I attended the annual Power Shift conference at Oxford’s Said business school earlier this week. It’s led by the excellent Professor Linda Scott and focuses on women and the world economy. While there was so much great content, here are the 4 things that stood out for me:
1) There’s an app to tell you how women-friendly a business is! Amy-Willard Cross has come up with an awesome app called the “Buy Up Index“(available on iPhone and Android). You type in a company and it grades the company across four categories: employees, ads, leadership and other. I typed in “Nike” and found that they score an “A” overall. They got “A”s for all categories except ads, where they got a “B” (let down by their Hurley brand, which mainly shows male surfers). Check it out.
2) 79 slaves work for me – that’s what I discovered through the website slaveryfootprint.org, which shows how many slaves are in the supply chains of everyday companies. There’s around 35 million slaves in the world and growing proportion of which are women.
3) 90% of economies around the world have at least one law impeding women starting their own business. This despite the fact that women dominate the small business sector and the informal economy. Better access to finance, data and networking could help overcome this.
4) Adjusting for sector, the profit made for male and female-led businesses is the same. This surprising conclusion was from a study of businesses in Africa. It also found the importance of male mentors to help women cross-over to higher-paid “male” sectors and the negative impact of teachers encouraging girls to enter “female” industries