(April 18, 2023) The University of San Francisco’s Center for Business Studies and Innovation in Asia-Pacific (CBSI) presented a panel discussion on campus entitled “Women, Empowerment, and the Growth and Expansion of the Middle Class across Asia.” Pictured from right to left, USF professor Dr. Bruce Pickering (Senior Policy Advisor and former Executive Director, Asia Society; CBSI Advisory Board member) moderated a discussion among Darlene Chiu Bryant (Founder and Executive Director, Global SF; CBSI Advisory Board member), Paramita Bhattacharya (Chief Marketing Officer, Sortly), and Christina Bui (Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Kylan Ventures). Among the many attendees were students from Dr. Pickering’s undergraduate international business course.
The panel discussed the critical role of women in one of the greatest transformations in human history. Over the last thirty years, nearly all Asian nations have seen the increasing movement of individuals and families out of poverty and economic marginalization, and into the middle class and participation in the global economy. Panelists shared their insights and firsthand accounts of the role of women in enabling this rapid transformation. While increased educational opportunities and technical training have been an important part of the story, the increasing participation of women in the workforce has also been one of the most important drivers of the increasing prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.