Overturning Biases, Driving Equality: Advancing Parity in Leadership | WPL, GWL Voices and the 30% Club

Overturning Biases, Driving Equality: Advancing Parity in Leadership

The Generation Equality Forum presents a unique opportunity to chart a transformative path for change, bringing together all stakeholders to implement ambitious commitments to accelerate equality, leadership, and opportunities for women and girls worldwide. 

In the lead-up to the Generation Equality Forum in Paris (30 June – 2 July),  Women Political Leaders (WPL), Global Women Leaders Voices for Change and Inclusion (GWL Voices), and the 30% Club pooled their networks of women leaders political, institutional, and corporate for a discussion to activate decisive commitments to advance gender parity in decision-making and leadership. 

On 13 May, members of the WPL community participated in this intergenerational and commitment-driven dialogue. The extraordinary panel of high-level speakers included: 

  • Honorable Bogolo J. Kenewendo, Economic, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Botswana
  • Susana Malcorra, Dean, School of Global and Public Affairs at IE University, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentina (2015-2017), Member and Co-Founder of GWL Voices
  • Baroness Mary Goudie, Member, House of Lords, United Kingdom, Founding Member of the 30% Club

As a co-leader of the Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership, Women Political Leaders is commited to increasing awareness on the need to overturn negative stereotypes and change public perceptions across sectors. To help identify clear mechanisms and pathways for change, WPL offers the Reykjavík Index for Leadership 2020-2021, a tool for advancing gender parity and illuminating the differences between fact and perception. Carried out jointly by WPL and Kantar, the Index shows that the public continues to view women as less suitable for leadership than men. Even as the world makes critical political, economic, and societal decisions to build forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders from all sectors must address negative perceptions of women in leadership and commit to transformative steps to advance gender parity. 

The roundtable presented a number of tangible initiatives that have been successful in dismantling barriers to equality in leadership, also putting forth concrete actions that both the public and private sectors can undertake.  

“We need to go a step further, go beyond commitments. It is time to deliver. We need bids, not words. That is what we need to push for. It is critical that we push governments and the private sector to define a set of data that allows us to measure progress.” Susana Malcorra 

“For women to run for parliament, we have to help them in a  number of different ways, not only in mentoring and sponsorship. We need to provide them with training.” Baroness Goudie 

“One of our ways for changing that narrative is to ensure that these conversations are not side-events not just ‘women-only’ events that we have male leaders as well in these conversations.” Bogolo Kenewendo

The panelists inspired a new wave of fortified commitments that can help move society forward, highlighting opportunities for leaders worldwide to create real and meaningful change.