Professor Scott’s teaching focuses on the role of culture in the management of global markets for consumer goods. Her research, however, focuses on the potential for market-based approaches to provide economic empowerment for poor women in the developing nations. Through her concept of the Double X Economy, she emphasizes the ways that the economic behaviors of women in the rich nations are increasingly channeled to benefit their less fortunate sisters in the world’s most deprived areas.
Professor Scott’s projects range widely. She has spent three years studying the potential that selling Avon cosmetics has to lift the poor, black women of South Africa out of poverty. In Bangladesh, she is researching an innovative, nationwide system that helps poor rural women to become entrepreneurs. She is currently documenting the Pampers/UNICEF promotion that is buying vaccines to combat a common, but little known killer, maternal/neonatal tetanus. This autumn, she will visit the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program in China.
Scott’s research into the potential for free sanitary pads to help teen girls in developing nations attend school has received a great deal of attention. In a study conducted in Ghana, Scott and her team demonstrated that this simple product, one the Western world takes for granted, can have a life-changing impact on the next generation of women. Now, the same team is taking up the question in Uganda, in a longer and larger study funded by the Economics and Social Science Research Council and the Department for International Development. They are also beginning an exploratory study of alternative methods for solving the sanitary care issue, with special emphasis on environmentally-friendly solutions.