Target Gender Equality


Target Gender Equality is an accelerator program to support participating companies of the UN Global Compact in setting and meeting ambitious corporate targets for women’s representation and leadership in business. The initiative is developed to drive business action in support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5.5, which calls for women’s full participation and equal opportuntiies for leadership, including in economic life, by 2030.

Through facilitated performance analysis, capacity building workshops, peer-to-peer learning, and multi-stakeholder dialogue at the country-level, Target Gender Equality will provide participants with the research, knowledge, and networks needed to confidently set and reach ambitious targets for women’s representation and leadership starting with the Board and Executive Management levels.

This initiative will build on and support the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which ground the UN Global Compact’s work on gender equality and draws inspiration from the UN Secretary-General’s commitment to reach gender parity within the UN system.

Target Gender Equality will be rolled out at the country level in collaboration with Global Compact Local Networks, operating in nearly 70 countries around the world.


Women’s participation and leadership in business is essential to business success and sustainable development

  • Gender diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability (Mckinsey, 2018)
  • There is a positive correlation between women’s representation in business leadership and environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance (IFC,2019)

Yet progress remains alarmingly slow.

  • At the current rate of progress, the economic gender gap will take 257 years to close (WEF,2019)
  • Women account for less than 30% of senior roles globally (Grant Thorton, 2019) and approximately 20% of board director seats worldwide (MSCI, 2019)

The disconnect between business commitment and action must be addressed.

  • 2,900+ CEOs have publicly embraced the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs)
  • Data from the WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool suggests that only 28% of companies include time-bound, measurable goals, and targets on gender equality in their strategy


Encourage and support Global Compact Participants in setting and meeting ambitious corporate targets for women’s representation and leadership in business, starting with board and executive management levels.

  • Support ambitious corporate target setting through facilitated performance analysis and capacity building at the country level.
  • Promote the comprehensive business case for women’s full participation and leadership in business, including financial and nonfinancial performance.
  • Support companies in including more gender-inclusive businesses aligned with the Women Empowerment Principles.
  • Connect business with UN partners and other experts that can further support business action to advance SDG 5.5.
  • Foster policy and stakeholder dialogue at the country level to address barriers to women’s representation and leadership in business.
  • Showcase and promote women’s business leadership driving corporate sustainability and progress on the SDGs.
  • Demonstrate that gender equality is a key component of corporate sustainability and business’ contribution to the SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goal 5.5

Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.

Why Join?

Program Benefits

  • Confidently set ambitious and realistic corporate targets for gender equality demonstrating commitment and action to your employees, investors and other stakeholders
  • Understand your current gender equality performance through the facilitated use of the Women’s Empowerment Principles Gender Gap Analysis Tool
  • Engage in accelerated learning opportunities specific to your country context
  • Build a network of peers, UN partners, and experts to support your gender equality strategy and work collectively to tackle persistent barriers to gender equality
  • Showcase women leaders in your company who are driving business success, sustainability and contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Target Gender Equality is available in the UN Global Compact Local Networks shown in red.

Company registration: February 2020 – June 2020
Programme begins: June 2020
Programme ends: March 2021

To Register to TGE please click on the following link.

You can also find the Video Target Gender Equality: Taking Action in Response to COVID-19, a co-developed TGE Video that features representatives from all 19 TGE LNs, GCO staff, and colleagues from partner organizations such as UN Women, UNICEF, the UN Human Rights Office, IFC, and WE Empower.

TGE Resources

Academy Session: How Business Can Support Women in Times of Crisis

2020 Trends and Opportunities Webinar

WEPs Call To Action


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