Sylvia Ann Hewlett argued for the empowerment of women in the August 2011 One+ profile of her book, Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women are the Solution.
In a subsequent interview with strategy+business, Hewlett and co-author Ripa Rashid discuss their origins of interest in the subject and get into more details of their research.
S+B: What first piqued your interest in women in emerging markets?
HEWLETT: We felt two powerful lures. One, obviously, was that these are the growth markets, and there are talent constraints in these countries. But, second, we felt that almost everyone had missed the boat in terms of seeing the extraordinary potential of women. There are books on the “China miracle” or the “India miracle” in which women aren’t even mentioned. Or worse, the narrative about women focuses on poverty and oppression and illiteracy. The general thinking in the West is that the most these poor, exploited women can hope for is a little bit of microfinance. I’m not trying to say that isn’t half the reality. It is. But there is this other story of tremendous vitality and aspiration.
Image (C) Ron Rinaldi