Women economic empowerment to transform the investment and entrepreneurship landscape
in partnership with UN Women, the Commonwealth and the Francophonie
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25 October 2018
14:30 - 17:00 Europe/Zurich

Women’s economic empowerment has been identified as a key means for development and attaining the SDGs. Investment by MNEs can be a powerful tool to empower women, particularly in labour intensive, largely export-oriented industries and services. In many developing countries, MNEs have enabled women to enter the formal labour market for the first time – within their own companies or linked companies – through business opportunities generated in local, regional or global supply chains. At the same time, MNE investment poses several risks, as it can increase gender inequality and undermine work-life balance. Enhancing benefits of MNE investment for women’s economic empowerment requires grassroots action, a change in corporate strategies, inclusive government policies and a societal mind shift. Organized with UN Women, the Commonwealth and the Francophonie, this high-level meeting will weigh these issues and formulate new strategies for the public and private sector.

Issues for the debate:


  • Are MNEs agents of change for women economic empowerment?
  • How to empower a new generation of women in business leaders to act as feeders of sustainable development?
  • What are the key policy considerations to mainstream women economic empowerment in investment and entrepreneurship policies?


Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Secretary-General, Commonwealth of Nations
Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund UNFPA
Secretary of Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Nepal
Director, UN Women Office in Geneva
Purchases Group Manager - Brand and Business Service Purchases at Procter & Gamble International SA
Senior Director Social Impact, Coca Cola
SVP Head of Social Impact, Visa
Board Member, Lavazza Group
Senior VP & GM for Central and Eastern Europe at Dell EMC
President & Executive Director, Latin American Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (LAVCA)
CEO, Delance
CEO, Bisila Bokoko Embassy Services International (BBES)
WBA finalist, Co-founder & Chairperson, IRA - International Robotics Academy


Manager, Women’s Empowerment Principles Secretariat, UN Women
Anchor, CNN Money Switzerland