At Cummins, engineering solutions that build prosperous communities has been part of who we are since our company’s founding. We continue this legacy through the Cummins Powers Women Program, our most ambitious community initiative ever. Cummins Powers Women unites our leaders and employees around the world in finding solutions to gender inequality in our communities, reinforcing Cummins’ commitment to the advancement of women everywhere. The program represents a multi-million dollar investment in proven programs designed to create large-scale change in the lives of women and girls globally.
Cummins Powers Women addresses the array of challenges facing women and girls globally. For example:
- The gender pay gap stands at 23% globally, and without decisive action, it will take another 68 years to achieve equal pay.
- Women and girls routinely experience inequality of economic opportunity, voice and decision-making abilities. Research shows that if women were to participate in the economy identically to men, they could add as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, to annual global GDP in 2025.
- The role of maternal employment is significant. In one study of 24 countries, daughters of working mothers were more likely to be employed, have higher earnings and hold supervisory roles. At home, sons raised by employed mothers spend more time caring for family members, and daughters raised by employed mothers spend less time on housework.
The program seeks scaled solutions by partnering with a network of global nonprofit organizations that have existing, outcome-based programs focused on areas where significant barriers exist to the advancement of girls and women. Cummins’ investment supports a range of effective programs, including grassroots teaching and mentoring, financial stability through entrepreneurship, leadership training and strategic guidance to non-profit leaders.
In its first year, the program reached 34,000 women and girls around the world. Cummins Powers Women has projects in seven regions around the world: Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, India, China, Africa and the United States. In Africa, Cummins has partnered with Camfed in Ghana and Rise Up in Nigeria and Kenya. In April 2019, Camfed selected 500 women to participate in the transitions program, providing post-secondary school support. The program will support the women in the building of rural businesses. In Nigeria, Rise Up has had two intakes to the Leadership Accelerator which helps non-profit organizations already working to empower women to develop sustainable strategies to improve their impact. In Kenya, Cummins and Rise Up have partnered with the Centre for the Study of Adolescence (CSA) to implement the Girls Voices Initiative to enable Kajiado Girl Leaders to raise their voices against early marriage and female genital mutilation and advocate for their rights.
The Cummins Powers Women program is set to grow its footprint and impact in Africa with Rise Up planning to launch its first Leadership Accelerator in South Africa in early 2020. The call for applications has gone out to strong local civil society and non-profit organization leaders working on gender equity, human rights, education and related issues in Gauteng Province and Durban. The call for applications is currently live on the Rise Up website at: https://riseuptogether.org/south-africa-gender-equity-initiative/. We are excited to cement our partnership with Rise Up and make a lasting and meaningful impact on the lives of women and girls in South Africa.
When women and girls have equal opportunity for education, skills development, pay, child care and healthcare, girls, women, families and economies prosper. Imagine what we could achieve if all women reached their full potential and had limitless opportunity to advance. Imagine the acceleration of global leadership, invention, skill and creativity, all powered by women. A world in which progress accelerates, invention amplifies, and solutions become easier to find. As Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger remarked, “Making an engine is hard. Making the world more just for women and girls is bigger.” Cummins is ready to take on this challenge.