Know Before You Go To The Equality Lounge @ Davos: The Women Leading The WEF 2018

Outside The Equality Lounge @ Davos 2017

In 2015, 17% of Davos attendees were women. In 2016, that number nudged up to 18%. In 2017, women finally broke the 20% attendee mark.

While the 2018 overall attendance by women remains to be seen, there’s reason to believe that it’ll be higher than ever before: For the first time ever, Davos will be led by 100% women. The World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting will be hosted by seven female co-chairs, who will guide this year’s agenda that’s focused on “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.”

Inside the Equality Lounge @ Davos, we’ll be featuring panels and discussions dedicated to addressing how to drive equality in the workplace. We’ll have more than 100 thought leaders sharing insights and advice on how we can activate change, together. Starting tomorrow, you’ll find recaps of the most important takeaways from the women and men inside the Equality Lounge here on our site, and also on our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

As you’re gearing up for the kickoff of Davos, stay in the know by meeting the 2018 co-chairs of the World Economic Forum:

Sharan Burrow Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

Sharan Burrow: Burrow is the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. In 1992, she was president of the Australian Education Union. She was also the first female president of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

In her words: “I am a warrior for women and we still have work to ensure the inclusion of women in the workplace…The struggles for women are multiple…but the investment in and participation of women is not only a moral mandate, it is an investment in democracy and a bulwark against fundamentalism and oppression.”

Fabiola Gianotti Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

Fabiola Gianotti: Gianotti is the director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva (she’s the first woman to hold this position). Gianotti announced the discovery of the Higgs boson particle and was named among the “Top 100 most inspirational women” by The Guardian.

In her words: “The search for knowledge is a long and difficult task.”

Isabelle Kocher Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

Isabelle Kocher: Kocher is CEO of the French energy company, ENGIE, becoming the only female CEO in the CAC 40 (a benchmark French stock market index). In September 2017, Fortune named her third on its international list of most powerful women.

In her words: “…I’m a business leader who is always looking for ways to improve team performance, and a scientist guided by empirical evidence. What do the facts tell us? A continuous stream of research has consistently shown that gender balance is critical to economic performance.”

Christine Lagarde Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

Christine Lagarde: Lagarde is the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, the first woman to lead the organization. Earlier in her career she became the first female chair of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. When she was a teenager, Lagarde was a member of the French national synchronized swimming team.

In her words: “I have a theory that women are generally given space and appointed to jobs when the situation is tough. I’ve observed that in many instances. In times of crisis, women eventually are called upon to sort out the mess, face the difficult issues, and be completely focused on restoring the situation.”

Ginni Rometty Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

Ginni Rometty: Rometty is chairman, president, and CEO of IBM (the first woman to run the company). Rometty joined IBM in 1981 as a systems engineer. Bloomberg has named her one of the 50 most influential people in the world.

In her words: “Growth and comfort do not coexist.”

Chetna Sinha Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

Chetna Sinha: Sinha is founder and chair of the Mann Deshi Foundation in India. She is the founder and chairperson of Mann Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank, the first bank in India for and by rural women to get a license from the Reserve Bank of India.

In her words: “Ownership of property, knowledge and financial capital by women—if women have ownership of all these, their potential is unlimited.”

Erna Solberg Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

Erna Solberg: Solberg is the prime minister of Norway, the second woman to hold the position. She holds a master’s degree in sociology, political science, statistics, and economics.

In her words: “When you invest in a girl’s education she feeds herself, her children, her community, and her nation.”

Check back to see the most important takeaways on how to activate solutions for change from The Equality Lounge at this year’s World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting.