Women in BRICS Economy: Roles, Meanings, Source of Growth
The Women's Business Alliance solves many public issues
“Together with our partners, we have identified the main and key areas our working groups have begun to function on. Innovative development issues such as digital literacy, e-commerce, financial literacy, cooperation in healthcare and pharmaceuticals are extremely relevant in the current economic agenda; joint work is also being carried out on food and energy security, creative industry and tourism. Within their discussions, within their work our working groups pay special attention to the care economy and to the support of financial entrepreneurship and education,” Anna Nesterova, Founder, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Global Rus Trade; Chairperson of the Russian Chapter, BRICS Women's Business Alliance.
“The modern world has changed a lot. Today, I consider digitalization and partnership to be the most relevant tools of sustainable development for agriculture. Thanks to such business alliances as the BRICS Business Alliance, we have the opportunity to exchange experience at the international level. We all need innovations in the field of animal husbandry, crop production, processing and veterinary medicine very much. Thanks to the Alliance, we can exchange this experience very effectively and help each other. Then, after all, I think our children will not have to look for a separate planet for the production of a clean product,” Kristina Romanovskaya, Chief Executive Officer, Lazarevskoye.
The role of women in global economic activity is growing
“Women can help strengthen the economy; this is very important. As female entrepreneurs, professional women, we can make an important contribution to the development of the economy and support it, but we also need support. We follow innovations, we can bring something new to the market, because we understand that there are opportunities in any crisis. We, female entrepreneurs, insist on the full inclusion of women in the modern economy and the digital economy,” Lebogang Zulu, Chief Executive Officer, AV Group of Companies; Chairperson of the South African Chapter, BRICS Women's Business Alliance.
“The role of women in the development of the green economy is absolutely significant and visible. We have a sense of increased social responsibility. We need to increase the participation of women in this area. Thanks to such cooperation as the BRICS Women's Business Alliance, we will be able to combine our efforts for the benefit of the citizens of our countries. We should work together in various areas, including the system of intensive nature management, the development of renewable energy and electric transport,” Irina Eldarkhanova, Founder, Konfael.
Excessively strong influence of external factors on women's business activity
“BRICS is a very important institution in the recovery of the global economy. The coronavirus is still rampant on a global scale. The economic recovery is very difficult. The international order is facing profound changes. In the face of these challenges, the BRICS countries maintain favourable cooperation in the trade and economic field and make an important contribution to improving global governance, promoting and restoring quality development,” Wang Wеnli, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Saint Petersburg.
“We understand that it is very important for us to expand the geography of business. Today, the new reality includes economic sanctions, difficulties with financing and changes in the competitive landscape. It is very important that all financial institutions, all international stakeholders could cooperate with us in this area, because it is very important for us. All historical models are breaking down now, and we would like to be heard at the global level,” Olga Belyavtseva, Chairperson of the Board, Progress.
“I think, with all the negative phenomenon of the pandemic, we have seen that we can solve difficult tasks together. The pandemic has not receded yet, we must not forget about it, we must be mobilized,” Lyudmila Scherbakova, Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Velpharm.
Insufficient involvement of female entrepreneurs in the global economy
“We see that female entrepreneurs are lagging behind all over the world. In 2018, we talked about the gap in the representation of women in entrepreneurship. The study showed that it would take 135 years to close the gap between women and men. Are we going to wait 135 years? I really see that the role of women who lead business alliances is extremely important here. Let's think about micro entrepreneurship and the fact that the banking sector should always support women. They cannot provide collateral for the loan. Therefore, banks do not like to give loans to women. Therefore, there is a shortage of capital when women start businesses,” Chetna Sinha, Founder, Chairperson, Mann Deshi Bank.
“The principle of social justice is what our working group is doing, it is an inclusive economy. [...] Our group has set three main areas we are now taking the initiative in. The first one is the care economy – more than half of women are employed in it. It is clear that the care economy is about taking care of our parents, our older generation and people with disabilities. We all understand that there are difficulties in the employment of women after maternity leave in our country. I would like to create a world data bank [on the practices of overcoming these difficulties. — Ed.] and to summarize the experience: how it is easier to find a job, how to guide women through difficulties and create a digital platform for professional growth competencies,” Galina Volkova, Chief Executive Officer, “ORTOMODA”.
Creation of associations to support women, solving demographic problems
“Many countries have a global issue related to demography. We would like to say that the issue of national interests is at the heart of supporting childhood and motherhood, this is the main task of women in the BRICS economy. We understand that a woman should improve the world and we understand how to do it,” Olga Belyavtseva, Chairperson of the Board, Progress.
“The creation of the BRICS Women's Business Alliance is a great opportunity to release a huge female energy. I think it would be great to create a wide network of women's activity in all countries so that we could create interest clubs, for example, in the fields of pharmaceutical, medical industry or medical services with female employees. It would be great to set such goals and – depending on a country, a region or a type of enterprise – create clubs for active women, female leaders who would understand that the world does not end outside a city or an enterprise, it is bigger and opportunities are wider, and we need to look for opportunities to cooperate”, Lyudmila Scherbakova, Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Velpharm.
More active involvement of women in the development of innovative technologies in all spheres of life
“African women work in different sectors of the economy, innovative technologies are introduced by women in agriculture, renewable energy and construction. We draw attention of the whole world. [...] We show how much women can achieve when they unite. We demonstrate the way new technologies are being introduced into daily life. Women can exchange the latest ideas along the entire value chain and added value in innovative or ecofriendly agriculture,” Lebogang Zulu, Chief Executive Officer, AV Group of Companies; Chairperson of the South African Chapter, BRICS Women's Business Alliance.
“We keep up with trends. We are currently moving from a consumer society to a society of meanings. One of these meanings is to share all the experience we have. [...] We have reached the point where we should not separate. We can act in partnership and in cooperation sharing technologies, experience and developing new products. One of the great ones once said that if you want to go far, go alone, if you want to develop quickly, go in partnership,” Elena Chashchina, Chief Executive Officer, EPOTOS.
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