Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Benchmark

WBA is developing the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Benchmark (GEWEB). This benchmark will assess and compare how companies in a select group of industries promote gender equality and empowerment. In particular, it covers how they contribute to SDG 5, a goal set to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Why a Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment benchmark?

Today, gender equality and women’s empowerment remain persistent issues globally. Companies are varied in their approaches and levels of commitment to it. They can evolve how they promote it. And they should be held more accountable for it.

WBA – and multiple key stakeholders that took part in WBA’s consultation phase –believe there is a clear need for a new benchmark focused on the role of companies in promoting gender equality and women empowerment.

The Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Benchmark (GEWEB) aims to clarify what society expects from companies and where/how these companies can contribute to SDG 5. The objectives and scope of the GEWEB are still being defined but ultimately it will help measure and track progress both relative to peers and to society’s expectations.


The Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Benchmark will measure the extent to which companies contribute to SDG 5 (Gender Equality). It will cover a range of relevant themes – from discrimination and gender-based violence, to unpaid care and access to resources. This benchmark will focus on the leading companies in a select group of industries that stand to drive impact across the workplace, marketplace, supply chain and community. Though early in its development, industries being considered for inclusion are: ApparelFood & BeverageFinanceInformation Technology and Communication Services.

Development process

The GEWEB will be based on the development process of WBA. This benchmark is currently in the very early stages of development. It will complete an Initial Scoping research report in October 2018. Through 2019, the methodology for this benchmark will be developed, reviewed and published.


The GEWEB will be developed by a core team at WBA, in close collaboration with a broad group of external stakeholders. These include thought leaders in the field as well as an Expert Review Committee (ERC).

Danielle Burt
Lead Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Benchmark

Shamista Selvaratnam
Research Analyst

Aarti Misal
Research Analyst

Roselyn Kang'ara
Research Analyst


Gender Equality & Empowerment Benchmark Initial Scoping research report

This report explores the need for a new gender equality and women’s empowerment benchmark that builds on the great gender work that exists today. This benchmark measures companies’ progress against SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and recognizes key overlaps with other SDGs. This report suggests that a new benchmark requires an approach that is integrated (covers the full value chain), holistic (considers the many dimensions of gender equality and empowerment) and balanced (recognizes the varied ways companies can take action and drive change). Finally, this report suggests which key themes, industries and companies a new GE/E benchmark should prioritize with a supporting rationale for each.

Over the coming period, WBA will focus on developing the methodology and scope for the Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment Benchmark (GEWEB). Stakeholder consultations are an integral part of this process

First roundtable – summary report

Second roundtable – summary report

Get involved

We openly encourage constructive and meaningful feedback to improve our methodology. This can happen through the multi-stakeholder sessions we organize as well as through an 8-week online public consultation – all of which we hope will take place throughout 2019. For more information on the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Benchmark, please contact Danielle Burt at