Driving and promoting gender equality in the value chain: WBA’s 2023 Gender Benchmark assessed 1,006 companies on how they address gender inequalities


The Gender Benchmark 2023, by the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), reveals that despite some selective progress in terms of maternity leave policies, there is a pressing need for swift and fundamental action on gender inequality.  

The Gender Benchmark 2023 ranked 112 of the world’s largest apparel and food and agriculture companies, on their responsibility to promote gender equality. It also assessed 1,006 companies from 83 countries in ten additional industry sectors.

One of the key findings is that too many companies view parental leave as a benefit offered to some employees rather than a right for all:

  • Only 36% of the 1,006 companies disclosed a maternity leave policy;
  • A mere 7% met the standard recommended by the International Labour Organization, which advises a minimum of 14 weeks of maternity leave.

It is crucial to recognise the significant return on investment of 1:3 and understand the vital role of maternity and parental leave in promoting gender equality.  The Workforce Nutrition Alliance provides a range of support services to executives tasked with developing or implementing workplace nutrition programs. These services include scorecardsguidebooks, and webinars, as well as a three-month online “Masterclass”.

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