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  • 26 Oct 2020 9:37 PM | Anonymous

    Due to the untiring work of the board of TIAW, at 40 years old, TIAW remains one of the leading, global charitable foundations dedicated to the economic empowerment and advancement of women all over the globe.

    There was no doubt that two years ago when I first inherited the role of President, that TIAW needed a complete change of operations and imperatives. It is my pleasure to announce that TIAW has been restored to its former vision of empowering women and now it is time for me to hand over the leadership to my successor and in true TIAW tradition, it will be my pleasure to support the new President in her role. Before I do however, I would like to take a moment of reflection on the work that has been done over the past 2 years by our team of exceptional women, who have accepted every challenge presented to them with a tenacious ability to get things done when it was needed.

    Collectively we have:

    1. Restored the Awards programs and Forums. Last year we held the first forum and awards ceremony since 2016. This year we celebrated our 40th Anniversary with a Virtual Ceremony, view in the Awards/Global Forums section of our website, https://tiaw.org/global-forum
    2. Improved governance at Board level. Reviving various committees with the Committees and Executive Board meeting monthly.
    3. Increased Board participation including more diversity and an international focus.
    4. Reinvigorated the Past Presidents Committee (formerly the PIAC committee, reformed as the TAG committee {The TIAW Advisory Group},
    5. Compiled a strategic plan to give us the necessary modelling which would be needed to keep progressing improvements and initiatives.
    6. Improved the communication with our stake holders which was restored as a matter of priority, including the development of a new website and monthly newsletters.
    7. Engaged strategically on social media to assist in communicating to a new audience and spreading our positive messages to communities across the globe.
    8. Restored and increased our Association members.
    9. Revitalised micro finance, the signature program of TIAW. In doing so we have discovered an organisation who manages funds in the Asia Pacific region and have finally been able to make good a promise made to our patron Amanda Ellis, to fund the economic empowerment of women in the Asia/Pacific region. We have signed new MOUs with both FINCA and CUFA.
    10. Restored the Cherie Blair Foundation Partnership to move forward, we an updated Mentoring program.
    11. Simplified the operational side of the organisation.         
    I would like to thank the Board of 2019-2020. All board members have elected to stay on the executive board for 2020-2021, which will offer stability and a continuation of our strategic plan, thereby ensuring the ongoing success of the organisation.

    To the wonderful supporters of TIAW I say to you, watch this space, because we are about to accomplish even more remarkable feats, we need you as our support network. You too can help TIAW by donating to the micro finance program, joining TIAW as a member or in a practical contribution by offering us a helping hand.

    I am confident that our new President Donna Meredith will be able to build on the success of the past two years and as you read her Bio, you will agree with me that the next two years of TIAW will be very fruitful and exciting.

    Donna Meredith

    Managing Director, Keystone Corporate Positioning

    Principal, Interaction Associates Australasia

    Donna Meredith is Managing Director of award-winning consultancy Keystone Corporate Positioning and leads Interaction Associates’ Australasian operations. Prior to co-founding Keystone in 1997, Donna held senior management positions in several commercial divisions of Qantas.

    She is a specialist in branding, marketing, strategic change management, human resource management, facilitation, organisational design and culture, and developing the capability of leaders at all levels. For the past 23 years, Donna has designed and delivered high-stakes facilitation services, strategic planning, marketing and brand positioning strategies, HR and IR support, leadership development programs, communication strategies, sponsorship strategies and cultural change programs in Australia and internationally.

    In 2011, she became Principal of Interaction Associates’ Australasian operations. Interaction Associates, headquartered in Boston, USA is a learning and development company with a 50-year record of success in teaching practical, sustainable models for leading and enabling teams. Interaction Associates tools and models are based in a deep understanding of group dynamics, and in the specific behaviours that allow leaders to enable their people and enhance their involvement.

    Diane Tompson

    Honorary Past President

    The International Alliance for Women


  • 29 Sep 2020 12:30 AM | Anonymous

    Awards recognise significant contribution to the
    economic empowerment of women

    Dear Members and Friends,

    I am so excited to share with you a media release for the 2020 awards. Congratulations to all our recipients and thank you all for everything that you have done to empower the women of the globe.

    Diane Tompson

    President of the International Alliance for Women

    The International Alliance for Women has publicized the 2020 recipients of the prestigious 2020 World of Difference Awards ahead of a virtual Awards Ceremony being held on Saturday, 3 October at 5am (AEST). (See the links below to participate)

    Celebrating its 40th anniversary, TIAW is one of the leading global charitable foundations dedicated to the advancement of women all over the globe.

    The World of Difference Awards recognize extraordinary women and men from around the world who have contributed to the economic empowerment of women, leadership and innovation, across categories including education, community, entrepreneurship, government, NGOs and more. Over 700 deserving individuals have received awards since their inception.

    The 2020 TIAW Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon distinguished former US Ambassador and co-Founder of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), Ruth A Davis.

    Australia’s former High Commissioner & Ambassador to the Indian Ocean islands, Susan Coles, was selected for a Public Service / Government Award for her work enabling international mentoring program Business Without Borders to flourish in the Indian Ocean.

    Canadian author and journalist Stephanie MacKendrick was recognised for her vast contribution and service to TIAW with the Mandy Goetze Award, named after one of the founding board members of the organisation

    TIAW President Diane Tompson explains the organization’s focus is on building an ‘inclusive economy’ for all, driven by increasing women’s participation and contribution.

     

    “TIAW has been uniting, supporting and promoting women and their chosen networks across all continents, and in turn supporting and strengthening the global economic fabric for forty years,” says Ms Tompson. “As Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated: ‘Women belong in all places where decisions are made’ and we are seeking to ensure that they are in those places.”

    Education category awardee Mam-Yassin Sarr-Fox explained the impact her award will have.

    I think that education is the most powerful space in development, and I am honored in that space. This award will go a long way in inspiring young people, especially young girls, and for this, I am grateful.”

    The 2020 awardees have come from across the globe, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, France, Lebanon, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    ***

    Biographies of some of the many winners of the 2020 World of Difference Awards


    Ambassador Ruth A Davis – Lifetime Achievement Award

    Ruth A. Davis is the chairperson and co-founder of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) foundation. Founded in 2007, IWEC’s mission is to connect and develop a global network of successful women business owners through working with international chambers of commerce and women’s business organizations.  IWEC is devoted to promoting women’s economic empowerment by creating an international network of businesswomen.

    Ambassador Davis is an internationalist who retired from the U.S. Department of State with the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service of the United States. Her assignments in the U.S. Department of State include Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources (2001-2003), Director of the Foreign Service Institute (1997-2001), Ambassador to the Republic of Benin (1992-1995), and U.S. Consul General in Barcelona, Spain (1987-1991). She was also posted in Kinshasa, Nairobi, Tokyo and Naples as a Consular Officer. Ambassador Davis was detailed to Howard University in Washington, DC as Distinguished Advisor for International Affairs and she served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor in the Bureau of African Affairs from 2005-2008.

    She has received two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards, the Arnold L. Raphel Memorial Award for mentoring, the 2005 Department of State Equal Opportunity Award, the Secretary’s Distinguished Award conferred by Colin L. Powell, and the International Career Advancement Program’s Award for visionary leadership and fostering diversity within foreign affairs. In 2015 she was named by the Economist Magazine as one of the ‘Top Diversity Figures in Public life’ and in 2016 she received the American Foreign Service Association’s Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy and the Link’s Co-Founder Award for International Service.


    Susan Coles – Public Service / Government Award

    In her role as Australia’s High Commissioner & Ambassador to the Indian Ocean islands (Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and the Comoros) Susan Coles was a major influencer in the development of the women’s Coaching and Mentoring program, “Business without Borders”. Susan effectively enabled the implementation of the program by supporting two entrepreneurs each representing two countries on either side of the world, Australia and Mauritius, to apply and ultimately be successful in being awarded a grant from the Australian government. The Mentoring program was devised to assist entrepreneurs in growing their businesses by empowering them by building their business acumen and capabilities. This program has been so successful that has been supported through five years of operations and three tranches of grants. In fact, Susan was so convinced of the effectiveness of the program that she accompanied the founders of the program on visits to all regions of the Indian Ocean Islands, her presence giving an enormous encouragement and demonstrably showing how important the program was to its women. She met with Presidents and senior government officials often persuading them to visit the workshops and official launches; and facilitated Australia’s then Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott-Despoja, to connect with the program on her visit to the region.

    Other projects Susan championed in her time as High Commissioner included the Women in Uniform networks set up by a seconded Australian police officer, empowering Mauritian and Seychelles women in police, fire, prison and nursing services; and training for all Mauritius magistrates in combatting gender-based violence through the court system, led by visiting experts from Australia.


    Stephanie MacKendrick – Mandy Goetze Award

    Since 2018, Stephanie MacKendrick has been CEO of Crisis Services Canada, the not for profit organization that created Canada’s national suicide prevention helpline. Stephanie’s career has spanned journalism, corporate communications, not for profit leadership and most recently as author of “In Good Hands: Remarkable Female Politicians from Around the World Who Showed Up, Spoke Out and Made Change” to encourage young women to consider running for elected office as part of their career planning.

     

    After 16 years as President of Canadian Women in Communications at forefront of women’s career advancement, Stephanie ran a consulting and coaching practice combining career transition coaching and gender diversity strategies for corporations.

     

    Stephanie currently sits as Vice-Chair of the Board for Samara Canada, a charitable organization promoting citizen engagement in politics and public life. She was a founding co-chair of the 30% Club Canada steering committee, a global campaign that originated in the UK and seeks to raise the proportion of women on corporate boards in Canada to 30%. Stephanie also served as President of the Board of The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 she founded co-founded the TIAW World of Difference 100 Award which has recognized close to 500 recipients from more than 80 countries since it was created in 2008.

    Stephanie has received numerous awards; WXN’s Most Powerful Women: Canada’s Top 100 in 2005 and 2012, Canada’s Telecom Hall of Fame (Advocate) for promoting women’s advancement, the Innoversity Angel Award for promoting diversity, 2012 Women of Influence Diversity Champion and in 2010 was admitted to the freedom of the City of London (UK).

    About the Mandy Goetze Award

    Marian E. (Mandy) Goetze has played a pivotal role in TIAW right from the beginning when she attended planning sessions in 1979 as a representative of the Baltimore Executive Women's Network. She was a founding board member when the organization was first created in 1980 and named the National Association of Professional & Executive Women’s Networks. Mandy has been here throughout our evolution from NAPEWN to TIA (The International Alliance) to where we are today as The International Alliance for Women. Mandy was behind many of the initiatives that built TIAW’s impact and influence, including a series of ten annual Washington Briefings where she brought policy-makers and women leaders together to hear about the most important issues of the day. She also organized four European meetings that led to what was then the National Alliance to adopt its international orientation.

    As someone who represents the heart and soul of this organization it was only fitting that there be an award in her honor: the Mandy Goetze 21st Century Award; an award that is bestowed annually to a TIAW member who has made an outstanding contribution to TIAW, whether it is a long-standing effort or an exceptional achievement in a specific time frame. To this day, Mandy Goetze remains a thought leader and true inspiration to the entire TIAW community.

    ***

    Full List of 2020 World of Difference Awardees

    Community Awards

    ·       Melek El Nimer (Lebanon)

    ·       Aparna Nagesh (India)

    ·       Liz Reinert (United States)

    Corporate Initiatives for Women’s Economic Empowerment Awards

    ·       Rasha Al Agouz (Saudi Arabia)

    ·       Michele Piercey (France)

    Education Awards

    ·       Neelofar Ali (United States)

    ·       Aurélie Jean (United States) 

    ·       Jill Klein (United States)

    ·       Debby Rooney (United States)

    ·       Mam-Yassin Sarr-Fox (United States)

    ·       Dr Shaheen Shariff (Canada)

    Entrepreneurship Awards

    ·       Jennifer Classen (South Africa)

    ·       Holly Galbraith (Australia)

    ·       Melanie Gleeson (Australia)

    ·       Dr Trisheetaa Tej (India)

    Non-Profit / NGO Awards

    ·       Ingun Bol de Bock (Netherlands)

    ·       Gabriela Fiorini (Peru)

    ·       Rachel Ho (Malaysia)

    ·       Kirthi Jayakumar (India)

    ·       Crystal Little (United States)

    ·       Regina Llopis Rivas (Spain)

    ·       Luciana Malamud (Argentina)

    ·       Justina Montalico (Peru)

    ·       Nancy Ploeger (United States)

    Public Service / Government Awards

    ·       Susan Coles (Australia)

    Champions for Women’s Economic Empowerment Awards

    ·       Nicholas Haines (United Kingdom)

    ·       Sunhit Mehra (India)

    Lifetime Achievement Award

    ·       Ambassador Ruth A Davis (United States)

    Mandy Goetze Award

    Stephanie MacKendrick



    Live event:

    The virtual event will be broadcast live from Australia on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 

    5 AM (AEST). Friday, October 2, 2020 at 12PM PDT); 3PM(EDT); 8PM(BST); 9PM(EET)  

    Taped event:

    The taped event will be rebroadcast, available from Australia on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 12 PM (AEST). Friday, October 2, 2020 at 7 PM (PDT); 10 PM (EDT); Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 3 AM (BST); 4 AM (EET)   

     

    Please use the following ZOOM link to connect to the event: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81350935081?pwd=SFNJYys1U2VsV2FwRGd0VE1wVUxPUT09

    Meeting ID: 813 5093 5081
    Passcode: 626601
    Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbFFJTS53s

     

    Please feel free to share the event details and the great news about your TIAW World of Difference Award with your network, using any of the following hashtags and logos: #TIAW #WODA #Worldofdifference #Womenempowerment #womendevelopment #womenentrepreneurs #empoweredwomenempoweringwomen #microfinance #womeninbusiness #womenledbusiness #IWECRuthDavis

     


  • 16 Sep 2020 8:58 AM | Anonymous

    September is a very important month for TIAW. This week we have notified this year’s successful awardees for the WOD award. All successful recipients have now received a letter from TIAW and will probably be announcing their news to friends, families, and colleagues in due course. TIAW will also be announcing the winners by social media over the coming weeks, so look out for their names and details by accessing our social media accessed through our website. Any queries may be sent to admin@tiaw.org

    Please allow me to congratulate all our awardees and to thank them for their contribution to the empowerment of women.

    A Virtual Awards Forum will be held on the 2nd October 2020 where there will be a series of inspiring speakers from around the world and further acknowledgment of all our awardees. We welcome anyone interested in attending to register your interest in attending our Virtual Forum, by signing up for our newsletter at https://tiaw.org/news. More details of the event will be released shortly.

    You can also become part of or continuing mission to connect leading women’s organisations worldwide to leverage their reach and resources, creating a global community of economically empowered women by becoming a member, Go to https://www.tiaw.org/join to be part of a community of women focussed on funding and supporting women to start their own sustainable businesses by way of micro-credit, mentoring, recognition, and promotion.

    Diane Tompson

    President TIAW


  • 19 Aug 2020 12:39 AM | Anonymous

    In this month’s newsletter I am pleased to announce that we have made donations from TIAW’s microfinance funds to FINCA’s female entrepreneur program. We are confident that this will enable budding entrepreneurs to begin their entrepreneurial journey. The loan will allow these women to not only generate money for resources to support their business but to also ensure financial security for their families. TIAW has for many years been a vehicle to empower women and this year in particular, aiding and supporting women less fortunate than ourselves is vital to ensure the improvement of the quality of life for so many people on this small planet of ours. To make more of these donations a reality, it is important for many of our loyal supporters to donate money, so please either become a member of TIAW, or donate to our website to help us continue to help these women. https://www.tiaw.org/donate

    This month, we chose to donate our money to FINCA for their initiative to fund an Emergency Fund which is described as follows:

     “To combat the threat that COVID-19 poses to the lives and livelihoods of the extremely vulnerable populations that FINCA serves, we launched the FINCA Emergency Response Fund. The Fund will provide emergency relief to low-income communities and bridge support to early-stage social enterprises affected by the coronavirus pandemic as well as open FINCA’s financial system for disaster response cash transfers.”

    FINCA Afghanistan’s women-only branch was featured in an article in a leading UK publication, The Telegraph, on how female economic empowerment will be crucial in Afghanistan’s recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

    TIAW’s funding has been donated to FINCA with the request to specifically target female entrepreneurs. Next month our plan is to use CUFA to reach women in the Asia Pacific region. More information to follow. Our aim is to make the impact as wide as possible.

    This month, our WOD (Women of Difference) judges will begin the task of reviewing the nominations. I want to thank the nominators for their support in recognising those who have so diligently made a commitment to empower women. With so many nominations received, the judges will have a difficult task ahead of them. The results will be announced and celebrated at a virtual awards ceremony to be held on the 3rd October 2020. More information will be made available to everyone in September. I look forward to sharing our virtual celebration to honour our recipients.

    This year is the 40th year of the founding of TIAW, a great milestone for any organisation and one which should be celebrated as an enormous achievement by many passionate and enthusiastic individuals. Amongst the supporters of TIAW and its board, there is a total commitment in ensuring that TIAW remains as vital as the day it was first established.

    Diane Tompson

    President TIAW


  • 30 Jun 2020 12:18 AM | Anonymous

    Each year, the TIAW World of Difference Awards recognize women and men who advance the economic empowerment of women, whether on a small scale in the developing world or by effecting change in the boardrooms of the business capitals of the world. In the 40 years since 2008 was founded, the TIAW World of Difference Awards have garnered worldwide attention for the high caliber of achievement and change leadership, demonstrated by its recipients throughout the world and by their growing impact. Each year the awards celebrate the inspiring, courageous, tenacious and creative achievements, of the extraordinary champions of women’s economic advancement.

    Now, you can be part of this important movement to honour and encourage women’s economic independence and power. When women flourish, families, communities and countries, flourish alongside them. Take a few minutes to nominate someone who you know has truly made a difference to the empowerment of women. Whether your candidate has a high profile or works anonymously, whether they move in power circles or small villages, whether their impact is local, regional or international, we would like you to tell us how your candidate has made a difference.

    Submitting a nomination form is easy. Just complete the form https://tiaw.org/wod-nominate on the TIAW website with details of your coordinates and those of your nominee by July 20, 2020.

    The TIAW World of Difference Awards are inspiring, motivating and uplifting. Add your voice to this international choir that is truly making all the difference in the world.

    Empower Women. Change the World.


  • 25 May 2018 3:05 AM | Anonymous

    March 2018 - Powering Potential: Increasing Women's Access to Financial Products and Services

    “Women’s financial inclusion” is defined as women having access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs as individuals, economic agents and entrepreneurs.

    This report from FWA President's Circle Sponsor BNY Mellon, a companion to BNY Mellon's original Return on Equality publication, shines a spotlight on the opportunity to realize gains — in both gender equality and market returns — by increasing women’s financial inclusion around the world. BNY Mellon's aim is to inspire financial services providers to design and market products and services that fuel women’s full economic participation, and to encourage investors to steer their capital toward such companies.

    Powering_potential.pdf

  • 25 May 2018 3:02 AM | Anonymous

    January 2017 - Return on Equality: Opportunities that Help Close the Gender Gap

    The potential economic and development gains from gender equality are vast and well-documented — and yet they are currently being bypassed. This joint report by FWA President's Circle sponsor BNY Mellon and the United Nations Foundation explores the market potential of advancing gender equality.

    Return_on_equality.pdf
  • 27 Jul 2014 3:00 AM | Anonymous

    As a woman entrepreneur, one of my real pleasures is connecting, sharing and doing business with fellow women business owners and leaders. Every day, I see women economically, socially and politically challenged to achieve the same success and validation that comes so easily to many of our male counterparts. Creativity has proven critical in meeting those challenges. Alone, few of us can single-handedly solve or address everything, but by connecting with peers in organizations such as TIAW, integrating efforts and sharing ideas always leads to considerable creativity. An extra benefit of becoming focused on solution is the quick diminution of focusing on the problem.

    Many people tell me that they are not blessed with an ounce of creativity, and I wonder how they face problems. For leaders, there is no choice. We all get stymied from time to time. When this happens to me, I like to choose a card from Roger von Oech’s Creative Whack Pack, happily a new app available for your smartphone. Here’s a few of my favorite cards:

    • Take a whack at it. Get started. It ‘s as easy as listing three to five things you can do to test your idea and then acting on your list. A decision made is not at all the same thing as action taken.
    • Borrow ideas. Did you know that Cubist art was the inspiration for WWII camouflage patterns? Ideas that work successfully in one application can usually be adapted to other ones.
    • Get out of your box. The card lists the quote of journalist Robert Weider, who said “Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.”
    • Trust Yourself. The best ideas don’t always belong to someone else. Think about the experience we’ve probably shared of keeping quiet and hearing someone else say what we had been thinking and only wished we’d said first!
    • Do something to it. This is the way I do things all the time. Transform one thing into another by adding a little, subtracting a little, changing a little. Either you’ll wind up with a great new product or stimulate another idea entirely.

    Creativity matters. Use yours to inspire yourself and those you lead.

    Lisa Kaiser Hickey


  • 13 Jul 2014 2:56 AM | Anonymous

    It is often difficult as a woman to develop the competence and confidence to get things done through others, to tell our story, and to become fearless. At TIAW’s annual Global Forum (the next one will be held in October, 2015), you will be inspired by women from around the world who have accomplished those very things. Read the stories of the women honored March 27, 2014 as the latest class of 100 “World of Difference” awardees. They join nearly 300 others that TIAW has recognized over the years.

    TIAW also recognizes one woman each year for her legacy to women through our Lifetime Achievement Award. Ten women have received this remarkable honor, and through these extraordinary women TIAW has built alliances and expanded networks that continue to make a difference in the lives of women worldwide.

    Building leadership capacity is a continuing focus for TIAW in 2014. You will be seeing expansions of our Entrepreneurship and Women’s Leadership Network programs for this purpose. We will continue our funding of village banks through our Micro Credit program. 2013 was a record year for donations, so we look forward to doing more than ever in 2014.

    To see leaders in action, get in touch with the Global Ambassador in your geographic region. Fifteen months in the making, TIAW now has 30 women from all over the world who are there just for you. If you’d like to meet the ambassador in your region, please email Global_Ambassadors@tiaw.org Our ambassadors each have an inspiring story of their own to share with you, and you may consider them to be your personal portal to the TIAW network.

    Every successful woman inspires other women. Thank you for inspiring me.

    Lisa Kaiser Hickey


  • 16 Jun 2014 2:55 AM | Anonymous

    I remember with fondness a dear friend who often said “what goes around comes around”, usually in response to something smart that I’d said to him, and his words always provoked a laugh because I knew he’d eventually exact revenge. I think his words aptly address the nature of our actions: when we do that which is good, it comes back to us and usually in greater volume than the original act, and unfortunately the reverse is also true.

    Many public organizations, including the United Nations, describe social responsibility as the “Triple Bottom Line” of people, planet and profits. In other words, businesses take responsibility for the impact that their actions or products exact on the environment (planet) or their community of stakeholders (people) while maintaining their ability to be a sustainable organization (profitable). Social responsibility is always tied to ethics, or how a business operates with regard to the prescriptive of law and in the absence of it (e.g. when social values are at issue). I believe there is a perfect correlation between socially responsible companies and economically viable companies.

    Milton Friedman wrote in 1970 that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits…” Although I admire and respect Friedman’s work, this was a point with which I simply could not agree. So, I conducted my own poll on Facebook, and was not surprised that 100% of the respondents disagreed with Friedman. I do not have their reasons for disagreement, but I can give you mine. Consider the view of Peter Drucker, who argued that businesses do not exist to maximize profits but to minimize costs, “costs of doing business and costs of staying in business; costs of labor and raw materials, and costs of capital; costs of today’s jobs and costs of tomorrow’s job and tomorrow’s pensions”. Just as surely as we invest in raw materials and pay wages to create products, we also invest in our people and their well-being and by extension we invest in the sustainability of our communities. This is just good business. I like the way that the founder and CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, expressed this thought when he said “It is the function of company leadership to develop solutions that continually work for the common good.”

    Advancing social responsibility can change the world. The Micro Credit Program of The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) has followed the Grameen Foundation ideology by funding Village Banks all over the world. The women who have received micro loans through these banks have a reported 98% repayment rate. Their economic empowerment is contributing to economic expansion in their villages. Women who learn and earn are less likely to live in poverty.

    There are very clear benefits of social responsibility to the business. For one, it is differentiating and can even result in preference by customers given equal prices or products from competitors. For another, it leads to an internal good will among employees that frequently ripples externally as these employees model similar behavior. It also builds a culture that is justifiably proud and recognized as doing the right thing.

    Leaders, your path is clear. Do that which is in the common good, and it will come back to you.

    Lisa Kaiser Hickey


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