Credit: American Forum

(WOMENSENEWS)–To help women gain ground in “green economy” businesses, advocates in Rio de Janeiro issued sets of recommendations on June 18 at a forum hosted by Earth Day Network, in partnership with the U.N. Foundation, as part of their Women and the Green Economy (WAGE) campaign.

The recommendations, provided to Women’s eNews by Susan Bass and distributed by American Forum, an executive at Earth Day Network, aimed at helping women start and build small and medium businesses, expand their leadership and improve their consumer knowledge since women make more than 75 percent of all consumer purchasing decisions worldwide.
Recommendations include:
  • Create a global fund at the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank, that focuses of female-run enterprises in renewable energy and other sustainability businesses.
  • Expand memberships of banks that are a part of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, a 25-member banking network, and use tax incentives and public financing to expand the availability of these funds.
  • Engage female small business owners to ensure that these funds and financial products succeed.  
To increase the number of women in leadership positions, especially in the field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) the group suggested to:
  • Require coordinators of national and international conferences to seek female participants.
  • Fund more corporate and government research to secure statistics on women’s participation in the highest levels of government and corporate governance.
  • Increase mentoring and sponsorship of women leaders in the private, public and NGO sectors.
Participants included Amanda Ellis, New Zealand’s deputy secretary of international development; Lisa Jacobson, executive director of the Business Council for Sustainable Development; and Yolanda Kakabadse, president of World Wildlife Fund International.
The forum was held June 18 in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20.


 Sadiya Ansari is a Pakistani-Canadian freelance writer, based in Vancouver.