Kingston, Jamaica:

Mr. Howard Mitchell, President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), has endorsed and will champion the Win-Win Gender Equality Means Good Business Programme, a major initiative by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women) Multi-Country Office in the Caribbean.  The programme is funded by the European Union, UN Women and the International Labor Organisation and promotes the inclusion of gender equality strategies as a cross-cutting component of corporate sustainability and private sector development frameworks. These strategies have a proven business case of positively impacting the workplace, marketplace and community for greater efficiency, performance and productivity.

In endorsing the Win-Win Programme, Mr Mitchell who is also a Director of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA) and has contributed greatly to private sector development for decades noted that, “I am fully prepared to act as an ambassador for this programme as I believe that Jamaica’s future success is dependent on the full commitment, involvement and productive input of all our citizens. Our women must be allowed every opportunity to be all they can be, they deserve no less”.

The Win-Win Programme throws the spotlight on ensuring equal pay for work of equal value, support for women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses and creating formal and decent work opportunities for women, including leadership and executive decision-making positions. This is expected to result in an increase in women’s economic empowerment and leadership in Jamaica as well as strengthen the commitment and capacity of the private sector to implement gender equality and inclusion programmes for the benefit of both women and men, from the shop floor to the Board room.

The platform used by the Win-Win Programme is the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), developed by UN Women and UN Global Compact. In signing the WEPs CEO Statement of Support for PSOJ, Chief Executive Officer, Makeba Bennett-Easy, noted that, “In Jamaica, women have matriculated to leadership positions in the private and public sector, however, the proverbial glass ceiling still remains a barrier for too many. We support any initiative that will lead to the equal inclusion of women in the productive society”.

The WEPs have already been integrated into the corporate policies of over 2000 successful, prominent business leaders from around the world. In Jamaica, the companies that have signed on include: The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica; Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association; Price Waterhouse Coopers, Nestlé Jamaica, Flow, First Global Bank, Sagicor Bank, Stocks and Securities Limited, Jamaica Stock Exchange, PROCOMM, JMMB Group, Island Grill, and Honeybun.