Women in Economic Decision Making
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook says “what the research shows us ‘success and likability’ is positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women which means as a woman becomes more successful she is less liked.”
Sandberg’s statement was echoed by the six other panelists discussing women’s role in economic decision making at the plenary session on women, held on World Economic Forum on January 25, 2012 in Davos.
Panelists shared real life stories of dealing with gender inequality and gender imbalance throughout their careers.
Panel’s focus was on economic importance of gender diversity and how can gender gaps be closed at the highest levels of economic decision-making.
Gender imbalance in work place at all levels remains an important challenge for all the countries of the world, despite the high number of female college graduates. It constitutes an untapped potential of skilled human resources and a waste of highly-qualified and needed work force.
Panel encourages women to “dare to embrace their diversity” by working with their organizations to deal with these barriers and calls for an open dialog about gender, overt and non-overt discrimination, and lack of flexibility in the work place.
Possible solutions and new initiatives were also discussed on increasing female graduates in relevant fields, overcoming mid-career development hurdles, and exploring potential of regulatory intervention such as quotas.
- Herminia Ibarra, The Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning and Professor of Organizational Behaviour, INSEAD, France
- Christine Lagarde, first woman Managing Director of IMF (International Money Fund)
- Drew Gilpin Faust, first woman President of Harvard University
- Viviane Reding, Vice-President and Commissioner, Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission, Brussels
- Lubna S. Olayan, Deputy Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Olayan Financing Company, Saudi Arabia
- Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Board, Facebook, USA
- Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Heidrick & Struggles, USA