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OECD Forum 2019: Reykjavik Index for Leadership: Do People Prefer Women or Men as Leaders?

In the framework of the 20th OECD Forum World in EMotion, WPL organised a Discovery Lab session on the Reykjavik Index for Leadership, on Tuesday 21st May in Paris.

Focusing on the Index, a powerful tool launched by WPL, in cooperation with Kantar – which measures attitudes and perception of women and men in leadership positions – the session provided an interactive space to explore the existing gaps resulting from the Index and stereotypes which are hindering the progress towards a more equal world.

“Addressing the gender gap is crucial, we cannot afford otherwise in the current digital revolution,” said Nadia Calviño, Minister of Economy and Business of Spain and one of the speakers of the session, “To achieve success, we need to bring men in this discussion. The moment they realise the importance for the society, men will embrace change!”

According to Tatyana Teplova, Head, Governance for Gender, Justice and Inclusiveness at OECD, and facilitator of the session, the Index plays a fundamental role in providing the right information to progress towards equality.

“The forming of stereotypes is very much linked to tradition and societal attitudes and it is not possible to change it overnight,” continued Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President of WPL, “It is important to capitalise on the best available workforce in the countries to achieve structural changes; role models play a very important role in this transformation.”

All participants agree that “girls won’t be what they don’t see” and that media have a role to play to show a different kind of leadership.

There is a long way to go before society can reach Index scores of 100, which would mean that there is an agreement that women and men are equally suited for leadership. The discussion showed that evidence, and in particular the Reykjavik Index can support the endeavours to reach equality.