Blog: Women’s Empowerment Principles

August 4th, 2016 Women's Empowerment

Earlier this year, I was very fortunate to attend the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles Annual Event in New York City.  This conference brought together 400 leaders from business, government, not for profit and the UN; I was the only business delegate from Canada, and will forever be enriched by the experience.

The business case for the commitment for gender equality has been conclusively proven; ensuring that women have access to economic opportunity leads to stronger and more just societies and more profitable businesses.  The seven Women’s Empowerment Principles (“WEPS”) set out a framework for action with respect to advancing this business case.  Going beyond setting out the issues, the WEPs require the CEOs of businesses to become signatories to the principles, and to commit to bringing them to life with specific action plans in the organizations they lead.

Jerry Cukier, as Crowe Soberman’s Managing Partner, was the first leader of an independent public accounting firm in Canada to commit to the WEPs by becoming a signatory to the WEPs in 2014.  The firm’s ongoing activities and strategies actively support the seven principles.  Crowe Soberman has taken a leadership position within the Crowe Horwath International Network, with several of the other member firms coming forward to become signatories to the WEPs.  The principles are:

  1. Establish high-level leadership for gender equality.
  2. Treat all women and men fairly at work; respect and support human rights and non-discrimination.
  3. Ensure the health and safety and well-being of all women and men workers.
  4. Promote education, training and professional development for women.
  5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
  6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
  7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.

Crowe Soberman has a higher percentage of women partners and senior leaders than any other firm in our market.  We have consciously created opportunities for women professionals to excel and advance, while demonstrating a commitment to social issues that are important to them and their communities.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the 2015 conference and highlighted the economic importance of moving these principles forward.  Crowe Soberman’s commitment to the WEPs will continue to enrich all members of our firm.  I challenge other Canadian business leaders: visit the site here and consider becoming a signatory to this crucial initiative. Or contact me and we can discuss how we can make a difference together.

Connect with the Author

Susan HodkinsonSusan Hodkinson, BA, Chief Operating Officer and Human Resources Practice Group Leader

Susan has over 25 years’ experience in all aspects of HR, across a wide variety of industries and business sizes. Her knowledgeable, practical and empathetic approach to business owners and their employees can assist you in ensuring that your HR practices support your business success.

Connect with Susan at 416.963.7172 or

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