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梅琳达•盖茨:为什么说聘用女性有利于公司发展

Melinda Gates 2015年03月17日

根据最近发布的一份研究报告,如果女性获得更多决策权,她们所在社区的状况会有所改善,她们的家庭会变得更健康兴旺,为女性赋权可以大大推动贫困国家的经济发展。一直致力于增进女性权益的梅琳达•盖茨在《财富》撰文称,投资女性就是投资于全人类。

    梅琳达•盖茨,比尔与梅琳达•盖茨基金会联席主席

    我的大部分时间都在为增进世界各地女性的权益而努力,因此,当我直到十五年前才发现自己对发展中国家的女性竟然知之甚少时,我感到非常吃惊。

    读大学的时候,我知道了埃塞俄比亚的饥荒,因此,和所有人一样,我也购买了一张《四海一家》(We Are the World)专辑。但我所做的事也仅限于此。在微软担任一个部门负责人时,我经常到贫穷的国家出差——但通常也只限于在市中心的写字楼参加商业会议,根本没有机会接触到这些国家的现实情况。

    15年前,比尔和我成立了我们的基金会,这时我才开始意识到,不论在个人生活还是职业生涯中,我都错过了许多。

    所以,我想鼓励你去做我直到人生很晚的时候才开始做的事情:花时间了解世界各地女性的生活,并且在她们为自己争取未来的过程中,尽自己的一份绵薄之力。

    如果你还需要更有说服力的理由,以下内容可以告诉你为什么应该加入到为女性争取公平的斗争中去。

    有利于公司发展

    在贫穷国家,女性权益是经济发展的引擎。据近期上线的网站《打破天花板:全员参与报告》(No Ceilings: Full Participation Report)发布的报告,若埃及女性的就业率与男性持平,埃及的GDP将增长34%。顺便说一句,在美国,这种情形可带动GDP增长5%。报告还显示,由于女性更注重孩子教育和健康等问题,因此她们将为未来的繁荣奠定基础。这意味着,女性获得权益可以为全世界的人类创造大量财富。有数十亿的妇女和女孩的购买力仍有待挖掘。如果你想要一个成功的未来,你应该尽最大努力去创造这样的未来——而这意味着赋予女性权益。

    你可以扩展技能

    女性权益是一个棘手的问题。直面其他人的痛苦可能让人难以承受,但你同时也会看到她们的勇气,这将深深触动你的内心。为了产生影响,你需要进行战略思考,这将为你带来动力。例如,在帮助贫穷国家成千上万女性获得避孕用品的过程中,我必须考虑文化问题(我们在与数十个国家合作,每个国家都有独特的历史和语言)、物流挑战(我们如何将产品送到与世隔绝的偏远村庄里?)以及研发挑战(我们需要降低激素类避孕药的副作用,使其更易于女性使用)。我喜欢解决这些具有吸引力的管理挑战。

    你可以获得有价值的见解

    作为一名女性商业领导者,有时候你必须努力让别人听到你的声音。全世界的女性,不论她们在生活中扮演着什么角色,实际上都在做着同样的事情。据联合国粮农组织进行的一项研究,如果女性获得更多决策权,她们所在社区的状况就会有所改善,她们的家庭就会变得更健康、更兴旺。但社会总是忽视女性的知识和解决问题的能力。

    我是一个致力于女性发展问题的人,在我看来,正是女性的发展让投资女性产生强大效果。投资女性,就是投资所有人。假如你逐渐开始采取行动,你很快就会发现,对女性的投资有益于你的思想,有益于你的灵魂,并且有益于你的事业。(财富中文网)

    梅琳达•盖茨为比尔与梅琳达•盖茨基金会联合创始人。

    译者:刘进龙/汪皓

    审校:任文科

    Given that I spend most of my time working to empower women across the globe, I surprise myself when I remember that until 15 years ago I knew very little about women in developing countries.

    In college, I was aware of the famine in Ethiopia, and I bought the We Are the World album just like everybody else. But that was where my engagement ended. When I was running a division at Microsoft, I traveled to poor countries—but only for business meetings in office buildings downtown, far away from reality.

    But when Bill and I started our foundation 15 years ago, I began to realize how much I’d been missing—not just in my personal life, but also in my career.

    So, I want to encourage you to do what I only started to do later in my life: take time to learn about the lives of women around the world—and try to play a small part in their fight to create the future they deserve.

    If you still need a little more convincing, here are some additional reasons why you should join the fight for women equality

    It’s good for business

    Women’s empowerment is an engine for economic growth in poor countries. According to the No CeilingsFull Participation Report which recently launched, if Egyptian women were employed at the same rate as men that country’s GDP would climb by 34%. In the U.S., by the way, that figure is 5%. The same report shows that, since women prioritize things like education and health care for their children, they also build the foundations of a prosperous future. This means empowered women can generate a vast amount of wealth that people around the world would be able to spend. There are billions of women and girls with untapped purchasing power. If you want a successful future, then you need to be doing as much as you can to create it—and that means empowering women.

    You will expand your skill set

    Women’s empowerment is a tough nut to crack. Coming face-to-face with people’s suffering can be crushing, but it also brings you face-to-face with their courage, and that’s deeply inspiring. You’ll be motivated by the need to think strategically in order to make an impact. For example, in my work to help tens of millions of women in poor countries get access to contraceptives, I have to think about cultural problems (we’re working with dozens of countries, each with its own distinct history, language, etc.), logistical challenges (how do we get products to people who live in remote villages with no roads?), and even R&D challenges (we need to reduce the side effects of hormonal contraceptives so that they’re easier for women to use). It’s a fascinating management challenge that I love tackling.

    You will gain valuable insight

    As a female business leader sometimes you have to fight to make yourself heard. Women all over the world, no matter what their position in life, are doing the same thing. According to a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, when women have more power to make decisions, conditions in their communities improve, and their families are healthier and more prosperous. Yet society routinely ignores their knowledge and their ability to solve problems.

    From my perspective as someone who works in development, this is what makes investments in women so powerful. When you invest in women, you invest in the people who invest in everybody else. And if you gradually start to take action it won’t be long before you realize that investing in women is good for your mind, good for your soul, and good for your business.

    Melinda Gates is the co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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