As women’s empowerment gains more visibility as a part of the global development agenda, companies are realizing that working with women-owned businesses pays off.
Pfizer has discovered that working with women-owned businesses both benefits its business and helps achieve its goals of empowering women, said Adele Gulfo, president of Pfizer Latin America.
Since being a founding member of WEConnect in 2009 Pfizer has diversified its supply chain and now works with more than 175 women-owned businesses, she said. WEConnect International is a corporate-led non-profit that certifies women-owned businesses around the world.
“When women are financially empowered they use that money to enhance communities,” Gulfo said, adding that eventually their efforts translate into helping whole countries.
Gulfo said that WEConnect helps give women the skills to compete and work with global multinational companies, like Pfizer.
Last month Pfizer joined WEConnect, Vital Voices and a group of other partners to commit to increasing corporate member spending on women-owned businesses outside the U.S. by at least $1.5 billion by 2018 to and others committed to working through WEConnect to put in place metrics to help ensure a good standard among women-owned businesses.
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As a Devex Impact reporter, Adva covers the intersection of business and international development. Previously, she has worked as a reporter at newspapers in both the US and South Africa. Most recently, she has been ghostwriting a memoir for James Kofi Annan, a former child slave and NGO founder in Ghana.