Labor Inclusion the Fundamental Imperative to Building an Inclusive, Equal, and Thriving Economy

A Recap of the W20 Summit 2018, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in one of the most relevant initiatives towards women empowerment of our times: The Women 20 (W20), the affinity group of the G20 focused on gender equality. It was inspiring to watch and live the energy of women leaders from over 65 countries that got together in the majestic CCK in Buenos Aires, Argentina and to discuss women’s economic growth, financial inclusion, and of course, the future of work.

For the first time, the W20 Summit was hosted in my home country, Argentina. The energy, event dynamics and participation were extraordinary; Susana Balbo, W20 Chair strong leadership and absolute grace set the tone for the wrap up of a long year of hard work.

As the W20 Summit came to a close, the president of Argentina Mauricio Macri, officially received the W20 Communique or the recommendations to foster gender equality to be presented to world leaders during the closing ceremony of the G20 at the beginning of December. Leaders representing two thirds of the world’s population will hear first hand the recommendations focused on “bolstering digital, financial and labor including for women, and promoting their development in rural areas.”

The Summit brought together an incredible set of speakers, including Queen Máxima of the Netherlands; Lilianne Ploumen, Member of Parliament of the Netherlands; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Svetlana Lukash, Russian G20 Sherpa; and Irmgard Griss, former President of the Austrian Supreme Court of Justice among other very impressive world-class leaders.

I am truly humbled to be the only entrepreneur to discuss our views on the future of work for women and what we are doing at SheWorks!. I strongly believe that if you combine technology to break the barriers that separate the talent from the opportunities and make work remote, flexible and transparent, we will disrupt gender unemployment and generate more inclusive societies.

As the job markets miss on the talent of women due to inflexibility and obsolete work models, at SheWorks! we have created an innovative platform and solutions to address these issues and shatter the stereotypical way of working.

We questioned ourselves:

  • What would happen when we use technology to change the rules?
  • What if 9 to 5 is not the only option available?
  • What if you didn’t have to live in the same city, country, or even continent as our employer or client?
  • What if we made work flexible, so women from all over the world can work on projects, on hourly or part-time work engagements?
  • What if we expand the database to enable companies to hire these talented women?
  • What if the best person for the job is a woman who opted out of the work market because of its inflexible work model?
  • What if you could create your own schedule so you take your kids to school or to the park?

If we could do that, we would dramatically reduce gender unemployment. We would help companies build diverse organizations and we would build a pipeline to have women in C level positions as they will no longer need to choose between work and children.

How can we ensure progress is made and bridge the gap to eliminate the inequalities that affect women globally? These will no longer have to be “what if” scenarios.

As we are living the perfect storm for digital transformation, technology is a key piece to this puzzle making it more accessible for talent to find opportunities with leading employers and for companies to find all star talent outside of their network. With platforms like SheWorks! we are connecting the dots between talent and opportunities, making it easy for teams to collaborate remotely, with flexibility and transparency.

60 years ago women were not part of the labor market and the rules of the working world were made by men, for men. 60 years ago, the Internet was all but a futuristic dream, and work was a place to go not a task to be done. We now have the opportunity to change the narrative and change our work reality for millions of women around the world and with the support of EY as our corporate founding sponsor, we are working with us on an aggressive goal of connecting 100,000 job opportunities with women.

The world has changed. We will not solve the problems of access to employment using the same solutions that did not work in the past. However, in this perfect storm for innovation and digital transformation, technology is our silver bullet towards an equal and inclusive economy. As Jeff Bezos said: “We need to innovate and for that reason, we need to experiment”.