THE CALVERT WOMEN'S PRINCIPLES INITIATIVE - The Calvert Women's Principles (CWP) is now recruiting companies to participate in prioritizing, designing, and testing guidance materials. Web-based tookits will share best practices, case studies, research, and other practical information to enhance adoption of the Calvert Women's Principles. Contact: Amy Augustine - augustine@calvert.com





"The Calvert Women's Principles constitute the first global code of conduct for corporations focused exclusively on empowering, advancing and investing in women worldwide," said Barbara Krumsiek, President and CEO of Calvert. "The Women's Principles will provide companies a set of goals they can aspire to and measure their progress against, while offering investors a set of tools they can use to assess corporate performance on gender equality issues."





Corporations will promote and strive to attain gender equality in their operations and in their business and stakeholder relationships by adopting and implementing proactive policies that are publicly disclosed, monitored and enforced.

In this regard, companies agree to take all reasonable steps to:

  1. Publicize their commitment to these Principles through a CEO statement or comparably prominent means, and prominently display them in the workplace and/or make them available to all employees in a readily accessible and understandable form.
  2. Be transparent in the implementation of these Principles, and promote their endorsement and implementation by affiliates, vendors, suppliers, customers and others with whom they do business.
  3. Engage in constructive dialogue with stakeholder groups, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business associations, investors and the media on their progress in implementing the Principles.
  4. Establish benchmarks to measure and monitor progress toward gender equality and report results publicly.
  5. Develop and implement company policies, procedures, training and internal reporting processes to ensure observance and implementation of these Principles throughout the organization.
  6. Establish an unbiased, non-retaliatory grievance policy allowing employees to make comments, recommendations, reports, or complaints concerning the treatment of women in the workplace.
  7. Conduct periodic audits, self-evaluation, public disclosure and reporting on status and progress made in the implementation of these Principles.
  8. Ensure that these Principles are observed not only with respect to their own employees but also in their relations with independent contractors, sub-contractors, home-based workers, vendors and other non-employees with whom they do business.


Corporations will promote and strive to attain gender equality by adopting and implementing wage, income, hiring, promotion and other employment policies that eliminate gender discrimination in all its forms.

In this regard, companies agree to take all reasonable steps to:

  1. Pay the legal wage to all women.
  2. Establish pay equity policies that pay comparable wages and benefits, including retirement security benefits, to men and women for comparable work.
  3. Eliminate all forms of discrimination based on gender or cultural stereotypes, including wages, hours, benefits, job access and qualifications, working conditions, or other work-related privileges or activities.
  4. Develop verifiable programs to hold managers accountable for attaining measurable progress in the hiring, training, retaining and promoting of women.
  5. Prohibit discrimination based on a woman's marital, parental or reproductive status in making decisions regarding employment or promotion.
  6. Implement reasonable and equitable policies regarding layoffs, contract work and temporary work that do not disproportionately affect women.
  7. Undertake concrete, verifiable actions to provide pregnant and post-natal women with employment security that allows for interruptions in their work for maternity, parental leave, and family-related responsibilities.
  8. Facilitate or otherwise provide information regarding the availability of childcare or family care facilities or assistance to employees. i. Strive to pay a living wage to all women.


Corporations will promote and strive to attain gender equality by adopting and implementing policies to secure the health, safety and well-being of women workers.

In this regard, companies agree to take all reasonable steps to:

  1. Ensure that women's health and safety, including reproductive health, are protected in the workplace.
  2. Prohibit and prevent all forms of violence in the workplace, including physical, sexual or verbal harassment, and have well-publicized procedures for reporting and responding to the same.
  3. Ensure the safety of female employees and vendors in the workplace, in travel to and from the workplace and on company-related business.
  4. Strive to eliminate unsafe working conditions and provide protection from exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals in the workplace, particularly when those substances have known or suspected adverse effects on the health of women and children. In addition to these steps, provide full disclosure of possible hazards, and obtain prior informed consent from women who may be exposed to such substances in the workplace.
  5. Prohibit discrimination against women with health problems, including individuals with AIDS/HIV positive status.
  6. Allow time off from work for women employees seeking medical care or treatment, including family planning, counseling and reproductive health care.
  7. Provide and make readily accessible information on domestic violence with information about available local resources.
  8. Provide and make readily accessible information on reproductive health care with information about available local resources.


Corporations will promote and strive to attain gender equality by adopting and implementing policies to help secure and protect the right of women to fully participate in civic life and to be free from all forms of discrimination and exploitation.

In this regard, companies agree to take all reasonable steps to:

  1. Clearly forbid business-related activities that condone, support, or otherwise participate in the trafficking in women and young girls, prostitution or sexual exploitation.
  2. Ensure that affiliated philanthropic foundations observe and support the implementation of and aspirations underlining these Principles through their donations, grant-making, and programmatic initiatives.
  3. Ensure that female employees are able to participate in legal, civic and political affairs - including time off to vote - without interference or fear of repercussion or retaliation in the workplace.
  4. Respect employees' voluntary freedom of association, including the voluntary freedom of association of female employees.
  5. Forbid political activities at the worksite that result in harassment or intimidation of women employees.
  6. Work with host governments and communities where the company does business to eliminate gender-based discrimination and improve educational and other opportunities for women and girls in those communities, including support for women's non-governmental organizations and other community groups working for the advancement of women.
  7. Exercise proactive leadership and hold themselves to higher standards than local culture, custom, or context may prescribe or tolerate in situations where cultural differences or customs are used to deny or abuse the basic human rights of women and girls.
  8. Take measures to protect female employees and their families from sexual harassment, violence, mutilation, intimidation, retaliation or other denial of their basic human rights by host governments or non-governmental political, religious or cultural organizations.


Corporations will promote and strive to attain gender equality by adopting and implementing policies to ensure women's participation in corporate management and governance.

In this regard, companies agree to take all reasonable steps to:

  1. Establish policies and undertake proactive efforts to recruit and appoint women to managerial positions and to the corporate board of directors.
  2. Establish policies and undertake proactive efforts to assure participation by women in decision-making and governance at all levels and in all areas of the business.


Corporations will promote and strive to attain gender equality by adopting and implementing education, training and professional development policies benefiting women.

In this regard, companies agree to take all reasonable steps to:

  1. Provide women employees with opportunities for and access to education and continuing education, literacy training, certified vocational skills and information technology training, and professional development.
  2. Facilitate access to special educational and vocational programs for young women who did not complete schooling and/or left their families or homes to enter the workforce.


Corporations will promote and strive to attain gender equality by adopting and implementing proactive, non-discriminatory business, marketing and supply chain policies and practices.

In this regard, companies agree to take all reasonable steps to:

  1. Respect the dignity of women in all sales, promotional and advertising materials, and exclude any form of gender or sexual exploitation in marketing and advertising campaigns.
  2. Publicly identify vendors and suppliers, share these Principles with them, and make every effort to ensure that vendors and suppliers adhere to these Principles and monitor their compliance with the same.
  3. Encourage and support women's entrepreneurship, and seek to enter into contractual and other business relationships with women-owned businesses and vendors, including micro-enterprises, and work with them to arrange fair credit and lending terms.

Calvert wishes to thank the many women leaders, corporate representatives, representatives of labor, human rights, women's advocacy and other non-governmental organizations and others who were kind enough to provide valuable counsel and advice during the drafting of these Principles.

To contact the list administrator, or to leave the list, send an email to: wunrn_listserve-request@lists.wunrn.com. Thank you.