WPL sessions during Davos Week 2019


Current views on female leadership, myths and stereotypes on the perception of women as trustworthy leaders are on the agenda of the Davos Week 2019.  This year again, Women Political Leaders (WPL) hosts three sessions with accomplished politicians and leaders to find responses to pressing questions.

In particular, The Reykjavik Index for Leadership 2018 created by Women Political Leaders and Kantar to support the journey to equality for women and for men is the key piece of evidence around which the three sessions are structured. 

The first of its kind, the Index measures how people feel about women in leadership, assessing the perceived legitimacy of female and male leadership across 20 economic sectors and giving insight into how the views of women and men differ. The Index and the wider study behind it illuminates how much further we have to go until being a woman, or being a man, is a non-issue when debating how suitable someone is for leadership.

The Index 2018 has sparked worldwide interest and has made into various media outlets and websites.   You can read the articles at the following hyperlinks: WEF, Reuters and CBS coverage.


Breaking the Myths and Stereotypes: Women in Leadership – 22nd of January  2019

This exclusive breakfast explores the connection between gender stereotypes in leadership and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Leveraging insight from the Reykjavik Index for Leadership, panelists discuss how the progress that SDGs aim for can only be sustainable and achievable if stereotypes are overcome. In particular, panelists answered questions such as: What needs to be done to make it acceptable for men to be the prime caretakers at home and women the CEOs? The gathering takes place in the SDG Tent specifically set up in Davos during the week.

Responses to those questions were provided by experienced leaders such as:

  • Amy Weaver, President of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Salesforce
  • Bineta Diop, Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the African Union Commission
  • Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999 – 2008) and member of Women Political Leaders’ Global Advisory Board
  • Dr Michelle Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of Kantar Public 
  • Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the EU Commission (2010-2014), Board Member of Salesforce
  • Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Founder & President of Women Political Leaders

The SDG Tent at Davos 2019 is an impartial and open space where ideas, thought leadership and unhindered dialogue can flourish and progress the global debate around the role of business and its capacity to deliver sustainable and inclusive development.


Women Political Leaders Community Breakfast  – 24th of January 2019

The WPL Community Breakfast, which is happening in Davos for the third consecutive year, aims to strengthen the network between high-level leaders across the globe. Acknowledged female leaders from the public and private sectors gather to discuss how to take the learnings of the Reykjavik Index for Leadership forward.

The contribution of the following panelists is meant to shape new directions to further improve the perception of female leaders:

  • Andrea Grobocopatel, Chairwomen of F.L.O.R., Co-Chair W20 Argentina in 2018
  • Ana Birchall, Deputy Prime Minister of Romania 
  • Helen Clark, New Zealand Prime Minister (1999-2008) and UNDP Administrator (2009-2017) 
  • Marina Carobbio Guscetti, President of the National Council of Switzerland 
  • Dr Michelle Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of Kantar Public 
  • Nataliya Korolevska, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament
  • Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General of Secretaría General Iberoamericana (SEGIB), Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board 
  • Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Founder & President of Women Political Leaders

Reykjavik Index for Leadership Breakfast – 25th of January 2019

The breakfast session offers the opportunity to dive deeper into the results of the first edition of the Reykjavik Index for Leadership.

At the breakfast session, this conversation is taken further. What are the incidences of male/female dissonance in attitudes? Why do we see such variation in perceptions across the twenty professional sectors studied? And why there are differences in perceptions for public and private sector leadership positions?

Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Founder & President of Women Political Leaders, and Dr Michelle Harrison, Global CEO, Public Division and CEO of WPP Government Practice, Kantar cast light on the surprising results with renowned speakers:

  • Belén Garijo, CEO and Member of the Advisory Board of Merck Healthcare
  • Hiltrud Werner, Member of the Board for Integrity and Legal Affairs, Volkswagen AG
  • José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (2004-2014), Non-Executive Chairman of Goldman Sachs, and Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board
  • Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General at Secretaría General Iberoamericana (SEGIB), Member of the WPL Global Advisory Board


More pictures of sessions are available in this photo album


The Reykjavik Index for Leadership 2018 

The Index was launched by WPL during the Women leaders Global Forum – now Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders in Iceland, in November 2018 at the presence of more than 450 leaders gathering for the first time in Iceland. Regarded as a champion of gender equality by the World Economic Forum for 10 consecutive years, there was no better place to share the initial results of the first Index.  The Index evaluates the G7 group of nations and 20 different industries and public professions, surveying the attitudes of more than 10,000 people.

Read The Global Gender Gap Report 2018 – WEF