Saïd Business School Calls for Better Financial Inclusion for Women Worldwide

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Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, will call for women worldwide to have greater access to finance through three linked initiatives, starting from 14 May 2014: a global e-discussion co-hosted by UN Women, the second annual Power Shift Forum, and the launch of a petition to make increasing women’s financial inclusion one of the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals.

“Women comprise half the world’s population but still face unequal economic opportunity, from subtle marginalisation to violent exclusion,” said Professor Linda Scott from Saïd Business School, one of the founders of Power Shift. “In developing economies women are 20 per cent less likely than men to have a bank account; in both developed and developing countries, women have lower financial literacy levels than men; there is a $285 billion gender gap in capital access for women-owned businesses; and women are massively under-represented in financial sector jobs – even more so in the top ranks. Gender inequality sets up economies to fail, but appropriate financial services can help improve family welfare and spur small enterprise activity, helping economies to grow faster and reduce income inequality.”

The e-discussion, Make Financial Markets Work for Women, will be co-hosted by Oxford University and UN Women on from 14 May to 6 June 2014, and will lead up to and inform the School’s Power Shift Forum. It is expected that thousands of people from all over the world will join the discussion, which will be stimulated by Google Hangouts with experts including Jeanne Sullivan, Special Advisor and Co-Founder at StarVest Partners; Walt Macnee, Vice Chairman, MasterCard Worldwide, Henriette Kolb, Head of the IFC Gender Secretariat; Christine Svarer, Head of Private Sector Engagement, CARE International UK; Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking; Charlotte Oades, Global Director of Women’s Economic Empowerment, The Coca-Cola Company; and Professor Linda Scott, Saïd Business School. The e-discussion will be open to all and participants can register at Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment.

The 2014 Power Shift Forum at Saïd Business School will investigate the relationship between women and the world of finance from 27 to 29 May 2014, and develop an action research agenda for governments, NGOs, and companies that want to support women’s inclusion in finance around the world. A range of leading academics, investors, financial institutions, advisers and entrepreneurs will examine the conditions for women-owned businesses seeking capital, whether as debt or equity, as well as other finance-related issues, such as women and consumer credit, savings accounts, inheritance law, philanthropy, careers in finance, and pyramid schemes. It will aim to uncover exclusionary practices, identify effective reforms, and celebrate champions of change. Plenary sessions and the Oxford Union debate are open to press. Professor Linda Scott is available for comment.

During the Power Shift Forum, Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and Professor Peter Tufano, Dean of Saїd Business School, will take the lead in signing a petition to world leaders to make financial inclusion for women a global imperative and to include it in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. This launch will be live-streamed on the UN Women e-discussion site. Participants will sign the petition during the Forum, and people worldwide will be able to sign digitally at a petition website to be announced by the Saïd Business School. The final petition will be delivered to the UN.

To register your interest in attending Power Shift or to speak with Professor Linda Scott, please contact the press office:

Clare Fisher, Head of Public Relations, Saïd Business School
Mobile: +44 (0)7912 771090; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288968
Email: clare(dot)fisher(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Josie Powell, Press Officer
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie(dot)powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk or pressoffice(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Notes to editors
1    About Power Shift

2    About the Petition
The petition will read as follows:
We, the undersigned, call on the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, in the articulation of the Post-2015 Development Framework, to emphasise women's economic empowerment, particularly with regard to increasing women’s access to financial services, improving their financial capability, and increasing their access to skilled jobs including leadership positions in the financial sector.

3    About Women at Saїd Business School

4    About Saїd Business School
Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2013) Saïd is ranked 12th. It is ranked 13th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2013) and 23rd in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2014). The MBA is ranked 5th in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2012) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 23rd worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2013). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 6th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2013). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (Jun 2013) and has ranked first in nine of the last ten years in The Times (Sept 2013). For more information, see


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Josie Powell
University of Oxford
+44 1865288403
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Clare Fisher
University of Oxford
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