The 2018 Women in Corporate Leadership Initiative provides a roadmap to women’s advancement in corporate world [fr]
On January 31st, 2018, more than 100 business leaders from Canada, France and the United States gathered at the New York Stock Exchange for the Women in Corporate Leadership Initiative, a high-profile conference organized by the Consulates General of Canada and France in New York, the Economic Club of New York and Richard Attias and Associates.
Marlène Schiappa, Minister of State for Gender Equality of France and The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of the Status of Women of Canada, delivered opening remarks, and discussed their respective countries’ efforts to prioritize and promote gender diversity.
The day’s events included five panel discussions, which featured such notable speakers as CEO of L’Oreal USA, Frédéric Rozé, Prime Minister Trudeau’s Chief of Staff, Katie Telford, and President and Executive Chairman of Macy’s, Terry J. Lundgren.
Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank, closed the event with a keynote address at a luncheon hosted by the Economic Club of New York, underscoring the World Bank’s commitment to advance gender equality and empower women and girls, including in the world’s most fragile environments.
• This is an important moment in time for women’s empowerment: a cultural change is in motion.
• Gender parity in the corporate world has seen slow but positive progress; accelerated efforts are critical to ensure transformative change.
• The benefits of gender parity in the corporate world extend beyond boosting profitability for companies—it can lead to a much larger cultural and social impact, especially in the development of a management culture in line with new generations’ aspirations.
• Leadership shown by CEOs is key in advancing gender parity. Shareholders should also play a powerful role.
• Accelerating progress will require creating and testing different tools and emerging best practices, which include:
Quotas: While it is not impossible to achieve gender parity without them, quotas can be critical to jumpstart progress quickly and have led to impressive results in a number of Western European countries, with France serving as a prime example.
Adequate succession plans: Succession planning is about more than making sure there are women’s names at the top of the list; it’s about identifying high-performing women and actively seeking out women who have the potential to grow.
Public-Private Partnerships: Bringing together multi-sector leaders who share the goal of creating equal opportunity for women can lead to powerful results. France announced the creation of such a public-private task force to tackle the gender pay gap, in partnership with the World Economic Forum.
Data and analytical tools: Data is a powerful way for recruiters to diversify the pool of people they are considering. It is also critical to help inform leadership about existing or potential gender considerations in decision-making.
Mentorship and development programs: These programs have been shown to boost female representation in management and are an important way to improve the diversity pipeline.