Publish Date:

At the current rates of progress towards closing the gender gap around the world, it would take Western Europe 61 years to close their gender gap, Eastern Europe and Central Asia 128, the Middle East and North Africa 157, East Asia and the Pacific 161, and North America 168 years. Some of the world’s largest economies are the farthest away from gender parity. At a time when countries have closed an average of 85% of their gaps in educational attainment, one may wonder why progress towards gender parity has slowed down. The answer is rooted in cultures that are unique to every country, but more prominently in gender-based stereotypes that are common across nations and hurt not only industries but entire economies.

Publish Date:

Some of the biggest names in business have made a statement when it comes to bridging the gender gap. Walmart, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Exxon-Mobile, General Mills, Campbell's Soup, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, and Mondoleez have all banded together and committed to sourcing more from women-owned businesses. Walmart has already achieved their goal of buying $20 billion worth of goods and services from women-owned businesses in the United States over the past five years. However, women-owned suppliers still make up only 2% of their global purchases. This group intends to make an impact by encouraging similar companies to realize the many benefits of supporting women-owned businesses.

Publish Date:

There has been a lot of research lately into the effects of gender diversity on a company and the results are impressive. The research found that it pays off in multiple ways to have more women, who are treated equally, at a company. The advantages to companies include higher returns, less volatility in returns, higher performing stock, lower probability of a major drawdown, superior decision making, lower accruals, and attracting the top talent. Businesses are not only driven to diversify by the profit motive but also by the workforce itself.

Publish Date:

It has been nearly a year since Emma Watson, the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador, gave a revolutionary speech introducing the HeForShe campaign. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that encourages men and boys around the world to step up and pledge to be advocates for change. Because education is a major determining factor in job positions and opportunities, HeForShe is calling to involve businesses, universities, and governments to help establish equality. HeForShe also encourages advocates to be a part of its IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative that “develops three bold, game-changing commitments to advance and ultimately achieve gender equality for all."

Publish Date:

At a recent G20 finance ministers’ meeting, the main topic of conversation was economic growth and policies to implement. The OECD was in attendance, and expressed the need for countries to focus on policies that won’t just establish economic growth, but that will foster global recovery. The desire for economic growth needs to be coupled with a focus on combating growing inequality around the world.

Publish Date:

There is no question that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It has a massive population that is eager to learn new skills and grow companies.  Still, there is one factor that may be holding India back from reaching its full potential: lack of women in the workforce. While India has made great strides in the past several years in this area, there is still a large discrepancy between men and women in the business world. According to a recent report India has one of the lowest percentages of women on Executive Boards and in leadership positions worldwide.

Publish Date:

Some time ago, a female finance manager in the USA said to me "It doesn't matter who you are or how smart and hard-working you are, the business world you will get to know as a woman is different than the actual business world." These are definitely not the most encouraging words, but it is no secret that to this day it is still much more difficult for women to advance in the business world. For females, the competition takes a different shape. No matter the difficulties however, women in the Middle East have found a solution in enterprenureal finanace.

Publish Date:

It’s hard to deny that the business climate for women is changing. Fifteen Fortune 500 companies are currently run by women, up from twelve last year.  Twenty-eight companies have women doing the top job in the Fortune 1000. Yet challenges still exist for women, namely in the international business world. Recently, Mrs. Evelyn Mungai of Nairobi, Kenya, an international business entrepreneur, visited Indianapolis to speak to the National Association of Women Business Owners about these challenges and how to overcome them. She is currently the owner of Evelyn’s School of Design, an internationally-acclaimed business that has been going strong for 33 years.

Publish Date:

A recent story by BusinessWeek describes the value of a country focusing on the education of its female populace.

Some interesting statistics:

- When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later, on average, and has 2.2 fewer children.

- An extra year in primary school statistically boosts girls' future wages by 10% to 20%, and every additional year a girl spends in secondary school lifts her income by 15% to 25%. The size of a country's economy is in no small part determined by the educational attainment and skill sets of its girls.

- Young women have a 90% probability of investing their earned income back into their families, while the likelihood of men doing the same is only 30% to 40%.

- A girl's school attainment is linked to her own health and well-being, as well as reduced death rates: For every additional year of schooling, a mother's mortality is significantly reduced, and the infant mortality rate of her children declines by 5% to 10%.

Publish Date:

Less than 15 years since the 1994 genocide, Rwanda is leading the world in its progessionist thinking about women.  This is particularly surprising becase this East African nation lies in a continent that has been dominated by the rule of men.  In Rwanda however, a country of 10 million with 55% women and 60% of the population below poverty line (based on gE statistics), the popular will is for women to drive the economy by filling ranks of Government.