men, families and communities; and propel business' operations and goals. Learn more at www.weprinciples.org.
About the 2014 WEPs Leadership Awards
The 6th Annual Women’s Empowerment Principles meeting inaugurates the WEPs Leadership Award to salute CEO commitment and innovation to realize gender equality. Since 2013, each WEPs Annual Event includes the announcement of the WEPs CEO Leadership Awards saluting five exceptional CEOs for championing gender equality and the 7 WEPs, in particular Principle One, which urges CEOs to lead by example. The WEPs Leadership Awards Committee is comprised of members of the WEPs Leadership Group, a multi-stakeholder volunteer body that provides strategic guidance to the WEPs partnership of the UN Women and the UN Global Compact. It represents business, academia, civil society, women’s organizations and international institutions. For complete information about the Awards, winners and Awards Committee, please visit