Summary of Female Leadership at a Tipping Point

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8 Overall

9 Importance

7 Innovation

9 Style


Davos 2019 delivered a powerful discussion among some of the globe’s top women leaders. On the heels of a 2019 study showing that women’s representation in politics and business has declined, this call to action – and reminder of what action works best – is hardly groundbreaking but is timely and important. Don’t miss the final portion of the panel, where each panelist shares her own trailblazing story.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What governments, society, and other collaborators can do to prevent growing gender inequality in politics and business; and
  • Why, for gender parity advocates, the best attitude going forward may be optimistic pessimism.

About the Speakers

Dalia Grybauskaite, Michelle BacheletCarolyn TastadChrystia Freeland​​, Rebecca Blumenstein and Marin Alsop are leaders in the fields of governance, human rights, business, politics, journalism and music, respectively.



In 2019, the World Economic Forum’s yearly gender study revealed a growing gender gap in politics and business. The number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies has fallen by almost one-third. Thus, some gender-equality advocates feel “optimistically pessimistic” – that is, confident that change is possible but vigilant against further backsliding.

Elevating female role models is part of the solution. Canada’s 2015 coup of a gender-balanced government cabinet sent a “powerful message” to younger women and improved collaboration among cabinet members. Similarly, a gender-balanced cabinet under UN high commissioner...

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