Launching event for the Guidelines for Leadership and Skills Development of Women in the Private Sector
31 October 2022
Under the patronage of H.E. Wafa Bani Mustafa, Minister of Social Development and Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women’s Empowerment; UN Women and ILO joint programme “Promoting Productive Employment and Decent Work for Women in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine” With generous funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), launched the Guidelines for Leadership and Skills Development of Women in the Private Sector during the Breaking the glass ceiling event on October 31st 2022.
Among the main challenges that hinder women’s participation and retention in the labour market is the glass ceiling that prevents them to break through to reach leadership and decision-making positions. This glass ceiling constitutes of cultural and structural factors, many of which are deeply rooted and reflected at the institutional level. Women face significant horizontal and vertical gender-based segregation in the labour market where, they are concentrated in entry and mid-level jobs, and only a few are reaching decision-making positions. Despite all the efforts women in Jordan still hold under 5% of board positions and around 78% have no women on their boards. Meanwhile, for private shareholding companies, women members constitute only 9.1% of senior management, and only 2.6% of those companies have women chairs. Jordan’s numbers are among the lowest in the world, even in comparison with other countries in the Middle East.1
The UN Women and ILO joint programme “Promoting Productive Employment and Decent Work for Women in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine” aims to address the structural causes of inequalities that hinder women from enjoying equal opportunities for decent work. One of the main vehicles used for this purpose is the partnership with the private sector to support a gender-responsive private sector that attracts, retains, and promotes women. The primary tool UN Women uses to engage with the private sector is the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which is used as an instrument for the execution of gender equality and women’s empowerment practices in the private sector. UN Women designed the Guidelines for Women’s Leadership and Skills Development in the Private Sector to address the gap in leadership representation of women in the private sector in Jordan by informing and supporting the introduction, implementation and institutionalization of actions and practices that enhance women’s access to leadership and skills development opportunities.
Ms. Aisha Mukhtar, Deputy Representative of UN Women in Jordan, stated: “As UN Women, this is our third year of engagement with the private sector in Jordan for strengthening corporate delivery on gender dimensions of 2030 Agenda through Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and we are very proud that Jordan now has the second highest number of WEPs signatories in the Arab States region. We hope that these guidelines for leadership and skill development of women in the private sector will further support the growing national WEPs Network in Jordan to adopt and strengthen institutional policies and practices for enhancing women’s access to leadership and decision-making opportunities.”
UN Women developed these Guidelines in partnership with a range of key stakeholders, including the Government, Women’s Empowerment Principles signatories from the private sector, the Jordanian National Commission for Women, civil society, associations of employers and employees and development partners.