Bringing a 'culture of measurement' to women's economic empowerment

Real-time course correction is the new gold standard of measuring impact – and the promise that big data brings to international development.

In its five-year program 10,000 Women, Goldman Sachs helped realize some of those promises, according to Jeri Eckhardt Queenan, a partner at the Bridgespan Group, which developed a performance management system for the initiative.

Speaking as part of a discussion with representatives from Goldman Sachs and Women’s World Banking, Eckhardt Queenan praised Goldman Sachs for bringing a “culture of measurement” to the sometimes difficult question of how to track the progress of women entrepreneurs.

Noa Meyer, the program manager for 10,000 Women, said that measurement is a key organizational value the investment bank brought to this intiative, noting that the company built a technology platform that allowed project leaders to track the progress of women entrepreneurs at 6, 12 and 18 months after they completed the 10,000 Women training.

“We were able to see where our programs needed to improve,” said Meyer.

Harsha Rodrigues, the chief strategy officer at Women’s World Banking, explained how her organization worked with 10,000 Women in Nigeria, to solve a key problem that emerged in the course of the initiative: Ensuring that women graduates of the program could access finance to grow their businesses.

Eckhardt-Queenan said that 10,000 Women’s ability to leverage both internal corporate resources and those of partners represents an important step forward in how organizations tackle issues of global women’s empowerment.

“Personally I think this is one of the most exciting frontiers: Creating platforms that work across sectors and harness the particular assets and skills of corporations, government and civil society.”

Although the 10,000 Women initiative is wrapping up – the five-year program kicked off in 2008 – Meyer said Goldman Sachs hopes to announce the next phase of the initiative in 2014.

WATCH the complete discussion above, and join the conversation by leaving your comments below.


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About the author

  • Andrea Useem

    As former associate editor and content director for Devex Impact, Andrea created and managed cutting-edge content on the intersection of business and international development. An experienced multimedia journalist, Andrea also served as leadership editor at the Washington Post and spent three years as a foreign correspondent in Eastern Africa reporting for publications including the Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and San Francisco Chronicle.