World Economic Forum Enforces First Female Quotas

As it completed its 2011 Annual Meeting in Davos on Saturday, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum (WEF) was no doubt busy assessing its decision to implement its first-ever quota for female representation. The WEF, responding to massive criticism of the limited attendance of women at the gathering of the world’s ruling business leaders, announced prior to the event that at least one of the five delegates sent by each of its “strategic partners” had to be female. 

In a world where women make up almost half of the workforce and make 85% of all consumer choices, but constitute only 3% of Fortune 500 business CEOs, 6% of top paying positions and 16% of the corporate officers, this action by the WEF was admirable, but also shows that we have a long way to go in gender leadership parity. Women are a great untapped resource in the workplace, bringing unique skills, insights and perspective to any business or industry. Not only that, but in the growth of the green economy which promises to revolutionize how we address climate change and sustainability in the 21st century, women must emerge as the leaders in this field.

Earth Day Network is working with its partners to empower women and increase female leadership in creating a sustainable green economy. With groups such as the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Initiative (C3E) and the United Nations Foundation, our Women and the Green Economy (WAGE™) campaign is motivating women business, government and NGO leaders in accelerating the green movement. EDN also endeavors to motivate girls and women to get involved in environmental activism at all levels, from community to state, from national to international. Join our efforts for women, girls and the entire environmental movement by registering your Earth Day 2011 event, pledging an Act of Green, or organizing a Global Day of Conversation in your community!

Hannah Schneider is an intern with Earth Day Network's International Programs.