Monthly Archives: December 2015

Empowering Women Series – Women Leaders

A top 4 global auditing and consultancy firm initiated a Women’s Leadership Series, that includes a number of programs and workshops which are designed to provide university students and new professionals with tools to help them build leadership skills.

download (1)The Women’s Leadership Programme is unique in addressing the whole person and their potential to progress. Not only do those on the programme receive mentoring and coaching, the programme addresses conscious and subconscious issues of confidence, self promotion, and political savvy in the context of senior level progression.

imagesIt attempts to work with all associates of the firm to ensure they are open minded to diverse talent, aware of the benefit to business of diversity and finally have clarity on what actions to take to ensure diversity is integral to our business.

imagesThe consultancy has set targets at each grade and level within the organization to provide both direction and aspiration as to where they want to get to by 2018. Working back from those targets, they ensure that the diverse talent is sponsored by senior influential individuals whose role it is to support the candidate through promotion to partnership. They have also recently published a target for female partners in their Annual Report.

Empowering Women Series – Impact of Women-centric Corporate Initiatives

How impactful are the initiatives taken by organizations to empower women employee? An American multinational clothing and accessories retailer working across global locations initiated a Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement program to positively impact female garment workers. It seeked to provide foundational skills and support that will help these women through life skills education and technical training, advance in the workplace and in their personal lives. Did it have the desired impact?

10Globally the garment industry is one of the largest employers of low-skilled female workers. Despite their large numbers in the workforce, relatively few female line workers advance to positions of supervisors and managers, as they have few opportunities to enhance their managerial and life skills that would enable their professional and personal growth.

In response to this need, a top Garment Brand initiated the Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement – life learning program. Research, design and development began in late 2005 and a pilot program was launched in 2007. The program has since expanded to Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. An innovative factory-based program, the main focus is to positively impact female garment workers (FGWs) by providing them with foundational skills and support that will help them advance in the workplace and in their personal lives, through life skills education and technical training.

downloadThe P.A.C.E. curriculum covers a variety of topics related to life skills that are crucial to the growth and development of the FGW. Each module is designed to enhance specific competencies and to help participants understand concepts in a holistic way. Currently the program covers up to 8 modules of learning: (1) Communication; (2) Problem Solving and Decision Making; (3) Time and Stress Management; (4) Water, Sanitation & Hygiene; (5) Execution Excellence; (6) General and Reproductive Health; (7) Financial Literacy; and (8) Legal Literacy and Social Entitlements.

images (1)The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), headquartered in Washington, D.C., conducted evaluations across multiple geographies to determine whether the program is achieving the desired outcomes and impacts (both social and business).

The P.A.C.E. program is unique in that it is a women’s advancement program that is delivered in the workplace. While the program seeks to create a change in women’s personal lives (Personal Advancement), it also seeks to positively influence their work lives (Career Enhancement). Thus, the evaluation carves out social and business outcome indicators as defined below.

imagesSOCIAL IMPACT

The social impact looks at two key outcomes:

– Self-efficacy: A person’s belief in her ability to produce the desired results through her own actions.

– Self-esteem: Awareness of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life, and feeling worthy of happiness.

BUSINESS IMPACT

The business impact looks at the following outcomes:

– Work efficacy: Ability to demonstrate aptitude, take initiative, and meet work-related deadlines resulting in increased productivity and improved quality of products.

– Influence on the workplace: Deeper understanding and improved professional relationship with co-workers, and ability to communicate problems effectively as well as garner support for oneself and one’s peers.

The short-term outcomes of the program, such as higher self and work efficacy, improved communication, a better, more collegial workplace environment, higher self-esteem, improved knowledge of health, and improved financial efficacy, have been evaluated in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Empowering Women Series – Creating Women Entrepreneurs

So many of us really do want to touch the lives of those less fortunate. When it comes down to brass tacks, do we really persevere and see the end result? Here is the story of an organization that spent time, effort and money on running an initiative that made a difference. Through the 10,000 Women initiative, the charitable foundation of a leading global investment banking and investment management firm fosters shared economic growth, by providing 10,000 under-served women around the world with business and management education. The story showcases how through sustained efforts of providing management education and mentoring to women entrepreneurs a ripple effect is felt on GDP growth across geographies.

download (1)The 10,000 Women initiative was launched in 2008 by a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, providing 10,000 women from across 56 countries with business and management education, mentoring and networking.

10,000 Women has supported women from countries as diverse as Liberia, Egypt, Brazil, India and China through a network of 100 academic and nonprofit partners. More than 30 of the world’s leading business schools have participated in the program. The initiative is founded on research conducted by the investment firm – Womenomics and Women Hold up Half the Sky – the World Bank and others which suggests that such an investment can have a significant impact on GDP growth.

10,000 Women graduates report immediate and sustained business growth. Eighteen months after completing the program, nearly 70% of surveyed graduates have increased their revenue and nearly 60% have added new jobs. On average, graduates doubled the size of their workforces and revenues increased nearly fivefold. An independent assessment by the International Center for Research on Women found that graduates attributed changes in their businesses performance and increased confidence to the business and management education and support they received through the program. 10,000 Women has demonstrated that investing in women creates a virtuous cycle, as women use their income and skills to support their families and communities. Nine out of ten participants pay it forward by mentoring and teaching business skills to other women.

images10,000 Women and IFC are bringing together their resources and expertise to launch the first-ever global finance facility dedicated exclusively to women-owned SMEs, deepening 10,000 Women’s commitment to women entrepreneurs. The Investment Firms Foundation, IFC, and other investors will contribute up to $600 million to create The Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, which will enable approximately 100,000 women entrepreneurs to access capital.

The Facility will be managed by IFC, the leading investment manager of global development finance vehicles, with a network of nearly 1,000 bank clients around the world. The Foundation will provide a $32 million anchor investment in order to catalyze capital from commercial investors and bilateral donors. The Facility will extend lines of credit and share risk with local banks in emerging markets enabling them to on-lend to women-owned SMEs.

In order to spur innovative approaches to lending to women entrepreneurs, The Foundation will provide an $18 million anchor donation to fund capacity building support for banks and women borrowers. Capacity building support will address the barriers to banks deploying capital and women entrepreneurs accessing it.

10,000 Women is committed to expanding business and management education to reach new high-potential women entrepreneurs around the world. Along with the capital this partnership will catalyze, women entrepreneurs will in turn have a much greater chance of reaching their full potential.