In 2011, contributions totaling $18.5 million were made in support of vocational and entrepreneurial education, including courses on life skills, business development, and micro-enterprise, training – mostly through our Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative. Of this amount, $15.4 million benefited communities outside the United States.
Women’s untapped potential is great — they make up half of the world’s population, yet earn just 10 percent of the world’s income. When women have control over their incomes, they invest in the health, education and well-being of their families. They also tend to reach out to propel other women forward, creating a powerful multiplier effect that benefits all of society. The ExxonMobil Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative is a global effort launched in 2005 that helps women fulfill their economic potential and drive economic and social change in their communities. We’ve chosen this focus area because of its enormous positive economic and social impacts — more stable, healthy, well-educated and thriving communities.
In 2011, ExxonMobil made grants as part of our Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative totaling more than $10.6million – bringing our cumulative investment since 2005 to more than $51 million – to help women in almost 100 countries fulfill their economic potential and drive change in their communities.
Women’s economic advancement is often directly related to their ability to access and use technology. By increasing women’s access to technology, they are able to increase their standard of living, strengthen their families and communities and contribute to significant global progress. In 2011, we began a new partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation by awarding a $1.5 million grant for comprehensive research on cellular phone technology. The findings from this research will identify value added services to advance women’s economic opportunities in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.