You are on page 1of 20

WOMEN’S

EMPOWERMENT
PRINCIPLES
PROMISING PRACTICES FROM 2018

GEORGIA
WOMEN’S
EMPOWERMENT
PRINCIPLES

NOTE
This booklet was developed by the Civil Development Agency (CiDA) under the
project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia” imple-
mented by UN Women and funded by the Government of Norway.
The views expressed in this report are solely those of the company members of the
Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) working group “Women’s Empowerment
in Business Sector” in Georgia and do not necessarily represent the official position
of UN Women or the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Produced with Project partner of
the support of
OVERVIEW

4
This booklet provides a brief description of how the Women’s
WOMEN’S
EMPOWERMENT
Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business (WEPs) are
implemented by the private sector in Georgia. The goal of the
booklet is to capture some promising initiatives and inspire more
companies to join the WEPs movement.
PRINCIPLES
1
Developed by UN Women and the UN Global Compact in 2010,
) Establish high-level corporate
the WEPs offer seven steps to guide businesses on how to em- leadership for gender equality
power women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
The WEPs emphasize the business case for corporate action to
promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and sup- 2 ) Treat all women and men fairly
at work

3
port companies to integrate a gender lens throughout their busi-
ness operations. More than 2,000 chief executive officers around ) Ensure the health, safety and
the world have signed the WEPs CEO Statement of Support so well-being of all women and men
workers
far.
Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN Wom-
en launched the project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic 4 ) Promote education, training
and professional development for
women
Empowerment in Georgia” in December 2017. The project aims

Women’s Empowerment Principles in Georgia
5
to link disadvantaged and grass-roots women and women small
entrepreneurs with business associations and the private sector, ) Implement enterprise develop-
ment, supply chain and marketing
using the WEPs as the main framework and tool for women’s
practices that
empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Promising Practices from 2018
empower women
The project component that provides capacity development and
technical support for private companies to integrate the WEPs
in their policies and operations is implemented in collaboration 6 ) Promote equality through com-
munity initiatives and advocacy

7
with the Civil Development Agency (CiDA), which also serves
as the Secretariat of the Global Compact Network in Georgia. ) Measure and publicly report
CiDA’s support includes, among others, the assessment of com- on progress to achieve gender
equality
panies’ policies and operations from a gender perspective; assis-
tance in the development of action plans for WEPs implementa-
tion; and training and technical support in mainstreaming gender
considerations in business practices. 5
WHY DO
COMPANIES
EMPOWER
WOMEN?
6
“Women Economic Empowerment is one of Crystal’s top pri-
orities. We employ 1,000+ people and serve more than 95, 000
customers around Georgia (in both cases majority of which are
women – staff members: 60.9%, Customers: 52.6 %). We believe
we must be a fair representation of the society we serve: it’s not
only the right thing to do, it’s the only way Crystal can drive last-
ing progress, and build a more balanced and sustainable world.“

Maya Kobalia, Head of Environmental
and Social (E&S) Division, Miso Crystal, WEPs signee

“We believe diversity and multiculturalism to be our common
source of wealth. We believe the business world can only gain by
listening more to women. We want more solidarity and respect
among women and men, and we aim for every woman to achieve
her ambition!”
Erdogan Sahin, General Manager of AccorHotels,
WEPs signee

Women’s Empowerment Principles in Georgia
“Dio understands that to achieve success, it is critical to fully
utilize social and economic assets. Gender equality is good for

Promising Practices from 2018
business development and provides convergence of common in-
terests. Women’s engagement in any sector strengthens business
development processes and plays an important role in achieving
sustainable development goals.”
Natia Qutide, Head of the
Human Resource Department at Dio, WEPs signee

7
PROMISING PRACTICES

m2 Real Estate joined the WEPs in 2016. Following the devel-
opment of the company’s first WEPs Action Plan, the company
increasingly started promoting women in male-dominated occu-
pations as part of the strategy to fully utilize internal talents and
contribute to the sustainability of the business. The change has
been remarkable. While in 2016 only 20 per cent of site managers
were women, as of December 2018, women constitute the abso-
lute majority of site managers in residential complexes – a posi-
tion that previously was considered a “job for a man”.
In 2018, the company developed its second WEPs Action Plan
for the period from 2018 to 2020 and celebrated achieving gender
balance among its top management. The proportion of women
in senior management increased from 20 per cent in 2016 to 50
2016 2018 per cent in 2018. Now, of the 10 top managerial positions, five are
occupied by women. As a result of several internal changes in the
Women Men
company’s human resources policy and practices, more women
have been promoted to other managerial positions as well.

The insurance company GPI Holding developed their two-
year WEPs Action Plan in mid-2018. In the run-up to signing
the WEPs in 2018, the company established a gender-balanced
8 working group that will be responsible for the implementation
and monitoring of the company’s WEPs Action Plan. As the first
step, the company’s human resources policy documents were re-
9
viewed from a gender perspective to ensure that internal policies,
including hiring, firing and promotions, are improved and that a
complaint mechanism for different forms of discrimination and
sexual harassment was developed.

Adjara Group is among the first five companies in Georgia that
signed the WEPs and developed a WEPs Action Plan in 2016.
In 2018, the company developed its second Action Plan on the
WEPs and proceeded with integrating the seven principles into
the company’s policies and operations.
Since signing the WEPs, the company has been actively en-
gaged in developing policies and practices such as flexible work
arrangements for childcare and parental leave to support em-
ployees’ work-life balance. Furthermore, the company regularly
holds trainings to increase the awareness of employees on gender
equality and diversity issues.

Women’s engagement at Adjara Group In 2018, Adjara Group conducted awareness-raising trainings on
combating violence against women in the communities living in
Employees Kazbegi Municipality, where the company initiated a project enti-
tled “The employment of women survivors of domestic violence”.
Management Consequently, three women have already been successfully em-
ployed within Adjara Group as a result of this project.

Board of Directors Linked to the various measures implemented under the WEPs
Action Plan, the number of female employees at Adjara Group
has increased by 12 per cent. Currently, the Board of Directors
Women Men has seven men and five women, while the company’s management
positions are occupied by 28 men and 33 women. Altogether, the
company has 1,045 male and 855 female employees.
10
SOCAR Georgia Petroleum joined the WEPs in October 2018. A
month later came the launch of the company’s new CSR strategy
with five focus areas, one being women’s empowerment and gen-
der equality. As one of the company’s first WEPs activities, more
than 35 department heads and managers were trained on gender
equality and diversity, including on the prevention of sexual ha-
rassment in the workplace. Of the training attendees, 73 per cent
were men.
As part of the WEPs Action Plan, SOCAR Georgia Petroleum has
pledged to take steps to promote all seven principles. The future
plans include taking measures to eradicate gender stereotypes,
introducing work-life balance programmes to support employees
with children and engaging male employees in campaigns on gen-
der equality. In their information campaigns, the company will
build on their previous experiences in tackling gender norms. For
example, to break the commonly held stereotype that women are
poor drivers, the company distributed specialized bumper stick-
ers at SOCAR stations, and to combat stereotypes about so-called

Women’s Empowerment Principles in Georgia
“male professions”, the company produced a video featuring Mary
Gvasalia, a female car mechanic. In the video, Mary is a licensed
racing driver who has a good understanding of repairing cars. The
campaign quickly went viral online and showed that a woman is

Promising Practices from 2018
perfectly able to do a “man’s job”.

Since joining the WEPs in 2016, the microfinance organization
Crystal has taken multiple steps for women’s empowerment. In
2018, their company adopted their second Action Plan on the
WEPs (2018-2020) and started the process of integrating gen-
der issues into their employment policies and programmes. As a 11
12
result, the company has a revised, gender-responsive human re-
sources policy that integrates all seven WEPs.
In 2018, Crystal also created a new position and hired a female
employee for managing the company’s projects and programmes
that advance women’s economic empowerment. One of the key
components of the company’s work in this area is supporting
women’s professional development and capacity-building.
Going forward, Crystal has decided, among others, to include a
training module on sexual harassment in the mandatory trainings
for new employees. This new initiative will be launched in 2019.

AccorHotels*1 joined the WEPs movement in Georgia in 2017.
In 2018, the company developed their WEPs Action Plan and
started mainstreaming gender into the company’s policies, which
also included revising their People Policy document. In 2018, the
company also started gathering sex-disaggregated data, for ex-

Women’s Empowerment Principles in Georgia
ample, on the received applications for their vacancy announce-
ments to map and analyse gender gaps in the workplace.
Under the WEPs, the company developed the initiative “Future
planning for women on maternity leave”. Under the initiative, a

Promising Practices from 2018
month before the end of maternity leave, the company arranges
a meeting with the employee to discuss her plans and develop
a convenient schedule for her. After returning from maternity
Total number of trained
leave, employees are asked if they would like to undertake any employees at Accor Hotels
specific training to support their reintegration in the working en-
vironment.
During the course of 2018, the company arranged around 40
trainings for their employees on various topics, including health,
well-being and security at work; gender equality; and sex tour-
ism. The total number of trained employees was 175, of whom 94 Women Men 13
were women (54 per cent) and 81 were men (46 per cent). Fur-
thermore, the company started building a cohort of trained and
qualified mentors within the company by enrolling two of their
employees in a mentor training programme.

The Poti Sea Port became increasingly involved in efforts to
create a diverse working environment and promote women’s em-
powerment through joining the WEPs movement in 2018. The
company’s WEPs measures started with building internal capac-
ity on gender issues and designing the WEPs Action Plan. With
the support of the Public Defender’s Office, the company orga-
nized trainings for supervisors, managers, the chairman of the
trade unions and other female employees to potentially fill these
so-called “men’s jobs”. The trainings were attended by 25 people –
51 per cent women and 49 per cent men.
As a company operating in a very male-dominated sector, the Poti
Sea Port encourages women’s employment in so-called non-tradi-
tional positions by showcasing female role models. Currently, 11
per cent of the company’s employees are women, of whom only 3
per cent are employed as electricians, welders or climbers. Going
forward with WEPs implementation, the Poti Sea Port plans to
increase the number of women in so-called male-dominated jobs
and cooperate with non-governmental organizations to promote
young women’s engagement in STEM programmes, thus increas-
ing the pool of qualified women in “non-traditional” jobs.

*1
The AccorHotels Group comprises more than 20 brands, from budget to luxury.
Mercure Tbilisi Old Town was the first four-star hotel from the AccorHotels Group
and opened in 2015. In 2017, ibis Styles Tbilisi Center, a three-star hotel, also
14 opened through the AccorHotels Group. Both hotels are managed by one (cluster)
management team.
15
16
The PR company GEPRA is among the first companies that, after
signing onto the WEPs in 2016, developed and implemented a
WEPs Action Plan. Since 2016, the company has had a training
and mentoring system to promote women’s education and pro-
fessional development. The company pays great attention to sex-
ual harassment in the workplace. In 2018, all employees of the Men and women at managerial
company completed the electronic training course “Prevention of positions at GEPRA
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”, *2 and the company has
adopted an internal sexual harassment complaint mechanism.
GEPRA is continually classifying the suppliers according to their
sex and analysing the data to seek to improve gender balance in
their supplier base.
Women Men

Women’s Empowerment Principles in Georgia
The Business and Technology University (BTU) joined the
WEPs movement in Georgia in 2018. As one of its first WEPs
activities, the BTU joined the global 16 Days of Activism against
Gender-Based Violence campaign by conducting an information

Promising Practices from 2018
session on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.
One of the objectives of the company’s Action Plan on the WEPs
(2018-2020) is to increase women’s involvement and employment
in the field of information technology by creating a coaching
school for women. Selected girls and women will study mobile
applications and Android development for six months. At the end
of the programme, the women who have undergone the intensive
course will be able to work independently and develop mobile

*2
The electronic course “Prevention of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” in
17
the Georgian language was created by UN Women and the Office of the Public
Defender of Georgia.
applications. In addition, the women involved in the programme
will go through a Training of Trainers (ToT) to be able to train the
students of the next cohort. This activity will be implemented not
only in Tbilisi but also in the regions of Georgia.

The Analysis and Consulting Team (ACT), a research-based
consulting company, signed onto the WEPs in 2018. Among its
first WEPs actions, the ACT formed a public-private partnership
with the Ministry of Finance Training Academy (MOF Academy).
Under the partnership, one socially vulnerable woman who had
received training at the MOF Academy has already been trained
in research-interviewing skills and then employed at the ACT.
The company plans to develop similar multi-stakeholder partner-
ships for women’s empowerment in the future.
Ninety-five per cent of women interviewers employed at the ACT
are women. The main core of these employees are women over
the age of 35, who often have difficulties finding a job. The com-
Women interviewers employed at the pany has been highly satisfied with the employees, viewing them
ACT, by age group as very stable, reliable and productive employees for this position.
30% Having received several technical capacity-building trainings and
instruction on software programmes, the women employed at
the ACT are engaged in various national and international re-
20% 20%
search projects.
15%
10%
5%

18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+

18
WOMEN’S
EMPOWERMENT
PRINCIPLES