With the passage of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), companies employing millions of women to make their products and provide their services have an opportunity to invest in the health and empowerment of these women to contribute to the SDGs - specifically SDG 3, Good Health and Wellbeing, and SDG 5, Gender Equality - while also generating business returns.
Dozens of companies have begun to realize the benefits of investing in workplace women’s health and empowerment, leading to the creation of more numerous workplace improvement programs. The business case for these investments is strong with the return on investment for these programs ranging from $1:3 to $1:5, showing that investments in health and well-being can reduce absenteeism and turnover, while improving productivity.
Furthermore, companies are seeing such programs as a way to reduce risk and increase customer demand as supply chains become more transparent and consumers and investors demand ethically made products. Many of these workplace programs have now been in existence for close to a decade and their impact is well documented. Still, there is a clear need to streamline these many programs, zero in on which ones are most impactful, and help companies move these programs from marginal to mainstream.