VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 23, 2015 /CNW/ -- Today the organizers of The Next Billion: Women and the Economy of the Future conference announced they have partnered with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. The organizations are joining forces to assemble senior corporate leaders to discuss concrete, practical ways in which women – as consumers, employees, entrepreneurs and executives – can contribute to the continuing success of companies in the international economy. The Next Billion conference will take place on May 7 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
According to a report from Goldman Sachs titled Women's Work: Driving the Economy (2013), closing the gap between male and female employment would add 9% to the US GDP, 13% to European GDPs, and 16% to the Japanese GDP. In the same report, it is noted that women are also estimated to control about 65% of all spending decisions globally.
"Gender equality issues are often discussed, but not as they relate to their effect on the sustainable growth of economies and companies," said Henriette Kolb, Head of the Gender Secretariat at IFC. "This conference is taking a different approach, one that will help companies design gender-smart solutions that advance companies as well as women's voices and choices. We're excited to be a part of it."
Through a series of moderated discussions with key corporate decision-makers from North America, Europe and Latin America, the conference will provide crucial insights into how and why women are key to the long-term profitability and growth of businesses in the banking, consumer product, technology, and manufacturing sectors, among others. An emphasis will be placed on sharing concrete actions and policies that leading companies in these sectors have successfully used to tap the business potential of women globally.
Planned sessions include:
- Women and the Bottom Line: Business Sustainability and Growth in the 21st-Century Economy
- Beyond the Micro: Women as Entrepreneurs Driving Profit and Innovation by Rethinking Value Chains
- Driving Profit and Innovation by Rethinking Value Chains
- Supply or Demand? Addressing the Real Obstacles to Diversifying the C-Suite
- The Skilled Labor Force of Today and Tomorrow: Keys to Attracting and Retaining Women Employees
"Our goal is to come away with real, actionable ways women can participate in the success of organizations and ways their contributions can be leveraged," noted conference organizer, business owner and philanthropist Lisa Wolverton. "Bringing together people who are interested in and passionate about this issue gives us a way to have open, honest discussions and move the ball on this critical issue."
In addition to IFC, The Next Billion partners include BSR: Business for Social Responsibility; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and its Multilateral Investment Fund; and the United Nations Foundation.
About The Next Billion: Women & the Economy of the Future
The Next Billion: Women & The Economy of the Future conference will bring together key corporate decision-makers from North America, Europe and Latin America for a results-oriented, evidence-based dialogue on the topic of women in the global economy. Through a series of moderated discussions, the conference will provide crucial insights into how and why women are the key to the long-term profitability and growth of businesses in the banking, consumer product, technology, and manufacturing sectors, among others. The inaugural conference will be held Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
The Next Billion advisory board members include:
- Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, former UK government minister and United Nations Deputy Secretary General, and Current Chairman of Europe, Middle East and Africa, FTI Consulting
- Canaccord Genuity Group, Inc.
- Maria Livanos Cattaui, former Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce
- Laura Gitman, Vice President New York, BSR
- Frank Giustra, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fiore Financial
- Melanne Verveer, former US Ambassador for Global Women's Issues
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
SOURCE The Next Billion: Women & The Economy of the Future
For further information: Brenda Patterson, 440-623-9581, http://www.thenextbillionconference.com/