Women | Tools | Technology Challenge focuses on using technology and innovation to economically advance women in developing countries New study, Bridging the Gender Divide in Technology, provides research foundation for challenge Efforts are part of ExxonMobil's Women's Economic Opportunity Initiative, which has invested over $30 million since 2005 launchIRVING, Texas, Jan 27, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ExxonMobil,
in partnership with Ashoka's
Changemakers and the International
Center for Research on Women (ICRW), today launched Women | Tools
| Technology: Building Opportunities & Economic Power,
an innovative challenge that will identify transformative solutions for
promoting women's economic advancement through technology.
Through the Women | Tools | Technology Challenge,
the partners are looking for creative ideas and sustainable approaches
that enable more women from developing countries to be active
contributors to and leaders in our rapidly changing economy.
"We hope that the ideas and solutions generated through Women | Tools
| Technology will spark a profound transformation in the way
women in developing countries live and work," said Lorie Jackson,
director of ExxonMobil's
Women's Economic Opportunity Initiative.
"Technology has the potential to initiate a chain reaction that results
in women's economic advancement and, in turn, raises their standard of
living, contributes to significant global progress, and strengthens
their families and communities."
The ideas and solutions generated through Women | Tools | Technology
can be new or improve upon existing technologies to enable them to
benefit more women. Innovators with concepts for catalyzing women's
economic advancement through technology will be able to submit their
ideas through a crowd-sourcing, online format that allows for discussion
and collaboration among other innovators and select experts. Submissions
will be accepted from January 27th through April 14th at
Entries will be judged by a panel of experts, including Pam Darwin,
ExxonMobil's vice president of Geoscience, Geeta Rao Gupta, president of
ICRW, Andrés Carlos Randazzo, Ashoka Fellow and founder of SANUT, Bisi
Adeleye-Fayemi, co-founder and executive director of the African Women's
Development Fund and Christine Grumm, president and chief executive
officer of the Women's Funding Network. Finalists will be announced in
"Women's economic advancement is often directly related to their ability
to access and use technology," said Charlie Brown, executive director of
Ashoka's Changemakers. "We're excited to work with some of the most
creative innovators from around the world to develop ground-breaking
solutions to leverage technology to live up to its promise of changing
the world - the whole world - for the better."
Additional direction and focus for the challenge is provided by a new
research study entitled, "Bridging the Gender Divide in Technology,"
which was conducted by ICRW and funded by the ExxonMobil Foundation. The
white paper, which explores the link between technology and women's
economic empowerment, is being released to coincide with the challenge
launch and showcases existing technologies that help women increase
their productivity, create new entrepreneurial ventures, and launch
income-generating pursuits. The paper highlights what needs to be done
to improve the way technologies are developed and deployed so they
benefit women, enabling them to be more successful economic actors,
stronger leaders, and greater contributors to their families,
communities and domestic economies.
"When you consider the untapped potential of half the world's workforce,
the combination of women, tools and technology can trigger truly
transformative change," said Anju Malhotra, vice president for Research,
Innovation and Impact at ICRW. "Our research offers social innovators
practical recommendations on how to develop, introduce, and disseminate
technologies that strengthen women's ability to compete in the global
The Women | Tools | Technology Challenge is part of ExxonMobil's
Women's Economic Opportunity Initiative, and was announced
at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York in
September 2009. At the meeting, ExxonMobil co-sponsored the first-ever
Clinton Global Initiative special programming focused on investing in
girls and women.
Economic Opportunity Initiative (previously Educating Women and
Girls Initiative) was launched in 2005 and has invested more than
$30 million in programs that have directly benefited thousands of women
from 64 developing countries.
Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and ExxonMobil Foundation, the primary
philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States,
engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education,
health, women's economic leadership and public policy in the communities
where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States,
ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math
and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels.
Globally, ExxonMobil provides funding to help women fulfill their
economic potential and combat
malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries.
Additional information on ExxonMobil's community partnerships and
contributions programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.
About Ashoka and Ashoka's Changemakers
Ashoka is the global association of the world's leading social
entrepreneurs - men and women with system-changing solutions for the
world's most urgent social problems. Ashoka's Changemakers creates
opportunities for organizations and individuals to drive meaningful and
measurable social change. Through collaborative competitions,
Changemakers connects Ashoka's elite fellowship, an online community of
social innovators, and pioneering investors to inspire and drive
innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. By
focusing on how leading social entrepreneurs, government agencies,
corporations, and citizens solve vital problems and build their
communities, Changemakers and its partners spark promising ideas for
further development and investment. Learn more at www.changemakers.com.
About the International Center for
Research on Women
The International Center for Research on Women is a leading
international research organization that works to empower women, advance
gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world. To accomplish
this, the International Center for Research on Women works with partners
in the public and private sectors and civil society to conduct empirical
research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based practical ways
to change policies and programs. Learn more about the International
Center for Research on Women and its work at www.icrw.org.
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SOURCE: Exxon Mobil Corporation
Media Relations, 972-444-1107
International Center for Research on Women