Application Guidelines

Application Guidelines

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The WEPs Awards application consists of three parts:

  • Part 1: Applicant Information.
  • Part 2: General Questions to assess the applicant’s policies and
    practices aligned to the WEPs principles.
  • Part 3: Category Questions: questions for the applicant to detail the specific  initiative for which they are applying.

Supporting documents that provide verification for the answers given are required. Links to websites, public articles, pictures and/or videos will also be accepted. While we recommend applicants provide supporting documents, we appreciate especially start-ups and entrepreneurs may not have all supporting elements at hand and we will accept a written description uploaded as a pdf in lieu of documentation. All documentation submitted will be kept confidential and used only for awards consideration.

Part 1 is not scored. Part 2 accounts for 25% of the total score and Part 3 accounts for 75% of the total. This weighting is created to ensure that Awards are given to companies with overall corporate commitment to gender equality and the WEPs, but to place most emphases on the actual initiative and not over-advantage larger and more established corporates that are more likely to have solid policies in place.
For answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions, see the detailed guidance for responding to Part 2 and Part 3.

Part 2 Specific Guidance

What supporting documents are needed?
You will be required to upload supporting documents that provide evidence for the claims you make. While we recommend companies provide supporting documents, we especially appreciate start-ups and entrepreneurs who may not have all supporting elements at hand and will accept a written description in lieu of documentation. Some form of supporting documentation is required in order for your application answers to be verified. If you do not have any supporting evidence, please note this and provide reasons for the same.

The recommended documents to support Part 2 responses can include:

  • HR and Business policies
  • Work plans and presentation decks
  • Annual reports
  • Sustainability reports
  • Press releases or other external publications
  • Company newsletters or internal communications

How is scoring verified?
Each answer option is given a specific point value, and all answers are verified by UN Women before being considered final. To complete verification, UN Women will use the supporting evidence uploaded with the application to ensure it substantiates the chosen answer. To take Question 2 as an example, the question asks:

Does your company have a gender equality action plan in place, and has it been implemented?
(please select all that apply) [i.e. trainings on gender bias, specified budget for gender equality measures, reporting framework to measure gender equality]

A) We have started some activities for gender equality, but do not yet have written commitments or a gender equality strategy/action plan.
B) We have done one or more of the following
a) We have made an internal written commitment/strategy for gender equality within our organization.
b) We have made an external public commitment/strategy for gender equality within our organization.
c) Our gender equality commitments are being implemented through a series of specific activities (i.e. not just 1 or 2 ad hoc trainings).
d) We have developed and started implementing a gender equality strategy (i.e. including timelines, KPIs, and targets) and we monitor, track and report on progress and effectiveness.

If the applicant selects option B) c), they should provide a work plan/presentation/document that clearly shows multiple activities that have been planned for implementing their gender equality strategy.
If the applicant selects B) d) and provides a workplan or other schedule of activities, but there is no evidence of how they are tracking and/or reporting progress on activities, the answer will be shifted to option B) c) and the score lowered accordingly.

To take another example, Question 6 asks:
Does your company take steps to a) expand relationships with women-owned businesses in the value chain and when contracting vendors and/or b) procure from suppliers that have good performance on gender equality and/or c) encourage suppliers to have good performance on gender equality?
A) No, we do not have such policies and/or practices.
B) Yes, we have policies and/or practices for expanding relationships with women-owned businesses [i.e. providing technical support to women suppliers, actively reaching out to women suppliers to be part of our supply chains].
C) Yes, we have policies and/or practices for procuring from suppliers that have good performance on gender equality, or encourage suppliers to have good performance on gender equality.
D) Yes, we have policies and/or practices included in both B) and C)

If you select option B), your supporting evidence could range from an informal approach to a formal policy, but please ensure that it shows specific evidence (i.e. why, who, how many) of how your organisation engaged women-owned businesses. Similarly, if you select option C), please ensure that the supporting evidence (i.e. Supplier Code of Conduct) specifically mentions expectations for suppliers’ commitments and/or practices related to gender equality. 

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Part 3 Specific Guidance

What makes a strong response for Part 3?
When completing Part 3, please keep the following in mind:

Ensure that you have read the category descriptions carefully and include information relevant
to that category in your answer.

  • Use the full word limit for each question (i.e. 400 words, 600 words). Although the supporting evidence is also counted as part of the score, the majority of scoring is based on the description written in Part 3, so providing as much information as possible up to the word limits is strongly advised.
  • Provide as much specific detail and explanation as possible, as if you are explaining your initiative for the first time to an external audience. For example, if you train managers on how to be more gender-inclusive, please describe how many managers are involved, the frequency and
    duration of such trainings, and if possible, provide any curriculum in your supporting evidence. As another example, if you run a scholarship program for young women in your respective industry, do not just present the number that have been given scholarships, but describe any additional support they received and any impacts or results they have experienced as a result of being given the scholarship.
  • Try to address as many of the sub-questions as possible (i.e. specific challenges, strategies to overcome them, sustainability plans).
  • Where possible, include numbers and data points to substantiate results and claims.
  • Submit as much additional supporting evidence to provide evidence to your answers as possible.
    For part 3, supporting evidence can be broad and come from a variety of sources including:
    • Annual reports
    • Sustainability reports
    • Specific internal or external reports of the program or initiative
    • Articles, pictures, video clips and other multimedia of initiative
    • Links to social media posts about the initiative