At the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009, the Dalai Lama said something profound, unexpected, and to some, audacious. He declared that Western women will save the world; which was quite a declaration for someone of his stature to make. Most leaders tend to tread lightly through PR filtered messages and are extremely careful to not seem too progressive or controversial… but the Dalai Lama? These are bold words coming from such a public figure. My work with female entrepreneurs enables me to witness just how powerful women are. Here are three reasons why women will continue to save and change the world.
3 Ways Women Are Changing The World
1. Female leaders make better decisions.
There have been numerous articles and studies published recently regarding the lack of females in decision making roles. It’s imperative that women are present in boardrooms and C-Suites because they make better decisions. It’s often said that women are more empathetic…but why is this important in regards to leadership and decision making? Female leaders consider how decisions impact all parties, not just those they affiliate with. Chris Bart, Professor of Strategic Management at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University's, shares: “a survey of more than 600 board directors showed that women are more likely to consider the rights of others and to take a cooperative approach to decision-making. This approach translates into better performance for their companies. We've known for some time that companies that have more women on their boards have better results. Our findings show that having women on the board is no longer just the right thing but also the smart thing to do.” Learn more about this study. Western women’s leadership in government, military, religion, and entertainment makes business profitable and inclusive.
2. Women are creating small businesses at a torrid pace, which makes our economy grow.
According to an American Express analysis of Census Bureau figures “between 1997 and 2014, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. rose by 68 percent, twice the growth rate for men and nearly one and a-half times the rate for all companies.” As women continue to start businesses, they in-turn are providing jobs and improving the economy. Let’s take a look at the numbers– according to the National Women’s Business Council, women-owned firms have an economic impact of $3 trillion that translates into the creation and/or maintenance of 23 million jobs, 16 percent of all U.S. jobs. These jobs not only sustain the individual worker, but contribute to the economic security of their families, the economic vitality of their communities and the nation.” We tend to think that corporations are the strongest source of employment opportunities but this isn’t true, “large corporations only account for .03 percent of all firms and employ fewer people than small businesses do in total.” As women continue to start businesses our economy improves. Read the full report here.
3. Women are not just about the bottom line.
We had the pleasure of collaborating with the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) & San Diego Diplomacy council in hosting twelve female entrepreneurs from Latin America. We learned from entrepreneurs from Colombia, Cuba, Paraguay, Nicaragua, just to name a few. The ubiquitous theme? Each entrepreneur supported their community in some way. In each elevator pitch the words serve, support, provide, and promote were present. Almost every business had a direct tie to the community or social responsibility, profit was not their bottom line. Victor Chan, The Co-Founder of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, explores why, BRAC Founder Fazle Hasan Abed, has provided over $6 billion in small loans to women, in his article Western Women Can Come To The Rescue Of The World, Study after study shows, women tend to reinvest their profits in family and community. Abed believes that girls and women represent the greatest untapped resources of the developing world, that they are the key to solving some of its most pressing challenges.” While profit matters to female entrepreneurs, it is not placed above the benefit of the greater good.
My five year goal is to support over 20,000 women in the launch and growth of their business by franchising 200 Hera hub locations (internationally). I have the honor of witnessing women’s impact on the community and our economy every day. Women in leadership and in business, improve the community, employment opportunities, and the global economy. I know the Dalai Lama’s declaration rings true.
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