By Judith Pryor
Vice President, Office of External Affairs, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
On April 10, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Devex and Vital Voices held the #SheBuilds Twitter chat, aimed at engaging development practitioners, stakeholders and the public on the many reasons why gender integration and investing in women and girls is absolutely crucial to development. As Vital Voices pointed out during the chat, investing in women is investing in communities. Not only that, it is a practical growth strategy for any business. Studies have shown that companies with gender diversity in top management posts outperform competition in results and stock price.
OPIC recognizes the critical role women play in building stable societies and achieving economic growth. Much of our work in microfinance and small- to medium-sized enterprise lending have supported women-led small businesses, like the Blessings Hair Salon in Kawangware, Kenya, owned and operated by Jane Akoth. OPIC has committed $250 million to establish a Jordan Loan Guarantee Facility to help expand access to credit for the traditionally underserved female entrepreneurs in the area. Furthermore, OPIC works to ensure that project sponsors have equal employment opportunities policies to protect against discrimination in the workplace. Within the U.S., OPIC hosts the Expanding Horizon’s workshops, which are geared toward minority and women-owned businesses.
The fact of the matter is that there are so many talented women who are fit to lead, but they are not given the opportunity. Through increased access to healthcare, education and finance, we can open doors for future female leaders and strengthen global development.
Below you’ll find a collection of a few of my favorite tweets and facts from the #SheBuilds Twitter chat. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.