New women-owned business seal encourages equitable procurement in Buenos Aires

Women-owned and operated businesses are getting a new seal of approval in Buenos Aires. The goal of the Sello Empresa Mujer, or “Women Company Seal”, is to promote women’s economic autonomy, greater equity and economic development opportunities to benefit businesses and communities. 

The Sustainable Public Procurement Area of the General Procurement and Contract Department, in collaboration with other government areas, designed and implemented this gender-responsive public procurement policy unique in the country of Argentina. At the launch of the program Minister of Economy and Finance Martín Mura said, “It is essential to recognize women as an important factor that contributes to local competitiveness. We are convinced that by enhancing the role of women, we will achieve a substantial improvement in the productivity of various sectors. We need more women in non-traditional jobs and in leadership positions.”

The program is a milestone in the gender equality strategy of the City of Buenos Aires. “We want to encourage the participation of women in leadership positions and in the public procurement market of the City. For that we need to have more accurate information regarding our suppliers and thus understand what are the problems that women face when they want to access the public shopping market as suppliers. In this way, we can provide better tools to overcome these obstacles,” said Marisa Tojo, General Director of Purchasing and Contracting at the City.

The Sello Empresa Mujer is a voluntary identification mechanism of women suppliers who are registered in the Single and Permanent Computerized Registration of Suppliers (RIUPP) of the System of Procurement and Contracts of Goods and Services of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. This mechanism was created to promote and to make visible the real participation of women in the public market.

The Sello Empresa Mujer may be granted to:

  • Women duly registered in the RIUPP, whose legitimate administrator is a woman;
  • Legal entities duly registered in the RIUPP who inform and prove compliance with the following requirements:
    • The ownership of 50% or more of the company belongs to one or more women;
    • 50% or more of the administration and direction of the business is in charge of one or more women.

The incorporation of women into the labor market contributes to human, intellectual and economic development, rises competitiveness, promotes economic and decision-making autonomy for women, and impacts positively on the gross product.

The General Directorate of Procurement and Contracts also worked on the development of a guide of recommendations for areas making purchases within the government to enable procurements to incorporate the identification or weighting of companies that carry out gender policies in their specifications.

Strengthening women’s role as providers of the government means investing in greater social and economic development. In this sense, public procurement is a way to boost this enhancement, as well as to reduce poverty and to promote greater social equality and economic development in the country.

The City of Buenos Aires, a member of ICLEI’s Global Lead Cities Network on Sustainable Procurement, has positioned itself as a regional leader in Sustainable Public Procurement since 2012, when it started implementing SPP policies, encouraging other organizations to replicate them. Today, it has sustainability criteria in two-thirds of all framework public procurement agreements and for 75% of all centralized purchases. It was also the first city in Latin America to have 100% LED street lighting. Learn more about their procurement action here.

This post originally appeared on the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement website.

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