ExxonMobil Launches Technology Program to Support Women's Economic Advancement at Clinton Global Initiative
-- Technologies to Improve Women's Economic Livelihoods focused on using technology and innovation to help women in developing countries. -- Program is part of ExxonMobil's Women's Economic Opportunity Initiative, launched in 2005. Over $20M invested to date, involving women from 64 developing countries. -- New program partners with Ashoka's Changemakers and International Center for Research on Women.
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), in partnership with Ashoka's Changemakers and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), today introduced an initiative to help women in developing countries fulfill their economic potential through technology and innovation.
The program, called Technologies to Improve Women's Economic Livelihoods, will help identify and deploy technologies and innovations that can improve quality of life and enable women to participate more fully in income-generating activities. The program is part of ExxonMobil's Women's Economic Opportunity Initiative (previously Educating Women and Girls Initiative), which was launched in 2005 and has invested more than $20 million in programs that have involved women from 64 developing countries.
"As a global technology company, ExxonMobil can make a lasting contribution by helping to identify and deploy new technologies to improve and strengthen the economic livelihoods of women," said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer. "This focus area is consistent with our own belief and experience that technology and innovation are critical to addressing many of the world's major challenges."
ExxonMobil's new initiative was announced by former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York. ExxonMobil is co-sponsoring the first-ever CGI special programming focused on investing in girls and women. Tillerson participated as a panelist during a plenary session "Investing in Girls and Women."
"ExxonMobil's investments in this area aim to increase opportunities for women in developing countries to improve their economic prospects and become and remain successful business leaders and entrepreneurs," said Tillerson. "We are pleased to support the Clinton Global Initiative's new focus on investing in women, which reflects the world's growing recognition of the critical role of women in delivering high returns for economic and social development."
The $1.5 million first-year commitment of the Technologies to Improve Women's Economic Livelihoods program will involve the research, publication and dissemination of a white paper by the International Center for Research on Women on areas where technological innovation can advance women's economic productivity.
Complementary to this ground-breaking research will be a global program, in partnership with Ashoka's Changemakers, to identify the most promising innovations that can have the greatest impact for women and to determine how best to bring them into the market. Innovations could range from technologies and equipment to reduce the burden of household tasks -- such as cooking, water collection or crop harvesting -- to technologies to assist women in becoming more efficient in their income-generating activities.
Bill Drayton, founder and chief executive officer of Ashoka, said the organization is looking forward to working with ExxonMobil to find and help deploy the most promising innovations that will have the greatest impact on women.
"We have seen what individuals can do to engineer change in their communities," said Drayton. "This collaborative search will help us see how technology innovations for women can be part of the solution to global poverty."
"We are excited to be involved in this cutting-edge effort to spur women's access to technologies as this could provide them with more opportunities to be economically productive," said Geeta Rao Gupta, ICRW president. "This effort will address a critical barrier to women's economic participation and have a significant impact on boosting women's economic activity and productivity."
About Exxon Mobil Corporation
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world's growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. Globally, ExxonMobil provides funding to improve basic education, promote women as catalysts for development, and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2008, together with its employees and retirees, ExxonMobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $225 million in contributions worldwide, of which more than $89 million was dedicated to education. 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.org.
About the International Center for Research on Women
The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a leading international research organization that works to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world. To accomplish this, ICRW 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 ICRW and its work at www.icrw.org.
Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation
Released September 23, 2009