WSI Citi Foundation Gender Equality Challenge, SDG 5WSI

Congratulations to the Citi Foundation Gender Equality Challenge winner, runners up, and finalists! Explore the top entries

Design a product, service or initiative that helps women and girls "future proof" their skills. Solutions can range from helping upskill working women to adapt to the future of work to helping female entrepreneurs take advantage of new market opportunities or launch new businesses.

Gender equality is not just one of the 17 SDGs; all the SDGs depend on the achievement of Goal 5. The Global Goals assume that gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary condition for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Societies benefit when women and girls have equal access to education, healthcare and decent work as well as equal representation in political and economic decision-making. We cannot build inclusive, sustainable economies with anything less.

The Citi Foundation challenges you to come up with a big idea to crack the code on a work-related aspect of gender equality. Can you come up with a solution to help women and girls increase their participation in leadership roles? Or help upskill women already in the labor force so they can adapt to a rapidly changing future of work, where the jobs they hold today may be at risk?

Some thought-starters:

  • It’s been estimated that, at the current rate of change, it will take until 2085 for women in the U.S. to reach parity with men in key leadership roles. How can we put more women in leadership roles? Do you have an idea for addressing the leadership gap by providing training, encouraging mentorship or enabling collaboration? How can we make sure women’s participation in innovation is not an exception but the norm, particularly in the fields of technology, medicine, health care, education, and science?
  • Experts estimate that women already in the workforce are disproportionately threatened by technological changes such as automation, artificial intelligence and robotics. And this holds true at both ends of the earning spectrum. An analysis of the U.S. labor force suggests that although women make up only 47% of workers they represent 58% of workers at highest risk of losing their jobs to technology. The scenario may be even worse for women of color. It's estimated that one in three Hispanic women work in occupations at high risk of being eliminated by technology. Can you think of a solution for retraining or upskilling working women so they can "future-proof" their skills and careers?

It might be helpful to consider how some nonprofit organizations are working for gender equality:

  • Girls Who Code aims to close the gender gap in technology and build the pipeline of future female engineers
  • Womena accelerates equality through entrepreneurial experiences and creative content focused on female founders, creatives and changemakers.
  • MomsRising promotes gender equality by advocating for paid family leave, earned sick days, affordable childcare, and an end to the wage and hiring discrimination.
  • AAUW advances gender equality through research, education and advocacy.

Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit

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“We believe that young people around the world play an important part in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We are committed to empowering today's youth and supporting their efforts, including those that contribute to a more equitable society for women and girls.”

Florencia Spangaro / Director of Programs, Citi Foundation

Citi Foundation Gender Equality Challenge Finalists

Explore the top entries in the Citi Foundation Gender Equality Challenge.

  • Equal4All, a plushie toy and educational film that aim to inspire while promoting equality and acceptance.
  • Emerge, a program for young women in rural areas of Bangladesh interested in pursuing a trade in the garment industry. **WINNER**
  • Lesson in a Box, an entrepreneurship training program with home industry options for women in developing countries.
  • Mom's Coding Academy, a remote training program for low-income moms who lack the skills to enter the tech industry. **RUNNER UP**
  • PowerLine Women, a mobile app that builds a community of experienced business women willing to mentor young female entrepreneurs.
  • ShareStuff, a platform that facilitates donation/recycling of educational materials with profits supporting programs promoting career education for girls.
  • Skills in Tech Entrepreneurship for Women, a program to help young women build skills and develop interest in tech sector careers.
  • UniCare, a university-based child care service that makes high quality, affordable day care available to low-income families and single moms. **RUNNER UP**
  • WeWorkingWomen, a program to provide safety and support for working women in India who are at risk of gender-based violence.
  • WRI, a unique investment fund focused on nurturing young female entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities.

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