Transforming Women's Leadership Pathways
While gender equality is improving in higher education institutions, professions and industry, globally women are still in the minority amongst CEOs, board and executive members of major companies, professors and political leaders. This pioneering digital event brings together opinion shaping women and men to examine the evidence on the critical factors that limit women’s pathways to senior leadership in their fields, and to develop ten action plans that articulate the practical actions Government, Universities and Industry must take to close the leadership gender gap. The Transforming Women’s Leadership Pathway digital event is an initiative of the PLuS Alliance (Arizona State University, Kings College London and UNSW Sydney) and is a foundational event in our joint work towards gender equity in leadership.
The ten action plans will be produced into a single Action Plan titled What will it take: women in leadership by 2030.
The #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements have shone a spotlight on the social, reputational and economic costs of ignoring injustice. If we were ever in doubt of the importance of diversity and inclusion, not just to economic prosperity but also to the very fabric of our society, that has been dispelled by these global movements. Countries cannot thrive without the inclusion of all women. We must expand the pathway to see more gender diverse women, more women of colour, more women with disability, and more LGBTIQ women reach senior leadership. It is crucial that we are in the room.
The gendered impact of COVID-19 has wiped out much of the progress that had been made. COVID-19 has changed the way we work globally. We must overcome the barriers, and leverage the opportunities that will accelerate the pathways for women getting to the top.
The time is now. We must step up and strengthen the current pathways and forge new ones where needed, to ensure future generations benefit from women in leadership. We can’t afford to wait.
What is distinctive about this event?
This will be the first time a group of top international universities have come together to work with Industry and Government to tackle this global challenge. Together we will identify what it will take to dramatically increase the representation of women in leadership in ten key areas of our economies by 2030.
This is not a one-off event. It is a practical planning session building on previous work to workshop action plans for each key sector. We will publish the action plans and work individually and in concert with Industries and Governments to drive change.
The working group areas are: The Arts, Corporate, Engineering, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Higher Education, Media & Communications, Medicine, Policy & Politics, Science and Technology.
Each working group will test their recommendations against the guiding principles of intersectionality, sustainability and changing work and work patterns to ensure that the solutions are inclusive and adaptive for future ways of working.
Call to action
We must be ambitious, innovative and bold to accelerate change, and we need to act now.
We are asking participants to leave no stone unturned in identifying what it will take to increase the representation of women in leadership in each sector. We need to be clever and potentially radical in our problem solving, and we need to be impactful.
We are on a cusp where we can leverage the extraordinary work that has gone before, seize the pivotal time created by the Black Lives Matter & MeToo movements, and use the critical mass we have achieved to propel women’s leadership forward. The global leadership profile needs to transform to be more inclusive and representative of the world. Progress on closing the gender gap has slowed, and we must accelerate our progress and keep up the momentum. What will it take? The time is now.