April is inching closer, bringing the exciting prospect of the Global Female Leaders Summit with it. The European Business Review caught up with some of the speakers at the exclusive all-female networking breakfast held by the Summit’s organiser, Management Circle, on 3 December 2014 at London’s exclusive East India Club to discuss gender equality and what we can expect from the summit in April.
Since the 1970s the number of women in professional and managerial jobs have skyrocketed. A male-dominated work environment – particularly at the higher levels of business – was the norm until very recently. But today that scenario is looking more and more like an anomaly.
However, a stubborn gender pay gap remains well and truly ingrained in developed and developing countries alike. And company boards are still overwhelmingly dominated by men. Making it much harder for women to access the kinds of influential and informal business networks from which their male counterparts benefit.
This is one of the things the Global Female Leaders Summit is trying to combat. At the networking breakfast in December no one was in any doubt that the time is ripe for an international economic forum creating a strong, global network for women. The Global Female Leaders Summit only started last year, but it had a great first gathering in Zurich and looks to become only more successful.[ms-protect-content id=”9932″]
The Global Female Leaders Summit will descend on Berlin’s Hotel Adlon Kempinski on the 21-22nd April. 60 influential speakers from around the globe will come together to discuss current economic trends and offer management solutions to the complex business challenges we face today.
With speakers including Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club; Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs; and Xiao Xue, Chief Editor of Elle China, the Summit will offer participants the chance to learn from and engage with a divers body of international business and thought leaders, each with unique insight into today’s business challenges.
A wide spectrum of topics will be addressed at the Summit, from leading and managing diversity through to the future of our global energy supply and new frontiers of business. And it won’t all be listening either – speaker presentations will be offset with panel discussions and a ThinkTank Academy that altogether will make this event a great interactive experience and unique networking opportunity.
The networking event in December began with a presentation from economist and King’s College London Professor, Alison Wolf, who shared brilliant insights from her new book The XX Factor. This presentation offered a glimpse of the intelligent and thoughtful analysis that we will encounter at the summit, with Professor Wolf highlighting encouraging trends in the gender equalisation of the professional labour market. Add to this the fact that women are now marginally outnumbering men in higher education and the future starts to look that much brighter for professional women. And this growth of women in higher education is not just confined to the West either; in Saudi Arabia, for example, 66% of university graduates are now women.
But despite these encouraging statistics complacence should not be an option. There is more work ahead, and a strong global women’s network will be a key support system while we achieve that.
Management Circle’s CEO Sigrid Bauschert summed it up nicely when she said “change can only be created by people, and it is created in those places where people come together. With this in mind, we have created a strong global network in the Global Female Leaders Summit, one that puts women of responsibility on an equal footing. The summit offers our participants open and often highly personal insights into the lives and successes of top female managers and visionaries from across the globe.”
All in all the breakfast was inspiring, and we at The European Business Review think April can’t come soon enough.