It’s official: on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the ABBL has just signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles. Established by the United Nations Global Compact and UN Women, by the United Nations, these principles are the first vehicle to concretely implement gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace.

How to ensure equal pay for work of equal value? What about zero tolerance against sexual harassment in the workplace? These questions need to be answered, and the financial sector has a role to play. At the ABBL, we believe that gender equality in the workplace is in the best interests of our members. Not only because it’s fair and ethically correct, but also because it serves business.

As one of the first signatories of the Women’s Empowerment Principles in Luxembourg, we wish to set an example and work for our members to develop good practices in favour of gender equality.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles

The 7 principles

1. High-level corporate leadership


2. Treat all women and men fairly at work without discrimination

“Treating all women and men fairly at work aligns with international human rights principles. It also translates to better talent acquisition, higher employee retention and satisfaction, increased productivity and better decision making. Removing all forms of discrimination in corporate policies, strategies, culture and practices is a solid step forward in a company’s WEPs journey.” More info here.

3. Employee health, well-being and safety

“Employers play a key role in preserving and promoting the physical and emotional health, safety and wellbeing of their women and men employees. Sexual harassment and violence signify high costs to women in terms of lost earnings, missed promotions and overall wellbeing. Companies are impacted in form of employee absenteeism and productivity losses.” More info here.

4. Education and training for career advancement

“Training for all employees about how the company is advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment can align everyone around shared values and help ensure compliance with company policies and practices. Effective programmes to support women’s professional advancement include education and training that is complemented by networking and mentoring programmes.” More info here.

5. Company development, supply chain and marketing practices

“Negative and diminished conceptions of women and girls are one of the greatest barriers for gender equality. Advertising is a powerful driver to change perceptions and impact social norms –portraying women and men in modern, authentic and multidimensional roles. Companies can also influence business partners through inclusive supply chain policies and standards of engagement.” More info here.

6. Community initiatives and advocacy

“Companies are increasingly investing in community development programmes to make valuable, effective and responsible contributions to gender equality and women’s empowerment. A key motivation is to respond to consumer preferences to buy from companies with gender-responsive business practices and who are actively supporting community initiatives.” More info here.

7. Measurement and reporting

Transparency and accountability are required for companies to uphold their commitments to gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community. Measuring and reporting mechanisms are crucial to monitor and track performance and progress. Business leaders and stakeholders agree that while not everything of value can be counted, it is difficult to manage what is not measured.” More info here.