Starting a small business or finding a job during a global recession isn’t easy for anyone, but women face even more gender-related obstacles to economic empowerment and leadership opportunities.
Have you or someone you know faced any of these gender-specific career challenges?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, take a look below at what TechnoServe is doing to help.
Have you noticed a discrepancy between the number of men and women who hold leadership roles during your career?
In Benin, women face gender-related challenges around land ownership, workforce participation, and leadership. This is often especially pronounced in the cashew industry, which contributes to 25% of the country’s agricultural exports and provides jobs for more than 200,000 families.
The BeninCajù program is working to address these leadership challenges through gender equality training, the creation of community savings groups, and supporting women’s economic empowerment.
By 2019, four of the companies working with BeninCajù had promoted or recruited women into positions including director of human resources, chief operating officer, and plant manager.
In Malawi, TechnoServe is helping women like Victoria Mwafulirwa lead companies to new successes in their shoreline communities through the REFRESH project – all while helping protect the famous Lake Malawi from overfishing and degradation. With a limited number of women working in biodiversity conservation, the leadership training is helping train a new generation of social enterprise entrepreneurs.
Just south of Malawi, in Mozambique, TechnoServe is helping enterprising women like Leila Faquir grow micro-retail businesses in order to support their families. Training through the Business Women Connect program focuses on increasing the financial literacy and business skills of business women, enabling them to be better and more effective leaders of their small and growing businesses.
Have you ever been empowered by a woman coworker, manager, or mentor in a way that helped you advance your career?
A key cause of unemployment among young women in Uganda is a lack of opportunities to develop the skills needed to enter the workforce.
TechnoServe’s Girls’ Apprenticeship Program (GAP) pairs young women with business women for mentoring and training. GAP participants complete a curriculum focused on financial literacy, customer service, marketing, business planning and development strategies, and reproductive health.
Following classroom training and a practical apprenticeship, young women receive business counseling support to start and sustain their own enterprises. This includes a business plan competition with prizes for top participants.
Do you ever feel that you were held back by societal norms that discouraged women from taking as active a role in business as men?
For youth living in the slums of Mumbai, where societal norms often restrict women’s opportunities, the idea of dressing up and going to work in an office building every day might have once seemed like an impossible dream. Yet that’s what many are doing after participating in TechnoServe’s Creating Employment and Empowerment through Youth Development (CREEYD) program.
In a country where over 80% of the population works in the informal sector, this program helped young people – many of them young women – from some of the most marginalized communities to gain the professional skills they needed to take on more formal business positions.
Are you interested in opportunities to help hard working women in developing countries around the world gain the skills and market connections they need to achieve economic empowerment?
No matter where they live, women around the world often face barriers to achieving economic success. TechnoServe helps them by developing and implementing innovative gender-first programs around the world.
The work that women leaders do is incredible – and should be celebrated. The challenges they face are difficult, and constantly changing. TechnoServe is helping strong women help themselves.