Some say the best way to help a woman rise up the corporate ranks is to pair her with a seasoned mentor who will bestow his knowledge and share his hard-earned experience with her. But Beth Brooke, global vice-chairwoman of public policy at Ernst & Young, doesn’t buy it.
A new report from Ernst & Young, published this week, brings together a wide range of data and adds new insight into the potential of women in Africa to boost economic growth, increase levels of education and improve standards of governance in public life.
According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, women-owned businesses account for 40 per cent of all privately held companies – which is not too shabby. But only about 3 per cent of all of these companies have revenues of $1m or more, compared with 6 per cent of companies owned by men. According to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, just 1.8 per cent of women-owned companies have revenues above $1m.
On July 6, the Financial Times publishes the next Women at the Top page as part of its flagship project on female business leadership.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is one of India’s most inspiring entrepreneurs having built a global half billion-dollar biotech business – Biocon – that started life in a small garage. She had found an individual investor to help her bootstrap her business (with traveller cheques), but when it came to gaining funds to grow the company, no banker or fund would back her because she was a woman.
James S. Turley, the chairman and chief executive of Ernst & Young, spoke at a press conference at the Deauville conference to discuss a new initiative called CEO Champions, launched by the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society with Ernst & Young’s support.