Women and innovation: Making the connection

There is growing evidence that greater gender equality leads to increased business innovation, and companies that pay attention stand to reap great rewards. The business case for gender equality is compelling, and few still doubt that investing in women as employees and entrepreneurs leads to increased productivity and profitability. But one piece of the puzzle … Continue reading Women and innovation: Making the connection

Towards an ecosystem for women’s financial inclusion- what next?

Recently I had the honor of presenting at the PowerShift Conference on Women in the World Economy, hosted by the Oxford University Saïd Business School. PowerShift was hands down the most inspiring conference I have ever attended, largely because it drew together companies, NGOs and academics in a way which not only gave participants a … Continue reading Towards an ecosystem for women’s financial inclusion- what next?

Three insights on feminist economics from Oxford PowerShift

Last week I had the honor of speaking at Oxford’s PowerShift Conference on Women in the World Economy. Rarely have I been in one room with so many accomplished women and rarely have I come away from any event feeling so inspired. Part of the feeling came from the many leaders who are reshaping women’s … Continue reading Three insights on feminist economics from Oxford PowerShift

Empowerment beyond the buzzword: Unintended consequences of women’s economic empowerment

Empowering women is not without risks – we need to identify and overcome them. There’s a statistic that most development practitioners will have heard quite frequently: empowering women farmers would decrease the number of hungry by up to 150 million. There are many facts like it, all meant to make the case for women’s economic empowerment. … Continue reading Empowerment beyond the buzzword: Unintended consequences of women’s economic empowerment

What the BBC didn’t say about workers in Bangladesh

The BBC's recent Panorama investigation, Dying for a Bargain, brought welcome attention to the issue of workers' rights in the Bangladesh garment sector, where more than 1,100 people recently died in the collapse of a garment factory at Rana Plaza. It rightly pointed out that up to a million people work in dangerous or illegal conditions at … Continue reading What the BBC didn’t say about workers in Bangladesh

Three reasons why the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights should prioritise gender

This week the UK government takes the historic step of becoming one of the first institutions to make an official statement on how companies should operationalize the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, more commonly known as the Ruggie Principles. Leading the process to formalize the ambitious but sometimes vague standards laid out … Continue reading Three reasons why the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights should prioritise gender

Why the Ruggie Principles require every company to empower women

I’ve written previously that there is business case for companies to empower women; what I didn't mention was that even if there were not, there would still be a strong legal case for them to do so. The global standard for the responsibilities of business vis-à-vis human rights is the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business … Continue reading Why the Ruggie Principles require every company to empower women

The evolution of multi-stakeholder initiatives: Lessons for the Bangladesh garment sector

In the months since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh sparked a drive to address worker health and safety in the garment sector, I’ve been suffering a severe case of déjà vu. Here’s how it has played out: high-profile exposure of human rights abuses, coupled with intense lobbying by civil society, causes international brands … Continue reading The evolution of multi-stakeholder initiatives: Lessons for the Bangladesh garment sector