BY: Soledad Llorente, Sahar Albaharna and Mais Jauhary.
The global pandemic in 2020 has accelerated digitization, which will create new paths of working and learning. It is also expected that many roles traditionally held by women will be lost due to digitization. Hence, women’s economic participation and recovery is definitely an essential part of the overall economic restoration and productivity boost plans after the pandemic.
‘When more women work, economies grow’ as stated on the UNWomen website; ‘Women’s economic empowerment boosts productivity, increases economic diversification and income equality in addition to other positive development outcomes’.
The Center of Strategic and International Studies, CSIS indicates that ‘if women engaged in economic activity on the same level as men, the world would add $11 trillion in annual 2025 GDP’.
Despite this, and according to the International Labour Organization, women’s participation in the workforce globally is around 49% of capacity, compared to 75% for men.
Women4Impact aims to be part of the resolution, with the purpose of unlocking women’s full potential for a better world. Women4Impact initiatives consist of co-creating solutions, collaborating, and finding new and innovative ways of solving problems regarding women’s economic participation.
We celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th with over 130 attendees from all over the world. The event was organized by 3 IE Business School Alumni, Mais Jauhary, Sahar Albaharna and Soledad Llorente. The theme of this event was: “The Path to Recovery: How women in innovation and transformation are creating a better future for all.” The event brought together global change makers, impact entrepreneurs, and innovation experts to discuss this important topic.
The event featured a live and engaging panel discussion, a workshop with interactive breakout rooms and an Award ceremony to recognize highly impactful women entrepreneurs. Over 130 attendees engaged in live discussions and an interactive workshop to find their Massive Transformative Purpose. The MTP is a purpose you draw for describing the change in the world you want to see and be part in achieving.
The event shed light on the importance of the following topics:
- Girls STEAM education
- Having a purpose, for individuals and entities.
- Upskilling and reskilling of women in the workforce
- Having women involved in leading innovation and transformation initiatives
The panel discussion featured 4 distinguished guests. Here is a list of some of their quotes based on the discussion:
“It is strange but I can feel the energy in the room. Thank you very much for those that have decided to join.”
“If I tell you that we sell large printers, how attractive does that sound to you? But if I tell you that in my business, I believe that everyone is a creator and everyone deserves to make a big impression. The only thing that I do is to facilitate that. I think that is a completely different purpose.”
— Guayente Sanmartin, Vice President & General Manager HP, Large Format Design Business
“For entrepreneurs, there are no boundaries. Successful entrepreneurs think about the future and think about what will be.”
“We need women-led startups just as we need women of all backgrounds in all sectors because with diversity we generate innovation.”
— Alison Rohe, Managing Director, Venture Lab IE Business School, Angel Investor, Entrepreneur.
“It is an exciting time for female entrepreneurs in the MENA region.”
“Women are very strong at networking, we lack at self-promotion. You need to have an inner circle of trusted women that will support you, promote you, and be honest with you.”
–Dr Daniela Romagnoli Professor & Chair at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Strategic Business Analyst focused on youth & women
“It is worth highlighting the fact that COVID-19 has created a new path for innovation, transformation and agility. It has also created room for out of the box thinkers. It has also offered us an unparalleled opportunity to redesign our economy from scratch and women have a major role to play in that.”
–Christine Harb, Co-Founder of Connected Women in Technology MENA, Vice President
Marketing at Visa CEMEA
The panel discussion was led by Sophie Krantz, an Online TV Host, for Women in Trade.
The discussion was followed by an interactive workshop on the personal Massive Transformative Purpose led by Kelley Rowe, the Co-Founder of AfricaExO.
Finally, the event concluded with the SheImpacts award ceremony led by Kristina Maria Troiano-Gutierrez, the founder of Beautiful Genius Labs where she presented the award to Angie Chang, the founder & CEO of Girl Geek X.
So as the world of work is changing, more companies are shifting towards becoming ‘purpose-driven´. Many of these companies are also realizing the importance of gender diversity and the positive impact of female leadership archetype. According to the Center for Talent Innovation, 90% of women believe making a positive impact on society is important. This fact will create more opportunities for both female entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs within large organizations. And Women4Impact plans to take a serious part in this positive change.
Authors: Soledad Llorente, Sahar Albaharna and Mais Jauhary.