At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, only 17% of the participants are women. Pundits may be quick to note the event as a reflection of the global gender gap, but it is not.
The answer to the question in the title? No, it does not reflect global gender gap.
Why “no”? Clearly, women were underrepresented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. At the event, women made up 17% of the participants. However, this does not infer that WEF fosters gender inequality. In fact, gender diversity is one of its main topics. Under the banner of “The New Global Context,” WEF aims to expand the participation of women in business, politics, education and other global issues. Actress Emma Watson, goodwill ambassador for U.N. Women, spoke of what women can contribute to the society if they were allowed more opportunities.
“They know that the world is being held back in every way, because they are not. Women share this planet 50/50 and they are under-represented, their potential astonishingly untapped,” she said.
In the past years, WEF considered women in attendance as wives only of CEOs attending. However, this perception has changed now, as female leaders offer insights on various matters at the World Economic Forum’s panels. Influential women executives who attended this year’s WEF included Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Apart from them, there’s also a new crop of prominent female leaders that graced the event. And of course, the WEF has a quota for partner companies to include one woman in their roster of delegates.