When I attending the 5th Meridian Global Leadership Summit I was unsure what to expect. I live in the DC area, so I am hyper-familiar with our government and its programs. Along with a 15 ambassadors and 120+ guests I was given a privileged peek into leadership on a global level. The bigger picture made me feel better at a rather painful point in American government history.
The Most Interesting Things I Learned:
There are approximately 2 billion people around the world who do not have bank account. More than half of those people are women
Digitalization of the global economy will allow those people to save money and access government payments created to support the impoverished. What does that mean? In a nutshell, it’s the use of cell phones as wallets. As Gargee Ghosh, a director from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shared, most people in developing economies save money in the form of livestock…making it very difficult to trade in a portion to handle a small crises like medical treatment for a broken bone. Global digitalization will allow people who do not live near a bank or are discriminated against when trying to open an account (women) can use their phones for banking purposes.
One panelist shared this observation, “The number of women without access to a dollar is astounding.” My heart hurt hearing that fact.
On a more positive note, a woman entrepreneur from the Caribbean shared that her government is learning that when you invest in a female founder, you invest in a family, a community, and in a country. Another panelist shared that the fastest driver of a country’s GDP was economic empowerment and education of women.
The takeaway? There are many things that need to change to make the world better, but leaders around the globe are starting to understand that women are important and investing in their education and companies can change their country quickly.