1) Conduct research program, resulting in a white paper on women and technology that will be published and disseminated widely to key partners, institutions and public sector actors interested in advancing women's economic opportunity;
2) Design and launch a global technology innovation competition to invite researchers and innovators to submit their best ideas/solutions/approaches to address barriers to women's economic participation;
3) Launch an on-line discussion group and forum to generate momentum and interest in this issue;
4) Identify a global expert panel to select the most innovative ideas and to serve as resource persons and mentors to finalists and awardees;
5) Announce and promote the most promising innovations
6) Hold events that bring together innovators, experts and potential funders to help bring the most promising innovations to completion and to market;
7) Plan further program activity based on the results of these initial research efforts.
One of ExxonMobil's major global community investment programs is the Women's Economic Opportunity Initiative, which aims to help increase opportunities for women in developing countries to become and remain successful business leaders and entrepreneurs. In many countries, however, the barriers are substantial, including the amount of time spent time on labor-intensive domestic responsibilities, a challenge which better access to technology and new time-saving innovations can can help to address. Limited attention has been given to spurring the development of technologies that benefit women in developing countries. As a part of its global effort to support opportunities for women to participate more effectively in the economy, ExxonMobil, with initial partners Ashoka's Changemakers and ICRW, launched a new focus initiative: Technologies to Improve Women's Economic Livelihoods. This effort includes a global technology search program and publication of a white paper based on cutting edge research designed to increase global attention to the issue and support planning and prioritization for further program development.
SEEKING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners
ExxonMobil sees great potential in the innovations uncovered by the Women / Tools / Technology Challenge. As a result, the company is looking for potential partners to support and leverage some of the most promising and proven ideas, or otherwise engage in visibility opportunities that showcase the innovators and their catalytic solutions to improve women's economic advancement.
OFFERING: Best Practice Information, Other
The white paper, 'Bridging the Gender Divide: How Technology Can Advance Women Economically,' is a resource to organizations that are interested in making a commitment that relates to technology or to women in developing countries. This research guided ExxonMobil's commitment this year and contains many 'lessons learned' from other technology innovations that have successfully helped to economically advance women in the developing world. The information is available for download at http://icrw.org/publications/bridging-gender-divide.