Helping women to start businesses to boost productivity – REBLOGGED

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Helping women to start businesses to boost productivity

Updated: 2013-05-20 07:38

By Chen Jia ( China Daily)
Women working at an automobile component factory in Jiangxi province. According to data from the All-China Women's Federation, China now has more than 30 million female entrepreneurs. They make up 25 percent of all Chinese business leaders. Provided to China Daily

Women working at an automobile component factory in Jiangxi province. According to data from the All-China Women’s Federation, China now has more than 30 million female entrepreneurs. They make up 25 percent of all Chinese business leaders. Provided to China Daily

Zhou Xin, a 27-year-old woman, is expecting to double her company’s annual revenue to 20 million yuan ($3.25 million) this year from 2012 after improving her marketing strategy learned from a business course.

Zhou is the founder and owner of Tianjin Xinkelv Food Co, which produces healthy green and organic foods and develops recipes.

She founded the company in 2009, when she graduated from university, without any business management experience or knowledge.

“All things are difficult before they are easy,” Zhou said. “When I decided to realize the business idea that I formulated when attending the university, I couldn’t find any startup capital.”

After Zhou’s loan application was rejected by banks, she asked for money from a relative.

“As a guarantee, I secretly took the house property ownership certificate from my parents and handed it to the relative. The first loan was 1 billion yuan,” she said.

As a food company, the most difficult time Zhou’s business suffered was in 2011, when many steamed bread producers were mired in a scandal concerning use of colorants.

“Very few customers came to my shop at that time, fearing our products might harm their health,” she said.

Zhou hung a poster outside her shop that stated that if just one product was below the required standard, then refunds would be made on thousands of quality products.

She also invited a food quality inspector to conduct tests on the food she sold.

“The high quality of our food and our honesty has helped to win back the trust of customers. It made me realize the importance of marketing, which I learned from special business training courses,” Zhou said.

The food company’s annual revenue was 1.2 million yuan in 2010. It jumped to 6 million yuan in 2011 and 10 million yuan in 2012.

“Now I understand how important funding and specific training are for entrepreneurs, especially for businesswomen,” Zhou said.

“I became more focused, ambitious and goal-oriented in making strategic decisions after receiving this education.”

Since 2008, Goldman Sachs has invested $100 million to provide 10,000 underserved women around the world with business and management education.

Validated data indicates that, globally, within 30 months of graduation, 83 percent of surveyed graduates increased revenues, 77 percent hired additional employees and 90 percent mentor other women postgraduates.

More than 2,000 women in China have or will be trained through the Goldman Sachs’ global program.

“Investing in women is one of the most effective ways to reduce inequality and facilitate inclusive economic growth,” said Dina Habib Powell, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and global head of corporate engagement.”

read the full article here

BMW recognized that diversity was important to them.

BMW recognized that diversity was important to them, with 140 markets worldwide they realized that women accounted for up to 50% of their market.

BMW understood that with such a diverse cultural market, their internal workforce needed to more closely represent their client base. How else will they know their market? Diversity also mattered to BMW because they faced an increasing shortage of specialist skills, they needed to develop new markets and they needed to optimize management skills. Their diversity program promoted gender balance in executive positions as well as increasing development programs for younger workers. BMW noted that getting the right gender mix of technical specialists was difficult due to the smaller number of girls entering technical programs. They responded by creating “Technology Camps for Girls” and the German national “Girls Day”. (Boston Consulting Group 2011, pg. 12).

“BMW made diversity management a top priority for its HR function and business units with a particular focus on attracting and developing female talent” (Boston Consulting Group 2011, pg.12).

You might wonder why this was so important to them, but BMW knew that for certain models in their (car) range, women account for up to 50% of their customers.  Understanding the mix of their clients made gender diversity internally an easy economic decision for BMW.

REFERENCES

Caye J_M, Teichman C, Strack R, Haen P, Bird S, Frick G (2011) “Hard Wiring Diversity into your Business”, European Association for People Management.  Boston Consulting Group.

 

The effectiveness of Organisational Gender Diversity Programs

  • Description: Building frameworks and metrics for gender diversity programs to measure their impact on bottom line profitability. Expanding these metrics to measure the economic input of gender diversity programs.

The subject of my research project will be on the effectiveness of gender diversity programs within organisations in a bid to attract and keep senior women in leadership roles.  The first part of the study is to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.  Gender Economics recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy by enabling leadership roles through diversity rather than the ‘indirect’ impact of women as consumers and supporters.

I will draw on existing research into the field of diversity management and test the theories using participants in focus group’s to draw on their experience and knowledge in the areas in both implementing diversity programs, and being a recipient of diversity programs.

Ideally, I am looking for a mix of men and women of different ages to form a group of six to ten people for the first focus group session.  Over the coming year I intend to work with at least two organisations, one government and one corporate, who currently have a diversity program in place.  I aim to research and evaluate these programs to see what metrics they have put in place to measure the success of their programs.  Then I would like to tie the outcomes to economic health as an argument for the economic advantages of Gender and Diversity Economics.

Integrity Management Methodology for Outsourcing

Integrity Management™ Methodology

The methodology was written out of my own experience as a government employee when a large corporate outsourcer was engaged to provide outsourced services.    I experienced first hand the culture clash between government employees and the new corporate employee’s transitioning the new services.  Not only were the basic’s like wages and conditions different for employee’s but the buisness drivers between the outsourcer and the client, in this case a corporate and a government agency were so different.

Susanne Moore wrote the Integrity Management™ methodology in 1997. It was written as a response to the consistent problems experienced by clients when they outsourced a part of their business or merged with another entity.

I have developed models for mapping maturity of integrity within organizations and have applied this to develop a maturity outsourcing/business partnership model. This allows us to quickly identify cultural gaps within different areas of an organization or between an organisation and prospective business partners which could cause future dysfunctional behaviour or conflict in operational relationships.

In its early days, Integrity Management™ looked at matching the two organisations to enable business transformation through Outsourcing services. This was not just a surface level look at the two organisations, but also a look vertically and horizontally across both organisations to ensure a match of values, strategic direction, ethics, business practice and community participation.

Later on during the implementation of the methodology in my own company, we recognized that these underlying principles can be used in a broader, all of business context, to deliver sustainable improved business outcomes.

Susanne interviewed by international professional network “Globiles”

Globiles Spotlight: Susanne Moore talks gender economics

December 01 Madrid & Central Spain

Globiles Spotlight is the feature where we give our most interesting and vocal members a stage on which to shine.

This month’s member, Susanne Moore, is “ a global citizen, consultant and entrepreneur “ she also manages the blog- http://changingwomen.org.

Here, she talks to us about gender roles in today’s professional environment.

– Interview by Andrea Maltman

 G: You created the website “Changing Women” – can you summarize what exactly you feel needs changing regarding the image of modern women?

S: the questions around gender equality and gender change are big subjects and the approach for Changing Women is to keep it simple, focusing on “the changing woman”.

The aim is to promote positive images of real women whose bodies and minds change during the course of their life experiences.

G: Why do you feel you are the one to do this shifting?

S: Probably the best answer here would be because I can.  I am an observer and strategist, so I have observed a great many things over the years.

I have more tolerance for people and I think that will help me to be a change agent on a global scale.

I have seen and done what works and what doesn’t work and I have begun to understand why society is the way that it is.

G: Globiles is about professional life and social mobility on a global/international scale. Do you think men and women truly enjoy equal access to these two experiences?

S: I think the degree of equality here varies depending on a couple of factors:  First, what country or cultural restrictions are imposed on you, what restrictions you impose on yourself and finally, what restrictions are imposed on you by others.

In short, I don’t think that we can yet say that men and women enjoy equal access to professional achievement or social mobility.

 G: In your blog you discuss the term of gender economics, what role does this concept play in business and professional life?

S: Gender Economics is a term that I am using to describe economies built around gender consumption.

It is an important aspect of our social and business climate today and certainly very important as we move into the future.

In the gender economy, we have reduced portions of the population to passive consumers, making indirect economic input rather than direct input.  Stabilising the balance between indirect and direct impact has a role developing our economic future.

G: What advice would you give to women who want to scale the heights of their corporate or business environment?

S: Be true to yourself and try to do the work that you want to do.  Once you are in the corporate environment, learn how the game is played.  Understand the politics of climbing the ladder and be wary of people that want you to fail.

Above all, don’t apologise for being a female! But do try to harness some of the traits that assist men in business-promoting yourself, speaking in solutions not complaints and not taking business dealings personally.

G: Once there, do you believe there is camaraderie amongst the ‘sisterhood’, or a tendency to join the boys club, as it were.

S: Unfortunately I don’t think that this is the norm in the same way as it is for men.  Men build strong networks, and compete head to head for promotion using the traditional “old boys” network, whereas in my experience, women seem to spend time competing against each other instead of working together.

It is such a shame because if they used their “woman-ness” they would know that  the greatest assets that they have is compassion, intuition, the ability to work as a team and support each other.

The good news is that I think this trend is slowly changing, but it really needs to be addressed at school while girls are developing.  Teach them to be happy with the self instead of looking outside of themselves for validation, working on self esteem will help them later in the workplace.

G: In your experience, have you found professional dealings to be easier with women or men?

S: I have mostly worked in male environments, construction and then Information Technology so I am used to working with men and find them to be easier than women.

I think that men are less complicated in the workplace and, as I said in the previous question, once you understand the game you know how to deal with it.

The absolute worst scenario is when another female tries to manipulate the men around you.  Men are, in my experience, easily distracted by a beautiful woman, and often don’t pick up on the subtle manipulations and put downs of other women

I would say that every time I have seen this behaviour, the company, or the men in  question have come off second best because they have made decisions that are not based on sound judgement.

G: As well as your writing and commentary on your website and blog, you are also an entrepreneur. Tell us about you business ventures and projects.

S: Since closing my consulting company in 2010 I have been doing lots of different projects.  I helped my eldest daughter develop her range of beauty products, Alli’s Stuff, and sell these through my lifestyle portal http://inthebushatthebeach.com

I am also consolidating my Integrity Management Methodology which I wrote in 1997, https://integritymanagementmethodology.wordpress.com

I hope to work within a specific niche, which will look at imbedding integrity and improving business performance by linking environmental responsibility, cultural sensitivity, gender, and the development of new paradigms for business management.

 G: You are also an accomplished public speaker, which subjects are you most passionate about?

S: I love talking about equality and integrity in business.  I have also spoken on subjects like outsourcing, project management, leadership and managing diversity.

I have been well known as a International Leader in the field of project management and have spoken many times on that subject.

Lastly my most recent passion is about Changing Women and speaking about the ways that the Changing Woman can help to change the world by harnessing their own inner power and strength.  This is just so important and something that I am extremely passionate about.

If you’d like to know more about Susanne, contact her on Globiles or check out her websites:

http://changingwomen.org

http://susannemoore.wordpress.com

Globiles is “A community of the global and mobile, sharing insights and contacts online and offline”

Integrity Management Consulting

I am currently developing a new consulting product around my Integrity Management Methodology which I wrote in 1997.  The “practice” of Integrity Management Consulting is now gaining ground in the US, see Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrity_Management

“The Role of Integrity Management Consultancies

In response, the field of Integrity Management has been born to help clients conduct business, even in the most challenging of markets, without compromising their ethics. With the help of expert advice, companies can go beyond abiding by the law to taking a voluntary, proactive approach to ensuring a company’s activities promote behaving responsibly, with fairness, sustainability, and cultural sensitivity in the communities in which they operate. It is very different in this respect from the more reactive field of risk management, although some risk management companies have attempted to embrace ethical risk as an area of specialism. Many risk management consultancies are adjuncts to private security companies. Therefore, some would-be clients are not convinced that they are best-placed to assist in the area of integrity and ethical management, because their parent companies face reputational challenges themselves.”

My original methodology looks at increasing business performance at the top-level by ensuring that the messages and values of the business can be carried out by the business at the same time as understanding environmental and cultural factors that affect business performance.

Some Integrity Management Consulting companies, like this one http://new.consultwithintegrity.com/services.cfm work with clients from the acquisition stage right through to embedding the change as a result of acquisitions or growth strategies. This is pretty similar to my methodology although at (my previous consulting company, Synergy Management Solutions ) we only concentrated on the implementation and embedding part and not the acquisition part.   I would need to work with other companies to fulfil the full life-cycle in terms of Integrity Management Consulting.

I hope to work within a specific niche which will look at imbedding integrity and improving business performance by linking environmental responsibility, cultural sensitivity (and gender) and the development of new paradigms for business management.  An example of this is developing new criteria for woman in leadership roles such as Board postings so that they don’t need to fit within the old male patriarchical structures that now exist.  This will allow organisations that are Integrity Ready (trademark Susanne Moore 2000-2011) to tap into so far un recognised “female” thinking attributes for business management.

RESOURCES AND OTHER LINKS

Susanne Moore Social Commentary Blog

ChangingWomens Forum www.changingwomen.org

The Integrity Management Methodology™

The Integrity Management Methodology is a holistic methodology, which when implemented enable’s organisations to deliver effectively what they say they will deliver and to improve business performance and true value client delivery.  When I first wrote this Methodology in 1997 the definition was centred around outsourced or project environments, hence the original definition was;

“to promote integrity and synergy between the client and their partner.  Integrity Management
refers to the ability of management to act persistently in the interests of the stake holders of the entity, irrespective of the other, putting aside their own interests.  Integrity Management refers to the process of promoting integrity throughout an organisation or project by empowering the people within the organisation thereby forcing integrity in contractor organisations.  That is: instead of the contractor organisation bringing their mode of doing business to the client organisation – Integrity Management matches the client culture to that of it partners.  Enabling the client organisation to manage itself and the contractor organisation, through consistency of management, the skilling of individuals and inspiring mentoring programs, promoting integrity and synergy between partners”


Since writing the methodology in 1997, it has expanded to over the years become a handbook for managing an organisation and was used in my own company as the guiding principal for both the management of the company and the way that we interacted with our clients.  Since closing my company in early 2010 I have started to put the methodology into a more useable framework and will use this blog site to discuss integrity management issues and solutions.

Susanne Moore