Predicted by Many: Women in Emerging Economies are the Next Growth Opportunity

the networking imperative

The fact of the matter is, this is the crucial time for institutions and the talented women around the world in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East who are ready to work and lead. The time is now – the opportunity is NOW.

Over the past decade I’ve read several great books and articles published that talk about women:

  • women as the largest untapped pool of talent in the world,
  • women as the force that can boost the global economy, and
  • women as the key to economic growth; and
  • particularly the revelation of women as the new workforce in emerging economies, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC economies), and in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Sometimes I read a quote by someone who thinks they’ve had a novel idea about women like this one in Business Insider a month ago called, Women are the next China.

“US Trust’s Joseph Quinlan advances an unexpected idea: women. He characterizes women as ‘the most underutilized and under-leveraged resource in the world.'”

Mr. Quinlan’s quote it true, but his comment it’s not an unexpected idea – he’s just late to the party.


It’s an exciting time: institutions: governments, companies are slowly opening their eyes and realizing that if they want to continue to grow, they will have to tap into highly-educated women in their markets, women in emerging economies who are entering the workforce at higher rates than ever before and who are eager to advance and succeed.

But despite this awakening, I hadn’t seem much written FOR the women in emerging economies over the past decade. In fact, women in emerging economies, would regularly tell me they didn’t have access to culturally relevant career advice, which is one of the reasons I started this site. The professional advice available has been largely Western.

Because I am originally from Middle East, lived and worked across the globe and have almost 30 years developing the careers and businesses of women and men, I wrote a book FOR women to compliment the books and articles geared at companies. It’s not only a key time of companies, but a key time for the women. I want to help women step into opportunities and advance during this unprecedented time in history.

I’ve highlighted two of my favorite books that paved the way for companies who were waking up to the economic potential of women in emerging markets.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 5.19.49 PM(2008Why Women Mean Business: Understanding the Emergence of our next Economic Revolution

“Find out how companies that learn to adapt to women will be better able to respond to the challenge of an aging workforce and the demands of the next generation of knowledge workers. The authors compare policies and approaches in countries around the world, that offer surprising and envious results. ”

Core audience: Corporate leaders who want to optimize women’s talent to boost the bottom line.

AuthorAvivah Wittenberg Cox is CEO of 20-first, a consulting firm that helps companies identify the business opportunities of gender-balance and how to achieve it. She’s now written three books, including: Seven Steps to Leading Gender-Balanced Businesses (Harvard Business Review, 2014), and How Women Mean Business, A Step by Step Guide to Profiting from Gender Balanced Business (Wiley 2010), and is a blogger at the Harvard Business Review. Follow @A_WittenbergCox.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 4.51.47 PM(2011) Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women Are the Solution

“The war for talent is heating up in emerging markets. Without enough “brain power,” multinationals can’t succeed in these markets. Yet they’re approaching the war in the wrong way—bringing in expats and engaging in bidding wars for hotshot local “male” managers.”

Core audience: Multinational companies who want to strengthen their talent pipeline in emerging economies.

Authors: Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Ripa Rashid. Hewlett is an economist with more than 20 years of experience in global talent management, and the founder and CEO of The Center for Talent Innovation. She is also a critically acclaimed author of 12 books, including Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor (2013),and Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success (2014). Rashid is an expert on global leadership, gender, innovation and diversity with extensive business experience working with C-Suite and senior management across range of industries, including financial services, media and entertainment, and consumer products. Follow @SAHewlett.

undeterred-book-cover(2015) UNDETERRED: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies

“If you’re an ambitious woman in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe or the Middle East, there has never been a better time to be you. Markets are opening up. Businesses everywhere are expanding. Your career or business has unlimited potential. In UNDETERRED, you will find the keys to success, based on four years of research, deep expertise, and interviews with more than 250 relatable businesswomen around the world.”

Core audience: Highly-educated women in emerging economies, whether fresh university graduates, entrepreneurs at any stage, or corporate women who want to get ahead.

Author: Rania Habiby Anderson, leading expert on the advancement of business women in emerging economies. International speaker, former corporate leader, executive coach, entrepreneur, and angel investor. Follow @TheWayWomenWork.