WEConnect International, together with its corporate members, including EY, Freeport-McMoRan, IBM, Ingersoll Rand, Pfizer, Proctor & Gamble and Walmart, commit to expand their inclusive sourcing initiatives by collectively spending at least $15 billion with women-owned businesses globally over the next five years. Today, it is very difficult for multinational corporations to find women suppliers offering relevant products and services and most women business owners either do not compete for or do not win more than one percent of corporate global spend on products and services. WEConnect International maintains a global database of women-owned businesses based in over 100 countries that will make it easier for the corporations to find and source from more women suppliers globally and measure that spend over time. To meet the five-year spend goal, WEConnect International will work closely with each of the corporate partners on establishing their current baselines of spend with women suppliers globally and on their strategies for increasing that spend. The strategies may include updates to their sourcing policies, practices, supplier management infrastructure and/or how they track and report on progress.
Corporations will report to WEConnect International on their total spend with women-owned businesses globally in April of each year based on the results of the previous year. WEConnect International will also host quarterly calls with the corporations to discuss progress to date, help facilitate support for any challenges they face in meeting their goals, and share success stories and good practices.
With the recent adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we have marked the beginning of a new era of international development. Gender is a central feature of the SDGs Outcome Document; it is highlighted as a standalone outcome and goal (SDG 5), and is integrated throughout the agreement. Never before has addressing gender inequality been so integral to a global development commitment.
In order to advance gender equality targets, WEConnect International, in partnership with No Ceilings and Vital Voices, is convening a holistic coalition of multi-sectoral partners, focusing on three core issue areas of work: 1) Promoting Womens Economic Participation; 2) Addressing Violence Against Girls and Women; and, 3) Advancing Womens Leadership in both Private and Public sectors.
On Promoting Womens Economic Participation, WEConnect International will work with a diverse coalition of multinational corporations committed to inclusive sourcing and opportunities to leverage their significant purchasing power with women as supplierssuppliers that are today statistically invisible in large global value chains.
WEConnect International is seeking financial support for this commitment; corporations that want to commit to sourcing from women-owned businesses; and media support to help get the word out about the importance of this commitment to key stakeholders.
WEConnect International will provide to the public, annual summaries of lessons learned and opportunities for new partners to join the commitment.