The W20 Brainstorming Session @OECD
OECD Forum 2018 at OECD Headquarters started with the W20 Argentina’s Brainstorming session for me. The W20 develops policy recommendations through the input received and the different outlook or views and relevant recent developments gathered.
The brainstorming paper included Labor Inclusion, Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion and Rural Inclusion. The team from W20 Argentina and Virginia Littlejohn of Quantum Leaps of the USA gave an elaborated and still neat presentation of where the status of the paper is and received input from a well selected and attended of many expert in the audience including Monika Queisser, the Head of Social Policy in OECD.
The leaders of G20 countries have the goal reducing the gap between the participation rates of men and women by 25% until the year 2025 in their respective countries. Policy recommendations to improve gender balance are desperately needed for the countries to reach their goals.
In the W20, we need to develop systemic and systematic tools without waiting for the governments to develop policies for moving forward on gender equality side. I specifically mentioned the need for moving women forward in rural areas or in the cities where for various reasons when the women can’t leave their homes. The need to access to a technology and further an opportunity to reach or build an income earning capacity for themselves is very important. To achieve this, I proposed a very simple project to undertake. We can enact one time meeting jury for reviewing and choosing the existing quality videos that are already running and translate them to at least 10 other languages to enhance the lifelong learning capacity building in many other countries.
Business at OECD – BIAC General Assembly
I attended to the BIAC General Assembly in the second session. The meeting was moderated by Bernhard Welschke, the Secretary General of Business and Industry Advisory Committee, BIAC, at the OECD. It was well organized meeting with many effective inputs from prominent organizations.
I listened to many recommendations and policy proposals which were insightful. I learned among other things a new terminology called “Zombie Companies” from Alvaro Santos Pereira, the acting Chief Economist of OECD. A company called a Zombie Company if the company couldn’t pay the interest on the loans during last 3 consecutive years. I presume we may have several in my country
Women in Tech Session in #OECDForum
I have worked 20 years in the top management in the local organisation of ABB, the – Swiss – Swedish electrical engineering giant and I have a special sentiment for women in technology. Women in Tech Session in #OECDForum was moderated by Stefan de Vries, correspondent and journalist. The speakers were Susano Balbo, the Chair of W20 from Argentina; Beatrice Clicq of France’s Force Ouvriere; Chiara Condi, President and Founder of Led by Her; Fundacion Proacceso, who works on bridging the digital divide by providing educational tools in low-income regions of Mexico. Emmanuelle Quiles of Janssen France and Tarah Wheeler, the author of Women in Tech. The closing remarks were made by Monika Queisser, the Head of Social Policy Division in OECD.
The Women 20 – W20 – is the outreach group of G20 for women enhancing women’s status in the business environment. It appears that women owned and operated companies are relatively smaller but less riskier businesses and these kind of businesses are needed during the economic downturns and as women owned. With this attribute women owned and operated companies produce a solution by guaranteeing development in their respective countries. Further, women owned and operated companies need to increase in number, prosper and have a say on government policies.
Force Ouvriere or FO “The General Confederation of Labor” or in direct translation – Workers’ Force. FO is a prominent labor union confederation in France. FO was founded in 1947 which is an indication of the France’s friendly outlook to the labor market.
“Led by Her” is a relatively new initiation which empowers women who have suffered from violence through entrepreneurship. Chairo Condi is a graduate of Harvard. She worked for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and started her own initiation Led by Her.
Janssen is an international conglomerate and a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson and is involved in innovative medical research and development practices for many complex diseases like HIV, Alzheimer’s disease and hearth disease or cancer, but not limited to these.
The book written by Tarah Wheeler carry the title of “Women in Tech” same as the session. The book was published in 2016 and includes advice as well as inspiring stories to encourage women.
The Chair of W20 Argentina and internationally recognized and successful wine maker from Argentina – Susano Balbo said “I had to spend more time at work when compared to my male counterparts in the vineyard business. When they were going home, they saw that I was still working in the vineyard and they even sometimes teased me about this. I spent comparably less time with my family, I couldn’t achieve a good life and work balance and at times I even sacrificed from my own health. Furthermore, I believe I paid higher cost of payroll when compared to my competitors. With all this sacrifice, I was able to achieve a sustainable success I was looking forward to.”
Susano Balbo also mentioned “rule of three” where when there is three women in a board or management team to start the gender balance recognition and when women’s contribution start working.
Condi said that they have seen and even proven that entrepreneurship is transferable. Together with Cap Gemini they have developed 300 hours of entrepreneurship training and mobilized women into entrepreneurship. They have worked with marginalized population and succeeded in getting them earn an income of their own.
Emmanuel Quilles is the local head of Janssen in France and she said that in pharma sector they have a lot of researchers and she is proud of the fact that half of these researchers in her company are women.
Tara Wheeler said we need to see that women shine more when we put the spotlight on the salaries, on the unconscious bias in letting women have seats or positions as well as in training opportunities within their firms. She also pointed out that even though there is lack of women as role models at leadership positions, women’s existing digital leadership is unfortunately currently declining. There is a systemic problem in letting women get in.
Monica Quassier said that “in OECD, we have been working on gender issues since more than 10 years and we have identified many issues to deal with. She cited the main issues: The first is the confidence issue. Women lack the necessary confidence in most cases. Second place goes to sexual harassment at work place. The third issue cited was lack of visibility of women as role models. In OECD all male panels are no longer allowed. Retention of women in tech is another issue. Equality in parental leave and quality and equality in paid and unpaid work are yet the other core issues to deal with.
W20 Roundtable on Digital Inclusion at the Embassy of Argentina in Paris
This was also a successful meeting with a concrete outcome and well worked text. Susano Balbo was chairing it and the text is out in circulation.
I am advised to write short. So, this appears to be summary of very successful meetings in 3 days in Paris.