Celebrating International Women’s Day 2021
#ChooseToChallenge. A catchy tagline, but what does it actually mean? Last weekend, I got first hand evidence. In yet another Zoom social with friends, I asked a toddler on the call “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and rather confidently, she answered with: “an astronaut”.
This year’s call to action for International Women’s Day is all about this. The power of becoming alert. By slowly changing who we see in the media, the toys our children play with, and other small aspects of everyday lives, we are challenging the status quo. Little by little we are breaking down those unconscious biases that start with our children drawing girls as nurses and boys as astronauts.
The ideas from the trade world of harnessing gender equality wins, being alert to situations where no gender-dimension is perceived, and celebrating our female role models and pipeline, are just small steps to addressing a gender equal world. Choosing to challenge requires all of our innovative might, thinking to the stars and beyond. Those aspiring toddler astronauts are watching.
Read Marilyn’s article here →.
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, International Trade Centre
Meera Saunders, AIG
Corine Troncy, AIG
Mariana Mastrogiovanni, AXA
Carol Searle, Texel Group
Neha Noronha, ANZ Bank
Sally Robinson, ANZ Bank
Puja Kumar, Bank of America
Valeria Sica, Citi
Elif Kuman Saran, Garanti BBVA
Neha Saxena, IndusInd Bank
Poppie Simmonds, Lloyds Banking Group
Alicia Garcia Herrero, Natixis
Elitza Kavrakova, Raiffeisen Bank International
DFIs & Export Finance →
Gwen Mwaba, Afreximbank
Dr Maria Mogilnaya, EBRD
Mairead Lavery, EDC
Nathalie Louat, International Finance Corporation
Susan Starnes, International Finance Corporation
Caroline Freund, World Bank
Hoda Moustafa, MIGA, World Bank
Caroline Stockmann, Association of Corporate Treasurers
Diana Rodriguez, BAFT
Samantha Pelosi, BAFT
Diana Smallridge, International Financial Consulting
Johanna Wissing, ITFA
Didem Bayseferoğulları, ITFA Emerging Leaders
Aysen Cetintas, FCI
Lisa McAuley, Global Trade & Professionals Alliance
Trade & Policy →
Tanya Epshteyn, Czarnikow
Soumaya Keynes, The Economist
Michelle Chivunga, Global Policy House
Majda Dabaghi, International Chamber of Commerce
Eleonore Juliane Treu, ICC Austria
Emmanuelle Ganne, World Trade Organization
Anastasia McAlpine, Finastra
Izabela Czepirska, Komgo
Claire Thompson, Mastercard
Rebecca Liao, Skuchain
Louise Taylor-Digby, SWIFT
Anat Elgrichi, Surecomp
Gladys Tejura, Tinubu Square
Deborah Elms, Asian Trade Centre
Lungi Mchunu, Consultant, ITPP
Dr Elitsa Garnizova, London School of Economics
Keri Leicher, Castor Vali
Anne Maria Cronin, Quarter Penny Consulting
Regardless of whatever room you enter, you belong, and you have a voice. I urge young women to support each other and help pave the way for more to follow.
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre
What can women entrepreneurs do themselves to prepare their businesses better to obtain the financing they need?
This can be summarized in 3 strategic steps in order to help women ensure the success of their business:
First of all, better branding and marketing: Create an impactful story around the product or service you’re offering, and boost brand recognition to raise awareness amongst potential investors and financiers. Women entrepreneurs are also encouraged to be proactive and seek out opportunities and learn about financiers that are funding women-owned businesses, businesses with a strong track record of employing women, or companies that improve the lives of women and girls with their products and services.
Secondly, getting the business offer to be the best it can be: Throughout the business cycle, ITC tries to help businesses to be as prepared as possible, factoring in the product, scale, quality, business management, business plan and more. So women-owned businesses can ensure they are investment-ready by systematically reviewing their business model, their strategy and their team, before crafting a validated growth and investment plan. And this brings me to my next suggestion…
Thirdly, plug into networks and pursue training opportunities that are available: Investment readiness bootcamps, hubs, training and access to networks can not only prime you for investments but can connect you to investors. For example, programmes such as ITC’s SheTrades Invest, which provides technical assistance to improve the investment readiness of women-owned businesses through capacity-building activities, performs due diligence and builds a pipeline of women-owned companies that are credible and robust to de-risk potential capital for our network of 30 impact investors. ITC is also offering an extensive line-up of webinars and training opportunities in the lead-up to SheTrades Global Dubai, which is going to be held in October 2021.
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