World Economic Forum, Davos 2018, to be chaired entirely by women for first time in 48 years

The 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF), in Davos Switzerland, will be chaired entirely by women for the first time in its 48-year history.

The all-female lineup is in response to previous criticism about the lack of women present, which coined the phrased “Davos Man” to describe the elite, wealthy men who attend the event.

The summit is usually attended by 2,500 people including global leaders, leaders and policy makers.

The event’s co-chairs for 2018 will include International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde, IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Solberg told CNBC it was “an honor to be asked to be co-chair at the World Economic Forum this year. I look forward to meeting representatives from the business sector, politics and various organisations to discuss how we can bring the world forward.”

“For my part, as Norwegian Prime Minister, I am particularly concerned about the need to create a sustainable welfare society. Inclusive growth is essential to reach that goal. This means, among other things, that both women and men must be able to take part in the labor market on equal terms.”

Another co-chair Sharan Burrow, told CNBC ‘Davos Man’ must take notice: “Davos Man needs to listen if he cares about his families and particularly about the question of equality and equal opportunity for his daughters,” Burrow, general-secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), said. “If you ask me whether this rise of the alpha leader has created a wave of misogyny, you know my answer is yes.”

2018 co-chairs include Isabelle Kocher, chief executive of French energy supplier ENGIE; Fabiola Gianotti, director-general of the Switzerland-based European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN); and Chetna Sinha, founder and chair of India’s Mann Deshi Foundation, which supports female entrepreneurs.

WEF said the female co-chairs “represent both the public and private sectors, international organisations, organised labor, academia and science, as well as civil society and social entrepreneurship.”

Kayleigh Bateman
About the author

Kayleigh Bateman is the head of digital content and business development at WeAreTheCity. As a journalist there she covers stories about women in IT and looks after its women in technology community. She was previously the special projects editor for Computer Weekly and editor of CW Europe. Kayleigh attended the University of Hertfordshire, where she studied for her BA in English literature, journalism and media cultures. You can contact her at [email protected]

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