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5 takeaways for women from the World Economic Forum

Melissa Wylie writes, "Some of the most internationally influential leaders gathered in Davos, Switzerland, last week for the World Economic Forum. Here are five takeaways from the event, which addressed topics like gender disparity and the growing impact of technology.

1. Women were scarce: Of the 2,900 forum attendees, just 18 percent were women. That’s up from 17 percent last year, but the representation is still a dismal reflection of the number of women at the top. The forum is making efforts to increase gender diversity, changing the makeup of attendees through corporate partnerships with about 100 participating companies.

2. HeForShe and 10 CEOs committed to achieving gender parity by 2020: United Nations Women’s HeForShe movement recruited CEOs from 10 major companies to pledge to achieve gender parity by 2020. The group of men from AccorHotels, Barclays, Koc Holding, McKinsey, PwC, Schneider Electric, Tupperware, Twitter, Unilever and Vodafone agreed to publicize the total number of women at the company and the gender ratio of new hires.

3. Men matter in the conversation: The forum’s kick-off breakfast featured a conversation about the role men play in increasing gender diversity. A preview of consulting firm Mercer’s Jan. 27 report 'When Women Thrive' revealed men’s efforts in corporate diversity and inclusion dropped from 49 percent to 38 percent since 2014. Men make up about 80 percent of the executive force, and change won’t happen without their involvement."


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