The worldwide average of a woman’s annual earnings today of 11,000 USD pales to the 20,000 USD average for a man. The disparity only grows for minority women and those living in developing countries.
The difference in pay is a direct result of a less than perfect world for women: restricted access to resources, information and opportunities put real limitations on a woman’s chances for economic equality. There are no winners here, either, because this deprives the world economy of much-needed talent, new inventions, and the ability for businesses to grow.
Take away the gender gap in our economy and what do you get? An estimated 10 to 17 trillion USD added to the global economy. From Fortune 500 companies to startup entrepreneurs, women significantly outperform their male peers in the bottom line, despite a long legacy of these roles being exclusive to men.
Even with access and excellent role models, women disproportionately hold jobs of a class that will likely disappear as technology advances. While STEM-related industries will add in the coming years over 1.7 million jobs in the US alone, less than 12 percent of the country’s engineering students are women.
Technology is the key to female empowerment and opportunity. The internet can provide women with new and innovative pathways to connect and to be fully present in future economies. Connectedness can also improve a woman’s safety and help her manage money - two areas that hold life-changing power.
When used in the right way, tech can set young girls up for success in taking up studies in a STEM field or pursuing leadership roles.
For women and girls to fully reap the benefits of the ‘digital dividend,’ we need to find ways to weaken and break down the barriers that hold them back, and we need to find ways to amplify what works.
Retired Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation Chairman & CEO, Pepsico
The Arts and Culture Mentorship Prize Curated by Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist
The foundation for creativity is safety and trust, on which are built curiosity, imagination, and collaboration, and finally passion for a subject or skill. The arts and culture mentorship prize will be awarded to Solvers (up to 3 across all challenges) who present innovative learning technologies, new educational models, tools or strategies that connect disadvantaged youth’s passion for the arts and culture to 21st century skills.