World Economic Forum Imposes Minimum Quota Of Women

For the first time this year the World Economic Forum (WEF) has imposed a minimum quota of women at is’s annual meeting in Davos. Over the last few years the number of women attending the forum for the ‘global elite’ has increased slightly but still only stands at 17% and as closing gender gaps has been an important concern for WEF, they have decided to take action to address the issue. “The World Economic Forum annual meeting engages the highest levels of leadership from a variety of sectors and participation figures are a reflection of the scarcity of women in this external pool,” said Saadia Zahidi, who heads the gender parity programme. Strategic partners including Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank – have been told they must bring along at least one woman in every group of five senior executives sent. However, as they only make up one fifth of the 2500 attendees women will still be very much in the minority. As fewer than 3% of chief executives of the world’s biggest 500 companies are women there may be a struggle to even achieve a ratio of 1 in 5. At least WEF have taken a step in the right direction in addressing the issue.

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