迄今为止，这些女性缺乏一些基本的条件，无法为国家经济做贡献。她们中有的人没有受到过必要的教育和就业培训，但更多是因为法律、家庭、后勤或经济原因而没有工作。根据国际劳工组织（International Labour Organization）的数据，到2020年将有约8.65亿的工作年龄(20-65岁)女性，其中8.12亿居住在新兴国家和发展中国家。
比如，高盛（Goldman Sachs）推出了为期五年的“万名女性”（10,000 Women）计划，拿出1亿美元为女性企业家们提供商业和管理培训。这些女性的企业发展已经超越了小微贷款层面，但尚未有足够的资信获得传统融资。该计划目前在22个国家运作，有超过80个本地合作伙伴，提供经营、人力资源和商业计划发展等实务培训。截至2012年5月，已有超过6,000名女性已经报名参与计划，或者已经结业。目前，高盛已经开始和公共部门及非政府组织合作，扩大计划覆盖面。
If you were to list the factors with the biggest potential impact on the business world over the next few decades, you'd likely cite some common themes - evolving technology, the globalization of markets, and fiscal challenges in Western countries, perhaps. But here's one you might not have considered: women.
According to our research, nearly 1 billion women will enter the global economy for the first time in the coming decade alone. And they will dramatically reshape the world of business and economies, globally.
Who are these women? We call them the "third billion," in that their economic impact will be just as significant as that of the billion-plus populations in China or India, respectively. While these women have been overlooked in many markets -- and actively suppressed in others -- they are increasingly taking their place in the global economy, as both employees and entrepreneurs. It will not be long before they take their place as executives as well. Once these women begin to earn positions of leadership, they will change the economic potential and corporate culture of the world's most esteemed organizations.
To date, these women have lacked the fundamental requirements needed to contribute to their national economies. They either haven't had the necessary education and training to work, or -- more frequently -- they simply couldn't, because of legal, familial, logistical, or financial issues. Of the roughly 865 million women who will be of working age (between the ages of 20 and 65) by 2020, according to the International Labour Organization, 812 million live in emerging and developing nations.
For the private sector, this emerging workforce represents a significant opportunity. Greater participation from women -- on the assembly line, on sales calls, in R&D labs, and in the boardroom -- can inspire growth and open new markets. Companies that understand this are already taking measures to better integrate women around the world.
For example, Goldman Sachs (GS) launched the 10,000 Women initiative, a five-year, $100 million effort to provide business and management education to female entrepreneurs. These women have grown beyond microfinance but don't yet have the track record to access traditional forms of capital. The program, now operating in 22 countries and working with more than 80 local partners, provides practical training in operations, human resources, and business plan development. As of May 2012, more than 6,000 women had enrolled in or graduated from the program, and Goldman has begun working with the public sector and nongovernmental organizations to increase the program's reach.
For countries struggling to break out of economic doldrums, women represent an even bigger opportunity. Our estimates (which are conservative) show that if female employment rates were to match male employment rates in the United States, overall gross domestic product (GDP) would increase by 5%. In Japan, such a change could raise GDP by 9%.
In developing economies, the effect will be even more pronounced. The United Arab Emirates would see a boost of 12% in GDP, and the Egyptian economy would grow by 34%.
The rising tide of the third billion is being enabled, in part, by progressive-minded countries that recognize the economic opportunity that women present and are taking steps to empower them. They're offering better access to education for girls, instituting policies regarding the care of children and the elderly, supporting entrepreneurs, and enforcing access-to-work policies for women.
All of these changes raise an intriguing question: As more women join the workforce over time, how will Fortune's Most Powerful Women (MPW) list change in the coming decades? More specifically, what will it look like in, say, 2040? While no one knows for sure, we have some ideas.