'Gender Equality Principles Initiative' to Be Launched by San Francisco Department on the Status of Women

Oct 18, 2010, 13:31 ET from Calvert Investments

CEDAW Women's Human Rights Awards Given to Calvert and Symantec

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, Verite, and Calvert Investments, today, announced the launch of the new Gender Equality Principles (GEP) Initiative at the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco.

Also today, the Friends of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, a nonprofit group that has worked for 35 years to raise awareness of and funding for the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women hosted an awards luncheon for the eight recipients of the 2010 CEDAW Women's Human Rights Awards.  Honorees include:  Calvert President & CEO, Barbara J. Krumsiek and Cecily Joseph, director of corporate responsibility, Symantec.

As part of this initiative, a website tool was unveiled at the luncheon (go to http://www.genderprinciples.org)  that offers practical standards to which companies can aspire and measure against in assessing their progress on seven fundamental gender equality issues. Among the seven issues include: work life balance, management and governance, marketing practices and supply chain.

The GEP and the website tool represent a long-standing partnership between the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, Calvert Investments and Verite . The leadership, expertise and knowledge that went into this collaboration are being realized and publicly shared today with a goal to help companies improve gender equality from the factory floor to the boardroom.

Dr. Emily Murase, executive director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, said: "We are proud of this partnership to develop the GEP Initiative. The tool was created with input from leading Bay Area companies who see a strong business case in recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. As the only city in the world to have adopted the UN Women's Treaty (CEDAW) as a local ordinance, San Francisco has always been at the forefront of women's rights. This globally recognized Initiative furthers our innovative work."

Calvert President & CEO Barbara J. Krumsiek said: "Calvert is honored to be here today as a collaborator on the Gender Equality Principles and on the new website tool as they both embody the tenets of the Calvert Women's Principles, the first global code of corporate conduct focused exclusively on empowering, advancing and investing in women worldwide, and the most progressive contemporary policies and best practices in gender equality.  San Francisco residents should be proud to live in a city that exercises such leadership on gender equality."

Dan Viederman, executive director of Verite, said: We are excited to participate in an effort that is moving the ideal of gender equality in the workplace toward practical implementation and measurable results. We are committed to helping companies and others worldwide use the GEPs sophisticated indicators and tools to empower women in the workplace and in the community.

About the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women

The San Francisco Department on the Status of Women aims to ensure equitable treatment and foster the advancement of women and girls throughout San Francisco through policies, legislation, and programs, both within City and County government and in the private sector, that focus on populations in need.

About the FRIENDS of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women

Founded in 1976, the FRIENDS of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women is a non-profit organization supporting the Commission in building awareness about issues affecting the lives of women and girls - ensure equal treatment through socioeconomic and educational advancement through policies and programs especially for women and girls in need.

About Calvert Investments

A leader in Sustainable and Responsible Investments (SRI), Calvert Investments offers investors among the widest choice of SRI strategies of any investment management company in the United States. Each SRI strategy employs one of three proprietary approaches. Calvert SignatureTM Strategies integrate two distinct research frameworks: a rigorous review of financial performance plus a thorough assessment of environmental, social, and governance performance. Only when a company meets Calvert standards for both frameworks will we consider investing. Calvert SolutionTM Strategies selectively invest in companies that produce products and services designed to solve some of today's most pressing sustainability challenges. Calvert SAGETM Strategies emphasize strategic engagement to advance environmental, social, and governance performance in companies that may not meet Calvert standards today, but have the potential to improve. More information on Calvert SRI strategies is available at www.Calvert.com/SRI.

About Verite

Verite  is an international non-profit consulting organization specializing in training, social auditing, program design and research to improve workplace conditions. Through its understanding of the perspectives of workers, they find solutions to human rights violations in good business practices. Verite works to remove dangers and abuses in workplaces around the world by providing knowledge, skills and tools to workers, employers, multinational companies, NGOs, trade unions, investors and governments.  As one of the most respected third-party monitors of labor standards, Verite has adopted a worker-centered approach to auditing and servers as a consultant to clients (rather than a certifier), by providing recommendations for improvement and remediation. For more information, go to www.verite.org.

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