Self-Interest at Work

The Global Business Coalition leverages business self-interest to advance women. That’ll work.

You might have missed it, but last week was International Women’s Day. Hallmark hasn’t yet caught on to this occasion, but corporate types certainly have, and the press releases showered like magnolia petals in a spring breeze. And I learned quite a bit. There are a lot of NGO’s – non-governmental organizations – trying to share the spotlight. There are lots of good ideas competing for mindshare and money.

And there’s the Global Business Coalition’s Healthy  Women, Healthy Economics initiative. The GBC applies business strategies and measurement to very big-picture problems, like eradicating malaria and controlling AIDS. It coordinates and vets efforts among businesses, nonprofits and governments.

What’s in it for the companies? 

Customers. 

When disease wins, markets lose. When women are economically empowered, their families are better provided for, and their children have a better chance at education and their own economic advancement.  This might be the best, smartest coalition that most of us have never heard of.

Oh, yeah: the magnolia petal that caught my eye is that Dow Chemical just joined the coalition to support gender equality in the workplace. That the GBC has offices in five countries and has hundreds of corporate partners is heartening. What would be even more impressive: if every corporate member adopted a clear, concise format for publicly reporting how they treat their women employees.  Then we’d really have something to celebrate on the next International Women’s Day.

 

Image courtesy of Morguefile contributor tinah.

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