Regional Event and Outreach Manager, Southeast Asia , WEConnect International
Access to markets for women entrepreneurs
Unmet Social Needs
Women perform two-thirds of the world’s work, yet they receive 10 percent of the world’s income and own one percent of the means of production. 117 countries have equal pay laws. Yet, outside of the agricultural sector, in both developed and developing countries, women are still averaging slightly less than 78% of the wages given to men for the same work, a gap which refuses to close in even the most developed countries. Globally, women own approximately 39% of all private businesses in the formal economy and just in the US, women business owners contribute nearly $3 trillion to the economy and create or maintain 23 million jobs, yet women-owned businesses earn less than 1 percent of the money spent on vendors by large corporations and governments.
At current rates of progress, it may take another 217 years to close the global economic gender gap. Although many countries are ideally poised to maximize women’s economic potential, they are currently failing to reap the returns from their investment in the education of women. This is despite that fact that women and girls reinvest an average of 90 percent of their income to build the capacity of their families and communities, compared to a 30 to 40 percent reinvestment rate for men. In her KeyNote, Minnie urges us to come together to create a world in which women have the same opportunity as their male counterparts to design and implement business solutions that create wealth and ensure the sustainable prosperity of their communities.
With experience spanning over a decade, Mrinalini has worked to bridge the gap between unmet social needs and service providers, giving large corporates, government agencies, community organizations and social enterprises the platform to create measurable social impact. She speaks regularly at schools, community events, corporate events and conferences about the role that gender equality plays in achieving a more sustainable world for everyone.
Mrinalini has been awarded the Singapore Women's Weekly's Great Women of Our Time award in the Public Service and Education category and has been nominated as one of Cleo Singapore's 2016 top ten Changemakers.