The corporate sector needs to invest more in women. Sounds very sexist but the figures support the statement more than ever before. Investing in women has a multiple effect, according to Forbes and there’s good reason for saying that.
From educating the girls to encouraging women to enter the workforce at all levels, it is crucial to empowering women at a social level.
According to research, women tend to spend their money in a multi-layered manner- on food, household, children and families, more than men. Women also save. Rarely would women engage in gambling or other pursuits.
A recent study conducted by Barclays Wealth and Ludbury Research confirmed that women generally tend to be conservative when it comes to investing their money.
Women are likely to buy and hold rather than make higher risk investment choices that involves frequent trade. The microcredit institutions whether in Sri Lanka or elsewhere, find the female borrower a reliable choice.
According to the International Finance Corporation, women have access to spending power than ever before known in history. According to their estimates, global consumer spending by women will increase to $28 trillion in 2014, up from $20 trillion in 2009.
Given the fact that women already control 65% of the world’s spending, this is information the corporate world can digest in its quest to invest in women.
One of the buzz words doing the circles in corporate America is impact investing. And women seem to be a natural choice, you want to make an impact be it through your CSR or your outreach projects, invest in women for greater impact. There’s financial gain to be had as well as greater social good.
There is a lot of merit in the argument that empowered women must invest in women for impact investing. The rationale is a simple one – you have achieved success and want to extend it to someone else.
Mentoring someone through financial support is a great way to get about it. It also ensures that you pass on your skills and expertise to the next generation in a way that ensures regeneration.
On the whole, it is widely believed that women generally prefer to invest in other women because they are able to understand and appreciate the potential. They also understand the obstacles faced and opportunities that emerge.
At President Obama’s White House Forum on Women and the Economy, the impact women make on family, economics, growth and competitiveness in America via full participation in the economy and society was observed with greater response.
President Obama’s focus on women comes at just the right time and has huge implications for women everywhere. Investing in women pays off at many different levels.
In a panel discussion held with women representing the world held at George Washington University, where the topic ‘Why Organisations need to invest in women’ was addressed, the participants agreed that it made sense more than ever to invest in women, given their participation in education, family, career building and society at large.
It also makes sense because 40% of the world’s workforce is women. That covers private and public sector and other areas as well.
As consumers, who make multiple choices daily whether for themselves or for their families and homes, women make the majority of decisions in the households. From toothpaste to the colour on the walls and financial facilities, most women make decisions every day that involve considerable investments.
With countries such as India and China becoming economically strong, the women in those countries contribute their might to the already one billion strong market of women worldwide.
Experts believe that the next 50 years will see women throughout the world participating more directly in the way the world moves and shakes.
The next generation of leadership, be it in the corporate world or politics, will see more women involved than ever before.
The current generations of youth are used to seeing and accepting women in leadership roles – they have had career mothers to inspire them and can accept being led by a woman easier.
Investing in women has never been a better, safer option for corporates everywhere. Be it in empowering female executives to emerge leaders of tomorrow, funding the education of girl children in rural areas or encouraging women entrepreneurs in the war torn areas to source markets, investing in women has the kind of powerful ripple effect felt in the homes, the lives of children and society at large.
(Nayomini, a senior journalist, writer and a PR professional can be contacted at email@example.com)