10 October 2018 | News/Stories

Four Business Coalitions commit to gender equality

A total of 28 businesses, including some of the top employers in Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam, have committed to championing gender equality in their workplace, as they formed in-country coalitions with the support of Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government.

The Vietnam Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (VBCWE) was launched on September 27 with seven members while the Business Coalition for Gender Equality (BCGE) kicked off in Myanmar on October 5, bringing six member-firms to the fold of regional business leaders in gender equality.

Investing in Women has previously supported the establishment of the Indonesia Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (IBCWE) and the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE) in collaboration with the Philippine Women’s Economic Network.

“The successful launch of Business Coalitions in four countries highlights strong private sector interest in workplace policies and practices that provide men and women equal opportunity to enter and progress to senior positions,” Investing in Women CEO Julia Newton-Howes said.

“There is already mounting evidence on how equal opportunity for and treatment of women and men give companies a competitive advantage, but we believe that the efforts and learnings of the Business Coalitions will strengthen the business case for workplace gender equality,” she added.

Investing in Women provided coalitions with grant support; technical assistance on workplace gender equality; and support for founding members to get EDGE Certification, a global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality.

EDGE Certification, which stands for Economic Dividends for Gender Equality Certification, is designed to help organisations create and benefit from an optimal workplace for women and men. It is working with some 200 organizations, in 50 countries and 23 industries.

Across the four Business Coalitions supported by Investing in Women, 18 companies are now EDGE Certified, with five more going through the audit process. Myanmar now has the highest number of EDGE Certifications in Asia, with eight EDGE Certifications awarded to BCGE founding members.

The Pun Hlaing Siloam Hospital under the First Myanmar Investment is the first EDGE Certified hospital globally. In the Philippines, PBCWE founding members Ayala Land and Convergys are globally the first real estate and business process outsourcing firms, respectively, to be certified.

“By helping founding members get EDGE-Certified, Business Coalitions are set to become in-country experts in workplace gender equality and in helping companies implement mechanisms that enable both women and men,” Kathy Mulville, Business Partnerships Director at Investing in Women, said.

Investing in Women has also incorporated best practices and learnings from member-firms that have gone through EDGE Certification so far into a toolkit that will help Business Coalitions deliver high-quality support to companies seeking to improve workplace gender equality.

“The work doesn’t stop at acquiring EDGE Certification,” Mulville added, noting that Business Coalitions will help monitor and evaluate action plans, provide tools and training, and prepare firms for potentially moving to higher levels when they renew their EDGE Certification in two years.

Business Coalition support is available not only to companies seeking EDGE Certification but also to those exploring gender equality as a competitive advantage. Companies interested in EDGE Certification, advisory services, and benefits of joining may contact Business Coalitions directly:

Business Coalition for Gender Equality (Myanmar)


Founding members:

  • Ayeyarwady Bank Ltd
  • City Mart Holding Co., Ltd.
  • First Myanmar Investment Co., Ltd.
  • KBZ Group of Companies
  • Parami Energy
  • Shwe Taung Group

Indonesia Business Coalition for Women Empowerment


Founding members:

  • PT Accenture
  • PT Adis Dimension Footwear
  • PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional TBK
  • PT Gajah Tunggal TBK
  • PT Mitra Adi Perkasa, TBK
  • PT Pan Brothers, TBK
  • PT Unilever Indonesia, TBK
  • Sintesa Group

Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment


Founding members:

  • Accenture Philippines
  • Ayala Corporation
  • Convergys Philippines
  • Magsaysay
  • Natasha
  • SGV & Co.
  • SSI Group Inc.

Vietnam Business Coalition for Women Empowerment


Founding members:

  • Deloitte Vietnam
  • Maritime Bank
  • Electricity Vietnam
  • GARCO 10
  • Traphaco
  • Unilever Vietnam

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