The world today is full of efforts to empower women who are seen as been marginalized by protagonist of various ideologies that does not see the reason as to why women should take up roles and engage in activities just like their male counterpart. There are many reason as to why women empowerment efforts have intensified. Some of the reasons rest on the fact that women have continued to be oppressed in the society through their isolation where opportunities that are given to men are denied. As an illustration, women have continued to have little access and benefit from services that are available for equal sharing regardless of ones gender status. With such disparities occurring at the gender level, a good number of business firms have realized the importance giving women access to opportunities that are hidden from them. With such firms laying prospects in empowering women, many of them have established and implemented various programs and initiatives focused in making sure that women are empowered in the society.
Empowering women is beneficial to companies
The empowerment of women in the society has received mixed reactions from people with some against it. Despite this, some individuals like Dr. Coleman believe that the empowerment of women is inevitable and at the same time necessary as the process bring immense benefits to firms who undertake in the empowerment initiatives. Dr. Coleman believe that by companies aiming at empowering women in the society through a number of avenues and channels, such companies stand chances of reaping great benefits from the women who will now be empowered. Citing some of the benefits that firms will realize through empowering women, Dr. Coleman makes it open that the trend of firms reinforcing the rightful position of the women in without doubt critical and of great benefit not just to the women but also the them.
Benefits of empowering women
Dr Coleman believes that empowering women will lead to significant improvement in labor pattern as well as productivity that can be exploited by many of the firms due to the huge gap between women who are working and those who do not. Coleman’s believe that women if empowered can improve the labor is alignment with Stanfors (2003) argument. It is argued that empowering women though education can lead to growth of skill and knowledge that will prepare and equip women to take jobs that were annexed for me. The result of this is that, business firms will experience diversity in their workforce and at the same time benefit from having a rich laborforce that will reflect on the social commitment to the empowerment of women. It is also reasoned that through the empowerment of women, the presence of women working in global stores will promote a better customer experience that will inevitably lead to growth of business and its client base. These benefits are needed by firms in order to create and maintain a competitive edge amidst its competitors. I fully agree with reason realizing that women have the ability to work just like men. Empowering them to work for firms is thus a necessary way of including their efforts in the positive growth of business firms
Dr. Coleman asserts that the involvement of companies in empowering women can improve a firm’s public relations status. This reason tally’s with my understanding on the importance of proper public relationship for any given firm. Heath (2004) confirms that how firms treat different interest groups as well as gender affect their public relationship. This means that companies who attempt to improve the condition of women by empowering them stand a great chance of bolstering their public relationship. This in turn will create a positive impact towards the firm which can translate to wide acceptance by the customers. As Dr. Coleman illustrates, General Electric saw the need of fighting misuse of ultrasound equipment in India as a result of public outcry that was threatening the firm public reputation. I therefore believe that firms can gain immensely from a positive public image if they can engage in empowering women.
There has been increasing calls from shareholder who have continued to voice their concerns over the need of firms to get involved in empowerment of women in the society. While some firms may not see the need to empower women, shareholders have seen that empowering women is critical for positive development to be experienced in the community. As a confirmed by Burke and Mattis (2000), there has been an increasing number of women and other male shareholders who have pushed their firms to develop and implement strategies can are geared towards the improvement and empowerment of the woman in the society. While some firms may fail to empower women by refraining to engage in empowerment exercises, such firms risk lacking investment from shareholders who may refuse to invest in such firms. It is equally true that firm that are sensitive to empowerment of women reflect better investment choices for those who are concerned with empowerment of the women. Dr Coleman reinforces that fact that investors have put a lot of man in empowerment programs which have resulted both in society impact and financial gains. This has improved the firm’s status particularly with that agitation of the female corporate heads that have intensified their call for the empowerment of women.
It is affirmed that empowerment of women will reduce the gap in employment opportunities. In addition, Dr Coleman also believes that empowerment of women by companies will increase the number of women who are employed and leading to increase in the Gross Domestic Product. The effect of this will be an increased purchasing power. I fully agree with this assertion since empowering of women through education and employment will make them earn money which can be used to make purchases. It is therefore of positive benefit for firms to increase the efforts in ensuring the women are empowered. This will lead to a positive effect on their growth.
Problems facing women
There are number of problems that women are going through forcing many to be disempowered. These problems are often the focus of empowerment strategies being advocated by the women empowerment initiatives. Lack of education and training opportunities is one of the challenges that have continued to face women particularly in societies where men are given preference to women in education. Women continue to face obstacles in accessing health services with ease and at meaningful cost. This result from the lack of health services that are focused on addressing the need of women in the society making them vulnerable to diseases and health complication during births. Women do also face discrimination which has sidelined many of them in place of work where they fail to have equal participation like men (Rodgers, 2006).
From the article. Cole is advocating for a right that must be given to women in the society. The society cannot go on with women facing obstacles in several areas as is the case. While this may seem to be a western culture, it is true that women can improve the society if they are empowered to participate in various roles that will make them valuable member of the society. However, there is need to set up comprehensive structure that will guide the empowerment process so as to streamline effort’s and strategies and at the same time identify milestone that can be used to evaluate empowerment initiatives for their efficacy and usefulness. This will promote the proper empowerment program in the society.