By: Alyssa Mossman
Investing in Education
Throughout our Investing in Women Works series, we’ve uncovered the successes of having more women in your workplace.
Today, I would like to talk about the very root of investing in women: educating girls.
Education in the Developing World
If you’ve ever heard “you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around” you are familiar with the theory of averages. People tend to be similar to those that they are surrounded by. In other words, you’re likely to be a product of your physical and social environment.
This is why educating girls is so important, especially in the developing world. Poverty is directly linked to the lack of education and empowerment of women and girls. If there are more role models, leaders and mentors in these areas, there is a much better chance that the conditions of future girls’ lives will be better.
Effects of Not Educating Girls:
Girls who are not given an education are more likely to:
- Be subject to child marriage
- Have children at a young age
- Be brought into the sex trade
- Contract HIV
- Die during childbirth
- Raise girls who do not go to school
Poverty is cyclical, but once we invest in these girls and women we break that cycle.
Once, educated, girls are far less susceptible to the above points, and have increased buying power. There is also a high likelihood of these girls becoming entrepreneurs. This gives them the ability to give back to their communities (as was evident in the 10,000 women initiative)
Education in the Western World
In the western world in 2016, it is common for women to be more educated than men. The enrollment rates are sitting at 93 men to 100 women, and more women are earning college and university degrees than ever before.
Unfortunately, this is not necessarily making a difference in the wage gap or glass ceiling. The ideal situation would be gender parity in all areas, education, wage, and opportunity.
It’s important to start at the root, giving girls an education, but we can’t forget about those girls once they grow up.
This means leadership, mentorship, training, inclusive workplaces. We must first invest in girls first, but continue to invest in the women they grow up to be .
EMPLOYERS: If you would like to make a difference for the women around you, post a job on leading talent, and commit to investing in women today! I also encourage you to do your research and find a way to support the education of young girls around the world.