Gender Equality in the Workplace

The ILO welcomed the adoption of the 1995 Platform for Action of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women and is dedicated to promoting gender equality in the world of work. Globally, despite the increasing rate of employment, women remain disadvantaged and employed in less remunerated, more precarious, more informal, and atypical employment. A complex series of economic, demographic, and behavioral factors contribute to persistent and increasing gender-based gaps in the labor market. There are four key ILO Conventions that promote gender equality: Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100), Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (No. 111), Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention (No. 156), and Maternity Protection Convention (No. 183). The ILO’s goal is to promote equal opportunities for women and men to obtain Decent Work, which is fairly paid productive work carried out in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

The ILO has incorporated gender equality and mainstreaming into its own policy and programs and operationalizes a range of initiatives within the objectives defined in ILO’s Action Plan for Gender Equality, 2010-15,

The ILO Office in Washington works in close collaboration with its U.S. constituents to advance compliance of core labor standards and promote greater gender equality in the U.S. workforce.


  1. © Zubin Shroff / Image Source 2015

    Gender equality

    Global momentum means more women move into management

    January 12, 2015

    Study shows positive link between female leadership and business performance and urges boost from current 5 per cent of women in top positions. 
    Read the report: Women in Business and Management: Gaining momentum

  2. © Richard Lewisohn/Image Source 2014

    ILO study - Maternity Protection

    Maternity protection: Good for workers, good for small businesses

    Maternity protection and work-family measures can generate positive outcomes for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), says ILO Specialist Laura Addati.

  3. ILO report

    Maternity and paternity at work: Law and practice across the world

    May 13, 2014

    The study reviews national law and practice on both maternity and paternity at work in 185 countries and territories including leave, benefits, employment protection, health protection, breastfeeding arrangements at work and childcare.

What's happening in the US

  1. © U.S. Department of Labor 2014


    Strength in Diversity: Guidance on Gender Identity Discrimination

    August 25, 2014

    The US Labor Department and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs OFCCP announced measures to update enforcement protocols and provide guidance to clarify that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex. The US Government will provide the full protection of federal non-discrimination laws that are enforced to transgender individuals. This follows President Obama's signing of Executive Order 13672 adding sexual orientation and gender identity as independent categories protected by Executive Order 11246, which OFCCP enforces. This holds a welcomed step to embrace diversity and inclusion at the workplace. The guidance can be found here

  2. President Obama delivers remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act

    10 June 2013

  3. International Women’s Day: The ILO celebrated International Women’s Day.

    8 March 2013

  4. U.S. Legislation

    President Obama signed a bill that both strengthened and reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

    On February 28, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the previously Senate-approved and updated Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which now extends protection to gay, lesbian, and transgender people as well as immigrants and Native Americans.