Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment: Private Sector Engagement Landscaping Study


A woman in a safety vest inspects machinery

Growing evidence suggests that companies which increase women’s equitable participation experience overall business growth, stronger financial performance, and increased productivity. According to the evidence, these companies can attract the best talent, focus on innovation, and gain access to new and changing markets. To create a detailed review of what evidence currently exists, this study looks at policies, practices, and programs for increasing women’s equitable participation. 

Conducted by the USAID Women’s Economic Empowerment Community of Practice (USAID WEE CoP), this study endeavors to answer the learning question, “What drives companies to invest in policies, practices, and programs to increase women’s equitable participation in leadership, operations, and supply chains? And which solutions have been proven to be effective?” 

Carried out between July and November 2021, this study is based on a review of more than 500 sources, as well as on interviews with 46 key informants from companies around the world. Using a typology to explain and identify approaches with the strongest evidence base, the report  identifies two proven, 22 promising, and 26 potential interventions for increasing women’s participation in business. The study further notes that there are gaps in the evidence available since many companies do not typically carry out independent evaluations.