ExxonMobil Expands Support for Technologies That Help Women in Developing Countries

Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:11pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

* Builds on commitment to invest in innovations that create economic
opportunities for women 
* $1 million focused on scaling up alternative energy technologies 
* ExxonMobil Women`s Economic Opportunity Initiative has invested more than $35
million since 2005, reaching women in 77 developing countries

NEW YORK--(Business Wire)--
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) today announced a $1 million commitment at
the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to invest in the expansion of high impact,
sustainable technologies that advance women economically in the developing

The program is expected to directly benefit more than 13,500 people, with
indirect benefits reaching more than 475,000 people in the next two years. 

The new commitment will help innovators in scaling up technologies that benefit
women economically and were identified through ExxonMobil`s partnership with
Ashoka`s Changemakers in the Women | Tools | Technology:Building Opportunities &
Economic Power Challenge, launched at last year`s CGI. The new financial support
from ExxonMobil will help provide consulting support, facilitate the innovators`
connections with other social entrepreneurs, business and technical experts and
identify best practices. 

"The programs identified through the 2009 commitment use technology to improve
the lives of women in developing countries," said Suzanne M. McCarron, general
manager, ExxonMobil public and government affairs. "By further supporting these
programs, we will be advancing technologies that are proven to create more
economic opportunities for women and, as a result, strengthen their

A significant barrier to economic advancement is a lack of access to energy. An
estimated 1.6 billion people in the world have no access to electricity and
approximately 2.4 billion rely on biomass fuels like wood, charcoal or dung for
cooking and heating. This undermines the productivity, education, health and
safety of these people - 70 percent of whom are women and girls. 

ExxonMobil grants will be provided to select innovators who advance technologies
to increase access to energy through innovative sources. These technologies help
women increase their productivity and effective participation in the economy.
The grant recipients include Kopernik, Solar Electric Light Fund, Solar Sister,
Productive Agricultural Linkages and Marketing Systems (P.A.L.M.S) and

"My country will be a better place when more women have access to technologies,"
said Leticia Brenyah, an ExxonMobil-supported innovator from Ghana who spoke at
CGI as part of the meeting`s Empowering Girls and Women focus area. "When women
thrive economically they improve their lives, families and country." 

As part of its support for the programs identified through the Women | Tools |
Technology program, ExxonMobil will work with partners Ashoka`s Changemakers,
the International Council for Research on Women and the Thunderbird Emerging
Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) to support the further development of a number of
concepts involving the use of innovative technologies to enable women`s access
to energy in a sustainable and scalable manner. 

TEM Lab will deploy on the ground consulting teams to help diagnose business
problems and opportunities with the goal of strengthening program effectiveness.

"We are excited to enter into this meaningful partnership which leverages
business and technology expertise to enable innovators to improve their
capacity," said Angel Cabrera, president of Thunderbird School of Global

Innovators will have the opportunity to engage with experts at CGI and utilize
the Ashoka`s Changemakers Discovery Framework to better understand the
challenges and opportunities in bringing their concepts to scale. 

"The passion and new ideas represented by the solutions sourced through last
year`s commitment and the subsequent Women | Tools | Technology:Building
Opportunities & Economic Power Challenge represent a powerful new force for
advancing women`s economic opportunities globally," said Bill Drayton, chairman
and CEO of Ashoka. "I look forward to not only the deep and lasting impact these
leaders will create, but also the future generations of changemakers they will
inspire along the way." 

As part of the 2009 CGI Commitment, the research report, "Bridging the
Technology Divide," by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW),
provided insights into how technology can help advance women economically. ICRW
will continue to provide monitoring and evaluation support for the commitment

"A year later, it is great to see how innovators have turned good intentions
into actions that effectively integrate women in various stages of the
technology lifecycle to give them the tools they need to thrive," said Sarah
Degnan Kambou, president of ICRW. 

About Exxon Mobil Corporation

ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses
technology and innovation to help meet the world`s growing energy needs.
ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is the largest
refiner and marketer of petroleum products and its chemical company is one of
the largest in the world. Globally, ExxonMobil provides funding to improve basic
education, promote women as catalysts for development, and combat malaria and
other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2009, together with its
employees and retirees, ExxonMobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates,
and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $235 million in contributions worldwide.
Additional information on ExxonMobil's community partnerships and contributions
programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community. 

About Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird is the world`s No. 1-ranked school of international business with
more than 60 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset,
business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable
value for their organizations, communities and the world. The Thunderbird
Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) is a capstone course in which second year,
honors students apply the full range of skills acquired in their course work and
experience. TEM Lab MBA consulting teams work on-site with client systems in
emerging markets all over the world. www.thunderbird.edu

About Ashoka and Ashoka`s Changemakers

Ashoka is the global association of the world`s leading social entrepreneurs -
men and women with system-changing solutions for the world`s most urgent social
problems. Ashoka`s Changemakers creates opportunities for organizations and
individuals to drive meaningful and measurable social change. Through
collaborative competitions, Changemakers connects Ashoka`s elite fellowship, an
online community of social innovators, and pioneering investors to inspire and
drive innovative solutions to the world`s most pressing challenges. By focusing
on how leading social entrepreneurs, government agencies, corporations, and
citizens solve vital problems and build their communities, Changemakers and its
partners spark promising ideas for further development and investment. Learn
more at www.changemakers.org. 

About the International Center for Research on Women

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a leading international
research organization that works to empower women, advance gender equality and
fight poverty in the developing world. To accomplish this, ICRW works with
partners in the public and private sectors and civil society to conduct
empirical research build capacity and advocate for evidence-based practical ways
to change policies and programs. Learn more about ICRW and its work at

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative
(CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to
some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings
have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel
Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major
philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations,
and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,700
commitments valued at $57 billion, which have already improved the lives of 220
million people in more than 170 countries. The 2010 CGI Annual Meeting will take
place from September 20-23, 2010, in New York City. The CGI community also
includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global
citizenship, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make a
Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young
leaders from business, government, and civil society. For more information,
visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.

Media Relations, 972-444-1107 

Copyright Business Wire 2010

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.