After a year marked by crisis, we stand at a crossroads. The choices we make today will have consequences for gender equality and economic wellbeing for decades to come. As fearful as this might sound, it marks an opportunity to shape a brighter future.
Much is under transformation. While the United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs) highlight a set of significant challenges – ranging from climate change, widening socio-economic inequalities, and technological development – new technologies such as AI are changing the world of work.
So, why do digital skills in the hands of women bring about positive change for the well-being of future generations?
Women are using tech & entrepreneurship to shape an economy of well-being.
Scalable technology in the hands of savvy changemakers and entrepreneurs has potential solutions to reach the SDGs. It can move us in an efficient, fast, and scalable manner towards an economy of well-being.
An economy of well-being is a new economic paradigm. A paradigm that places human and environmental wellbeing at the center of economic growth. In an economy of well-being, we go beyond Gross Domestic Product. Instead, we incorporate and measure aspects such as mental well-being, gender equality, environmental efficiency, social protection, and education.
It is particularly women that are motivated to use entrepreneurship and tech solutions to create something meaningful and have a positive impact. Providing women with the tools, skills, and voices to shape an economy of well-being is an investment that can help us all persevere through the inevitable obstacles that riddle the 21st century.
Women have the necessary emotional skills to harness good innovation
Women bring a diverse skill set to the table. They lead differently and offer unique interpersonal skills as well as emotional resilience – important facilitators of innovation.
We know that women tend to rate themselves as less confident than men. However, they have every reason to change that. Repeated corporate research reveals that women are perceived just as effective as their male colleagues. Measuring leadership competencies, women even show statically significant higher levels.
Women increase diversity
Diversity and innovation go hand in hand. For instance, firms with greater gender diversity outperform those with less—often by as much as 30%. One study suggested companies with female-executive representation showed increased returns on investment of 66%, on equity of 53%, and on sales of 42%.
Before we dive into the challenges that hamper women changemakers from unraveling their potential, it is important to note that I am not postulating that women are in any way superior to men. Only, that bringing in new and diverse perspectives reveals new opportunities, approaches to problem-solving, ideas, and creativity. If we don’t consider those differing viewpoints, we will forgo plenty of opportunities.
What is holding us back to harness the power of women changemakers?
A plethora of studies (ie. by McKinsey and the World Economic Forum) highlight the economic benefits of improving parity between men and women across the globe. Despite this fact, economies, and businesses fall short of taking into account women’s voices and skills.
It is particularly women and ethnic minorities who face endemic financial barriers to economic freedom and well-being, entrepreneurial pursuits, independence, and security.
Cultural stereotypes, biases, and lack of role models hamper participation and activation of women to be valued as innovators, entrepreneurs, or tech leaders.
If we turn to women-led tech companies, on average only 10% of funding goes to women. Women make up only about one-quarter of the tech workforce and even less are in tech leadership roles. In big organizations, a small 12% of board seats are held by women globally. A mere 4% lead the world’s top 500 businesses as CEOs.
Compared to men, 250 million fewer women are showing up online. This hampers those who are supposed to benefit from increased technologization to have a voice in its creation.
About BrainFruits: An initiative for changemakers.
BrainFruits is a podcast and mentorship initiative that is promoting women changemakers around the globe, encouraging women to harness the power of digital, problem-solving & emotional skills.
Join me as I speak with women changemakers from around the globe who tackle the most pressing issues of our time by harnessing the power of good tech, innovation, and emotional savviness to boost social and economic outcomes. My podcast guests are experts in the fields of tech, entrepreneurship, finance and well-being – ready to provide insights into their solution strategies and problem-solving toolkits.
Each podcast session focuses on a key problem that will be discussed with an expert.
The objective of BrainFruits is to inspire and encourage the next generation of women changemakers to build the skills and courage to find innovative solutions for a more healthy, sustainable, and inclusive world.
Elinor talks about the power of innovation to save lives and her journey to use her entrepreneurial, design thinking, and empathy skills to found BrightAct. A company that uses thoughtful tech to address domestic violence, globally.
In the conversation, we focus on how data and innovation provide opportunities for societies to protect vulnerable members of society. We also talk about how to build the courage and consciousness to stick to what really drives you.
Elinor shares some great insights and ends with personal recommendations that stem from challenges she had to overcome in her entrepreneurial pursuit.
How you can support!
If you think this is a great initiative and worthwhile supporting, I put together a few points that would help me to spread the message.
- Listen, recommend and share your feedback: BrainFruits is streaming on all major streaming platforms
- Partnerships: Please get in touch here.
- Contribute: I am looking for content creators for the blog.
- Mentors: I will start a mentorship platform and are looking for mentors that are willing to teach tech talent how to build courage, mental well-being communication, and emotional resilience