One woman talking to another woman sat down whilst writing on pad

6 ways to empower women across the world

28th January 2020

"We can do it" – This iconic phrase was first introduced during World War Two; next to the infamous image of a women in overalls ready to work. Until this day this image has symbolized solidarity and empowerment for women.

So 75 years later what exactly are we doing to help empower women to go out and ‘do it’?

Although many may argue that women have come a long way in becoming empowered, there is still progress to be made. Here we highlight six ways in which we can continue to break down barriers and empower women across the world to achieve the opportunities they are entitled to.

Get more women in global leadership goals

As both business and political leaders, senior women regularly challenge conventional wisdom in their approach to leadership.

Research suggests that the most powerful and attractive symbolism of women leaders is the hope that they will bring significant change. When a woman is chosen as the first woman to become the most senior leader – the president, prime minister, or CEO, people begin to believe that other more substantive and less symbolic changes are also possible.

Read the full research paper: Women Leading Globally: What We Know, Thought We Knew, and Need to Know about Leadership in the 21st Century

Empower entrepreneurs in developing countries

Micro and small business enterprises (MSEs) have empowered women in developing countries through enhancing their decision-making in the household and the community.

Evidence suggest that MSEs have strengthened women’s bargaining power in decision -making on family resource access to use and control and income allocation and expenditure of household resources.

Read the full research paper: Do micro and small business enterprises economically empower women in developing countries? Evidences from Mekelle city, Tigray, Ethiopia

Teach business skills to women

Research undertaken by the cooperation Vietnam Women’s Union and Peace Trees found that business training can increase performance in microenterprises and improve motivation, success, trust, and perceptions of women entrepreneurs.

Teaching women business skills has the potential of long-term benefits in sustaining a business and in developing new ones.

Read the full research paper: Teaching business skills to women: Impact of business training on women’s microenterprise owners in Vietnam

Encourage more women to take apprentice roles

A recent survey has highlighted the need to encourage more young women to take apprenticeship roles, especially in male dominated industries.

The survey found that more could be done to support women taking on apprenticeships and to achieve such changes support structures for women and girls should include mentors, networks and female-friendly workplaces.

Read the full research paper: Apprenticeships should work for women too!

Create a better environment for career development

Research findings indicate that there is a need for better career development guidance and support for women. Getting women managers to senior executive and board level can partly be achieved by women taking more responsibility or ownership for their own career development. However, alone, that is unlikely to be enough –organizations therefore need to take a decisive, agentic role in creating a better organizational culture for women.

Read the full research paper: A better career environment for women: developing a blueprint for individuals and organizations