Female empowerment is more than just a human rights issue. It is also good for economic development, according to Goldman Sachs Managing Director Dina Powell McCormick.
“For so long we rightly have talked about the protection of women and girls [and] the empowerment of females all around the world, as a human rights issue, which it is. A justice issue, which it is. But we began to see the needle moving when we said that this is smart economics. I think that’s a really important message,” said McCormick, who served as a deputy national security adviser to President Donald Trump.
McCormick was joined by AOL co-founder and CEO of Revolution Steve Case, Bank of America Chief Operating Officer Tom Montag and Tory Burch on stage Thursday at the Tory Burch Foundation’s 2nd annual Embrace Ambition Summit in New York City. Around 1,200 people were in attendance, and a slew of speakers took the stage to discuss how empowering women would benefit economies and corporations.
McCormick outlined several initiatives that Goldman Sachs has implemented over the years in an attempt to support diversity and inclusion. For one, she alluded to Goldman Sachs’ recent pledge to no longer serve as underwriters for an IPO of a company that does not have a diverse board.
In addition, Goldman Sachs has a partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation to help advise small business owners. The three-month program, called 10,000 Small Businesses, was started in 2007 and provides courses and weekly one-on-one business advising.
“I started a foundation because I wanted to help women and change their circumstances,” Tory Burch, executive chairman and chief creative officer of her fashion brand, Tory Burch, said at the event.
Empowering women also levels the playing field and establishes America as a leader, according to Case, who currently serves as CEO of Revolution, a Washington DC-based venture capital firm. “[America] is not going to lead the way going forward if we’re not leveling the playing field,” he said.
Case argued that society as a whole has made significant progress, though he said, “We will have a lot of work to do.”
Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.
More from Heidi: