Women missing at World Economic Forum

Only 18 percent of all participants at the World Economic Forum 2016 in the Swiss winter sports paradise Davos were women. And that’s just one of an apparently never ending sequence of statistic surveys saying that there is still an incredible lack of women leadership positions.

Written by Jens Kügler

From 20 to 23 January 2016 almost 3,000 people from politics and science and especially from the business community met at the World Economic Forum in the mountain town of Davos in Switzerland. Among these magnates, the share of men was 82 percent. So all the company owners and presidents, all the people with endless long job titles such as Chief Executive Officer World Finance and Business Development – almost exclusively they were male.

There is just one little good news to be added: the percentage of women at the World Forum has continuously been increasing. 2014 it was just 16 percent, in 2015 already 17. However, the reason why there is a rising number of women as participants may be the event organizer’s women’s quota: Since 2011, all companies and institutions which travel to Davos with five or more delegates are asked to include at least one women.

A similarly disillusioning statistics on female executives was recently published, too: the German Startup Monitor 2015. Its publishers are inter alia the auditing and consulting company KPMG and the Association of German Startups. According to this survey, in 2015 more than 43 percent of all new businesses in Germany were founded by women––so far, so good. But the percentage of female startup founders was only 13.

For these different figures, the German Startup Monitor names several reasons. Female enterprise founders usually focused on the classic women’s jobs: They open beauty salons or fashion boutiques. They build up online gift delivery shops or offer their activities in the social and health services. But the booming construction industry, the manufacturing sector, the technical professions and many more remain dominated by the male. As already described in other articles: women have equal opportunities. Basically. But they hardly take them.

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