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Moving on Up – New Features on

Cindy Drakeman, our CEO, unveils the latest features on!

Cindy Drakeman, the CEO of Double X Economy, LLC, unveils the latest features on!

When we began planning the relaunch of, inspiration soon became our biggest enemy as the list of ideas quickly grew, while the timeline shrank.  Rather than try to do everything at once, we went with the “one bite at a time” approach, and focused on getting the most essential parts done first, then setting up a plan to roll out new features throughout the fall and into 2017.  The response to the new look and layout has been wonderfully positive, and provides even more motivation to ensure that we continue to provide our readers and the larger women’s economic community with a site that is useful, thought provoking, beautiful, and fun to read.  Just like Oprah!  I promise that there was very little eye rolling when Linda suggested this.  Oprah is a legend, and we could all do worse than to emulate her.

For phase two of the website relaunch, we are excited to announce a series of new or expanded features on

  1. New Reports: We’ve posted two new reports – Research on Gender and Brain Differences, based on research we did for the IFC’s Gender Intelligence for Banks Training Program to counter the oft-repeated and insidious assertions that women’s brains are somehow different and inferior to men’s, and Incorporating Small Producers into Formal Retail Supply Chains, which came out of research into Walmart’s Empowering Women Together initiative, and has significant value to anyone needing a framework for evaluating potential small suppliers in the developing world.

  2. What it Means for Women (WiM4W) – this will become an ongoing special feature of DoubleXEconomy, applying our unique perspective to today’s most important topics. Stay tuned for the dedicated section on the site, but, in the meantime, you can read our first WiM4W post, Linda’s blog on Gender Differences in Brain Research, related,  you guessed it, to the report noted above.

  3. Expanded Resources Tab: we’ve made it easier to find information that will help anyone getting started or looking to expand their work in women’s empowerment, including:

  4. The Essentials – an assortment of links and reports that provide a valuable grounding in the larger field of women’s economic empowerment.

  5. Gender-Focus Teaching Cases – all of the teaching cases prepared by Linda, along with a narrative describing their development and use.

  6. DXE in the News – read up on coverage of our work and interviews with Linda.

  7. WEE in the News archives – catch up on all that’s happening in women’s economic empowerment.

  8. Behind the Image – each background image we use on will be archived here to create an ever-expanding photo essay of the extraordinary people and places encountered in our work.

  9. Events Calendar – we’ve added a calendar to highlight important WEE gatherings around the world. Have an event to add? Fill out this form to send us all the details!

  10. Behind the Image – our second image takes you on a journey with Linda to see the gorillas in the Bwindi National Forest in Uganda.

The future of DoubleXEconomy

Looking ahead, we still have a few tricks up our sleeve, but also welcome ideas from you about how the site can continue to grow and improve.  Our goal is to make this website an essential and invaluable resource for anyone working to bring women into the world economy.  At a meeting I attended last week convened in association with the UNGA, there was significant frustration about how much duplication of effort was occurring because of an unwillingness to share materials and insights.  Some bad words might even have been invoked (not by me, of course) to describe those who hold potentially transformational knowledge close to their chest, thereby hobbling everyone’s efforts.  While we must respect the confidentiality and proprietary nature of certain projects, we at DoubleXEconomy want to share as much as we can publicly in service of our mission to advance women’s economic empowerment.  We are working to fulfill that goal by rolling out the new features listed above, and those yet to come.

As a final thought, another comment that stayed with me after that UNGA-week meeting (I don’t mean to sound so mysterious about it, but it was held under Chatham House Rule, which, as anyone who has attended

Power Shift knows, we take very seriously), was made by a woman from a healthcare company who expressed a desire to link up with WEE projects initiated by other private sector organizations.  Her company is providing various types of free medical care to women in developing countries, but also combining that with skills training and job reintegration.  There are some natural synergies with other programs being developed by non-health sector companies in many of the same communities her company is already working in, and, from a community perspective, it makes a lot of sense to look for cross-sector partnerships that will help streamline the offerings and opportunities for the women they are all trying to serve; however, her internal stakeholders couldn’t see any specific corporate value to working across sectors, and so her efforts to do so have stalled. This has led me to think more about the ways we at DXE can help facilitate cross-sector collaboration not only by providing a convening space via Power Shift, but also by strengthening the business case for such endeavors in order to help our WEE champions at these organizations gain traction internally as well.  I don’t have the answers just yet, but this is the kind of thing that I think could be helpful for, and we’ll be thinking about the best ways to do so over the coming months.


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