Giving Compass’ Take:
• Laura Herman, Alexandra Geertz, and Talia Alongi explain the steps companies can take to have their corporate social responsibility initiatives advance gender equity by incorporating women’s voices and creating baseline research about differences in gender.
• How can funders support companies and organizations that want to make this type of shift?
• Read the Giving Compass Gender Equality guide to understand more about gender equity initiatives outside of CSR.
In recent years, companies have increasingly focused their CSR efforts on creating opportunities for women and girls. CSR gender efforts often start with a focus on bringing women “up to speed” through trainings, hiring quotas, and scholarships.
For example, in the financial services sector, a significant number of companies have some portion of their CSR portfolio dedicated to financial literacy for women around the world. These investments focus on issues ranging from household finances to entrepreneurial business skills to salary negotiations.
We see leading companies and their partners going beyond programs that target individual women or girls and considering the relationships and systemic factors that influence women’s ability to thrive and succeed. CSR programs that strive to create gender equity must be thoughtfully and intentionally developed to consider complex social, economic, cultural, and political nuances, such as household decision-making dynamics, gender roles, and access to resources.
How can companies take steps to improve the effectiveness of their approach to social impact and gender equity?
- Incorporate the voice of women and girls: Bring in the voices of women and girls to ground the program in real-life experiences.
- Conduct gender analyses: Context-specific gender analyses can surface barriers that are fundamental to addressing gender equity.
- Invest in baseline research: Before any CSR program begins, it is good practice to start with baseline data collection that is sex-disaggregated to ensure that the program starts with an aligned understanding of the problem.
- Map the ecosystem: Project design should include a holistic understanding of all of the private and public players in the issue and target geography.
Read the full article about gender equity by Laura Herman, Alexandra Geertz, and Talia Alongi at FSG.
Women and Girls is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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