The policies and practices of multinational enterprises (MNEs) affect gender equality in the workplace in host countries of foreign affiliates. Depending on MNE home country norms and values and those of its customer and stakeholder bases, outcomes in developing countries can be positive, although this is not automatic. This high-level panel will examine the various mechanisms through which MNEs transfer gender policies and practices to local firms, and the impact on gender outcomes, notably female employment and the gender wage gap with the aim to individuate the best policy measures and initiatives that can ensure foreign investment translates into real benefits for women.
The discussion will build on recent research and policy analysis on the topic including UNCTAD’s Report on Multinational Enterprises and the International Transmission of Gender Policies and Practices.
Issues to be addressed
- Do the benefits associated with foreign direct investment (FDI) also translate into more gender-equal labour market outcomes?
- Which polices can enable gender equality in FDI host countries?
- What is the role of domestic labor market legislation in promoting women participation in the economy?
- How can responsible investment principles, corporate social responsibility standards influence MNE practices?
- Does the inclusion of gender equality in international trade and investment agreements help to prevent lowering relevant labour market standards for the purpose of promoting investment?
- How can the adoption of reporting standards help drive a change in corporate gender policies and practices?