Women in Davos
We just had an annual World Economic Forum held in Switzerland, known as the meeting in Davos. It has its history back in early 70’s 20th century. Having gone itself through some transformation it focuses nowadays on topics around the world economy, touching on most current political, social and technological developments. The event gathered this year 3000 participants from 90 countries.
The entry ticket is quite expensive. Both, membership for a company in this non-profit organization and the ticket sum up to two digit thousand US dollar fee. Just to give you an idea why the cost is so high, among the speakers this year was Donald Trump, the newly elected president of America, the very first president of China, Xi Jinping and Christine Lagarde, the managing director of International Monetary Fund.
Since 2011 the WEF has the focus on gender parity. It has introduced since than the gender quota meaning that strategic partners are requested, that for every five executives that are attending the meeting, one of the executives must be a woman.
Among female leaders attending the conference, there is General Motors CEO, Mary T. Barra, Lloyd’s of London CEO, Inga Belae, World Bank CEO, Kristalina Georgieva or CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, Rachel Kyte.
Top organizations and top positions. Still the share of women is far from the 50%, one of the goal of UN global sustainable development .
It seems that gender representation in Davos reflects the split across leader positions worldwide. I wouldn’t say that is fundamentally wrong.
I am of the opinion that it is not the gender that defines one’s ability to lead or in that case to participate in a conference.
But am I right?
I sometimes come to a conclusion that my opinion is blurred by my early life experience. Raised by a widowed father with an older brother and his male friends I was most of the times very much included rather than excluded from what you call a masculine environment. Although I believe that my childhood had quite an impact on where professionally I am today, I also believe that my gender is not an obstacle.
Still I have also experienced gender bias. Many times.
It’s not that I am complaining about it. It is just a fact.
So in my perception I am stuck somewhere between if you want to achieve something you will do it regardless the gender and…women sometimes have it harder.
The topic of gender equality is deep and I don’t want to dive into it here.
It makes you think of it though when you come across an article like a Davos insight by Katrin Bennhold.