Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    8 March 2016

    Re-issued as received

    UNIDO steps up its game for gender equality with Women in Business event

    VIENNA, 8 March (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - To mark International Women's Day 2016, UNIDO is organizing a panel discussion focusing  on the leading role of women entrepreneurs in managing environmentally sustainable businesses and how to best apply their examples to transform and "green" productive sectors.

    The Sustainable Leadership: Women in business event taking place at the Vienna International Centre will feature female sustainable development experts and businesswomen discussing their approaches to creating and leading sustainable enterprises. The discussion will consider how their experiences can contribute to the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the ways and means to provide businesswomen with the assets, resources and incentives they need to further support gender equality and sustainability across the industrial sector.

    The discussion will bring together a dynamic panel of women entrepreneurial leaders:

    • Ayo Elizabeth Olaogun, Creative Director of the fashion label Ayo van Elmar, Nigeria;
    • Janne Vangen Solheim, UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador and Chief Executive Officer of Norway's Janusfabrikken AS;
    • Marilyn Mehlmann, General Secretary of Global Action Plan International; and
    • Sarah Toumi, Founder, Acacias for All, a social enterprise working in North Africa.

    Explaining the significance of the event for UNIDO, the organization's Director General, LI Yong, said: "UNIDO recognizes that investing in the economic empowerment of women sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive industrial development."

    Li continued: "Women make an enormous economic contribution, whether in businesses, as entrepreneurs, as employers or as employees, or by doing care work at home. But they also remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation."

    Li expressed UNIDO's support for the theme of International Women's Day 2016: "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality".

    "To step up its game for gender equality, UNIDO has recently adopted a new gender policy and gender strategy, and is constantly increasing its portfolio of projects designed to empower women economically," Li added.

    The Sustainable Leadership: Women in business event will be opened by Li Yong, and will be moderated by Ambassador Pilar Saborío de Rocafort, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations. Concluding remarks will be made by Ambassador Olga Algayerová, Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations and Chair of the Women Ambassadors in Vienna network.

    * *** *

    For more information contact:

    Hedda Öhlberger-Femundsenden
    Email: gender-coordinator[at]