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Return on Equality: Inside Day 1 Of The Equality Lounge @ Davos 2018

It was clear from the conversations inside the packed room at the Equality Lounge during day one of Davos that gender diversity isn’t just on the minds of Davos attendees this year, but is actually reshaping how leaders are running their companies.  The day addressed everything from how to create cultures of care and achieve the UN’s global goals, to rewriting the rules of capitalism and using technology to build more inclusive communities.

The research shows that it’s not just women who benefit from inclusivity—when you lift women up, everyone benefits. The findings in our Return on Equality study, that we produced in partnership with Catalyst, supports the messages we heard today, including the fact that a 1% increase in a workforce’s gender and ethnic diversity yields a respective 3% and 9% increase in sales. We also found that a company’s innovation revenue increases when the proportion of its female managers rises above 20%.

The numbers may speak for themselves, but the inspirational stories we heard from the day’s panelists hammered this home. For some, like Lauren Leader Chivee, the founder of All In Together, female empowerment has been a lifelong mission. And for others, a quote from will.i.am might sum it up the best: “Who am I to empower women? They already have power.”

Below are a few of our favorite quotes from the day:

“Women and minorities who advocate for diversity get penalized a little bit. Whereas men who do it are actually rewarded and get a pat on the back for it…Then if we don’t speak, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for this issue to gain traction.” – Adam Grant, bestselling author of Originals and professor, The Wharton School

“Less wishbone, more back bone. The wishbone component is very much along the lines of, ‘If I keep my head down, I’ll get noticed and do good work and therefore get rewarded.’ But you need to have the back bone, you need to have thecourage to ask for what you want next. It’s all about the strategic ask.” – Terri Cooper, Chief Inclusion Officer, Deloitte US Consulting

“Everyone wants impact. The more we can show that these behaviors we’re trying to drive have impact, the more success we’ll have.” – Tara Walpert Levy, Vice President of Agency and Media Solutions, Google

“Gender equality and education make all of the other global goals possible.” – Claudia Romo Edelman, UNICEF Special Advisor, Global Goals Cast Host, and Chairman, We Are All Human Campaign

“86% of women will go on to mentor at least two other people when they are mentored…As we look to the future, how do women with voice and power give voice to those women who don’t have it?” – Alyse Nelson, President and CEO, Vital Voices Global Partnership

“Amplify the voice of the woman sitting next to you at the table.” – Tina Daniels, Director, Agency Business Development, Omnicom, Google

“Women want to do well in their own lives, but overwhelmingly they also want to do good.” – Lauren Leader Chivee, Founder, All In Together

“Economic empowerment creates other kinds of change.” – Ellen Chilemba, Tiwale and Global Citizen Youth Advocate

“Your network is your currency.” – Catherine LaCour, Chief Marketing Officer, Blackbaud