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Op-Ed: Empowering women: Driving progress towards a better future

Author Lucy Crespo is the chief executive officer of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust

The empowerment of women stands as a beacon of hope and progress in our ever-evolving world. From economic growth to social justice, investing in women is not just an option but a necessity to build a better tomorrow. On the path to gender equality, it is crucial to understand the profound impact that female empowerment can have on our society and economy. Let’s look at some expected outcomes:

Closing the gender gap: a path to prosperity
Recent studies from respected institutions such as the World Bank (2019) and Moody’s Analytics (2023) have shed light on the immense economic potential of closing the gender gap. According to the World Bank, achieving gender equality in the workforce could increase the global GDP by $13 billion, while Moody’s Analytics suggests this figure could rise to $28 billion by 2025. These staggering numbers underscore an undeniable truth: empowering women is not only the right thing to do but also a smart economic strategy.

Promoting equity and social justice
Beyond the economic sphere, empowering women is essential for fostering a more equitable and just society. Equal access to education, health care and economic resources not only uplifts women individually, but also strengthens entire communities. Empowered women are catalysts for change, advocating for human rights, environmental sustainability, and social well-being. By investing in women, we invest in the future of our society: a future built on principles of equity, inclusivity and compassion.

Fostering innovation and creativity
Gender diversity in the workplace is not just about meeting numbers; it’s about unlocking the full potential of our collective talent. Research from the Peterson Institute for International Economics has shown that companies with diverse management teams are more innovative and profitable. Women bring unique perspectives and ideas, driving creativity and problem-solving. By embracing diversity and inclusion, we nurture a culture of innovation that propels us to new heights of success. In this latter area, I am enthusiastic about the progress we have made in Puerto Rico in the areas of research and development where, for example, in the last two rounds of the Trust’s Research Grant program, 13 out of 22 total grants have been for our female researchers/scientists. We have also seen that our entrepreneurship programs continue to have close to 40% participation from female founders.

A call to action
As we reflect on the importance of empowering women, let us not forget the countless women who have paved the way for progress. From pioneering scientists and entrepreneurs to community leaders and activists, women have been at the forefront of change throughout history. In this week recognized globally for women’s contributions, let us renew our commitment to ensuring that every woman and girl has the opportunity to reach her potential and contribute to society. In doing so, we can create a brighter and more inclusive future for generations to come. Together, let us build a world where every woman, like every man, has the power to thrive and succeed.

Author Details
Author Details
This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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