Calvert, a socially responsible mutual fund provider, and The United Nations Development Fund for Women, entered into an unusual alliance to produce an ethical set of guidelines aimed at helping corporations improve conditions for women.
The ensuing ethical code, formally known as The Calvert Women's Principles, addresses fundamental gender issues like violence, discrimination, professional development and discrimination. The guidelines also provide a template for corporations to create safer and more equitable conditions for women.
"The Calvert Women's Principles constitute the first global code of conduct for corporations focused exclusively on empowering, advancing and investing in women worldwide," said Barbara Krumsiek, president and CEO of Calvert. "The Women's Principles will provide companies a set of goals they can aspire to and measure their progress against, while offering investors a set of tools they can use to assess corporate performance on gender equality issues."
The partnership between Calvert and UNIFEM extends beyond drafting the initial set of guidelines to actively helping corporations and non-governmental organizations improve working conditions for women. Calvert has already implemented the new guidelines into its own corporate conduct and investment mandate. Calvert also intends to issue ratings of companies based in part on compliance with the new guidelines.