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With the support of Verité and Calvert Investments, San Francisco’s Department on the Status of Women worked closely with some of the Bay Area’s largest employers, including McKesson, Deloitte, Google, Recology, Symantec, and Gap. Together they crafted a web-based self-assessment tool—the Gender Equality Principles Initiative (GEPI)—for employers to benchmark their policies and practices and compile an extensive library of online resources to further promote gender equitable workplaces. GEPI was recently awarded the 2012 International Work-Life Balance Award in Milan, Italy.

GEPI was launched in 2008 as a unique public-private collaboration between the City and Verité, a global non-profit human rights monitoring agency, to develop tools focused on promoting gender equity in the workplace, as well as Calvert Investments, Inc., a leading family of sustainable and responsible mutual funds. Calvert President & CEO Barbara J. Krumsiek said, “Leading companies understand the importance of advancing women and are working through efforts such as the Gender Equality Principles on creating a more equitable workplace and society. We applaud the leadership of the City of San Francisco and hope this will serve as a model for others to follow.”

Dan Viederman, CEO of Verité, added, “We are excited to participate in an effort that is moving the ideal of gender equality in the workplace towards practical implementation and measurable results. We are committed to helping companies and others worldwide use the GEP’s sophisticated indicators and tools to empower women in the workplace and in the community.”

Recently, representatives of the San Francisco Department of the Status of Women traveled to Milan, Italy to accept an Award for the 2012 International Work-Life Balance Award on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco. With awards for each continent, the San Francisco Initiative was selected as the best project from the American continent from among 147 total entries, in part because of the initiative’s innovative use of technology tools to assess workplace fairness and offer best practices. The honor is awarded jointly by the Lombardy Regional Government of Italy and the Altis Graduate School of Business at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said, “We are proud to have international recognition for our groundbreaking program in work-life balance. San Francisco continues to lead the way when it comes to gender equity.”

“San Francisco is at the leading edge of the worldwide social responsibility movement to ensure that gender equity is part and parcel of corporate strategic plans. Our work has global significance as evidenced by this award and our contribution to United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles,” added Dr. Emily Murase, Executive Director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, who received the award in Milan on behalf of the Mayor.

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