Because it’s 2016: Talking gender parity in Davos

For the record, a transcript from Davos from a panel on gender parity

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On Jan. 22 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participated in a panel discussion titled Progress Towards Parity. For the record, here’s a transcript of that conversation.


Lyse Doucet, Journalist, BBC;

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation;

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer and Board Member, Facebook;

Jonas Prising, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Manpower USA;

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister;

Zhang Xin, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, SOHO China.

Lyse Doucet:                        Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Bienvenue. Merci d’être venus. My name is Lyse Doucet, and I’m a journalist with the BBC. What’s the job of a journalist? To bring you the news. So let me first bring you the good news. The good news is that you’re all here, and that sends us a message that gender parity, closing the gap matters to all of you, to all of us. But you’re saying, “Hey, journalists bring us bad news,” and sadly, I have bad news. And why? Well, to quote a recently-elected rather famous Canadian politician, “Because it’s 2015,” or because it’s 2016. Why are we here?

WEF has just published its global gender gap report, and it’s called The Tenth Anniversary. It’s like being in a bad relationship, and you really don’t want to celebrate your tenth anniversary. Why are we still here in 2016 discussing gender parity and doing it at a time when WEF is telling us that we are embarking on the fourth Industrial Revolution? Women are still struggling to keep up with the first three revolutions, and this is a revolution that we are being told is going to transform the workplace, transform technology, make old jobs obsolete and create new ones. And it’s going to get even tougher for women. But does it have to be?

How can we be sure that in this revolution women and men are going to benefit, and not just as people who work in the workplace, but men and women who are also mothers, fathers, sisters, friends, that we have a more humane way of working so that everyone can be – play a role in society? It’s an important conversation, and we have a very important panel.

Beginning with my Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister. Welcome. Bienvenue. We have Sheryl Sandberg who of course is the – on the Board of Facebook and also author of the very successful Lean In — and some of you may be part of the Lean In groups — and she’s also a Young Global Leader. Melinda Gates is also with us. Her official title is the Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Welcome to you. Jonas Prising is the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of Manpower USA. Ladies and gentlemen, he was only allowed to be on this panel with one condition: when he comes back to WEF next year, he’s going to be the CEO of Human Power. He’s going to change the name. You heard it here first. And last, but not least, Zhang Xin who’s the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of SOHO China. And that is not like a seedy district in London or a fashionable club. It is the prime real estate company operating in China. And you know what that means.

Okay, let us say where we are now and where – how we can get out from where we are. Melinda Gates, you recently spoke about another report that was done called the No Ceiling, Full Participation Report where they said that men were in the workplace, 50 – no, 82 percent, women 55 percent. Closing the gap, if I quote you correctly, “We’re not even close.” Why?

Melinda Gates:                    Well, I think – I think we need to look at these issues really across the broad spectrum — high, middle, low income countries. And to me, one of the most encouraging things is that the Sustainable Development Goals that were set by 193 United Nations countries here last fall, it was the first time that when the goals got reset, women and girls were at the absolute centre of the agenda.

And the reason for that is that we’ve all come to recognize — prime ministers, presidents, heads of companies — that if you want the world – if we want this increase in equity across the world, if you want the increase of your GDP, you’ve got to get the other half working and participating in the economy. And that means doing things like making sure that women participate in health, that they and their children have health around the world. That’s the precursor; you start there.

Then they have to have decision-making. That often means you’ve got to be able to go to school and get educated, so you can then have economic opportunity and participate in society. We know that when society gets that virtuous cycle going for men and for women, everybody’s lifted up.

And so we have a blueprint now as a world of where we want to go. We have a set of goals, but to me, goals are only wishes unless you have a plan. And so I think we need to have a really good repository of data, specific data to say this is where we are with women and girls around the world, just like we do in health. It’s why we’ve made such huge progress around the world the last 10 years in health. And then we need to take specific actions as a community. And that’s why I’m excited about panels like these because we get to discuss all the issues in all of those countries.

Lyse Doucet:                        Sheryl Sandberg, what’s holding women back in the workplace, top five?

Sheryl Sandberg:                You don’t even need five. You need just a few. You need – one is our expectations for what is appropriate for women. What’s so interesting is that culturally we’re so different around the world, but there is a really deep cultural similarities to our gender stereotypes, which is that men are expected to lead, to provide, to be decision-makers, and women are expected to nurture.

Lyse Doucet:                        Still?

Sheryl Sandberg:                Still. And that’s true in the office where we actually expect women to do more office housework. We expect more women to do more of the communal tasks in the office, and we don’t reward them. And when men do favours for other people, they get broadly rewarded in the workplace. And then at home, we expect, and women continue to do, the great majority of house care – housework and child care even when they work full-time. So having expectations that women will be results-focussed, contribute, providers, and men will be nurturers would change a lot.

The next is that along with this, we have expectations for women, and it goes with this, that they won’t lead. I’m going to do what I love to do. Men only – only men, please, raise your hand if you’ve been told you’re too aggressive at work. Only men. There’s always one or two. Don’t be shy. Women, raise your hand if you’ve been told somewhere in your career you’re too aggressive at work.

Lyse Doucet:                        Ooh.

Sheryl Sandberg:                Okay, ready? Men, raise your hand if anyone’s ever said to you, “Should you be working?”

Lyse Doucet:                        Ooh.

Sheryl Sandberg:                Anyone ever said that to you, “Should you be working?” No. No, okay. Women, raise your hand if anyone’s ever said to you, “Should you be working?” That’s the issue. And those expectations just continue.

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Lyse Doucet:                        Okay. Well, let’s have a show of hands. Should women be working?

Melinda Gates:                    Absolutely.

Lyse Doucet:                        There you go.

Sheryl Sandberg:                Well, they are working. They have to work.

Lyse Doucet:                        They always invite the same kind of people to Davos. I don’t know why they don’t bring in a bit more diversity. Jonas Prising, are women still making the coffee and tea over at Manpower, doing those nurturing roles in the office?

Jonas Prising:                     No, no, they’re not. They’re actively and extensively participating at all levels. And thanks for leading by this paradox which was gleefully pointed out by my fellow panellists in our room earlier of the CEO of Manpower Group coming here and talking about gender parity. But I can assure you I’m not here to allay my guilt at our name, which is a brand in 80 countries for 70 years, so therefore it might be difficult to change it, but rather here because from our perspective, as we look at the millions of job seekers that come to us that we deploy across the world, we can clearly see that in many, many economies, first of all, women are more educated than men in terms of absolute education levels, but they’re not participating at the same – same levels as women are in organizations. And at the same time, employers are complaining about skill shortages.

And as part of the fourth Industrial Revolution, what’s going to happen is that employers and countries are going to need more people with the right skills, not less. So to have women not participate when they do have the skills is clearly a sub-optimization of a massive scale. So there’s that aspect of the need for women to participate to make sure that we can drive great growth.

And also of course there is – there is a very important part around the decision-making that happens at Manpower Group. We fundamentally believe we’ll make better business decision if we have diverse – diversity in thinking and diversity of all kinds, and that requires participation at all levels and of course also an equal gender participation. That’s just going to be a better business for us.

Lyse Doucet:                        And you’ve brought in a new expression, which is a much better one than used to be called quotas or tokenism. You call it conscious inclusion for those who lead in the workplace. And I think I should point out here that the kind of attitudes that Sheryl Sandberg was talking about are held not just by men, but sadly, also by women.

Sheryl Sandberg:                Absolutely.

Lyse Doucet:                        It’s – they’re held on both sides, so this is not pointing — with all due respect to the men in the panel, our very gender-balanced panel here at WEF — that it is women, we are also at fault for holding those ideas. So it’s got to be – people have to think about this and actively make it happen. It’s not going to happen organically.

Justin Trudeau, you made headlines worldwide when at your first press conference where you rolled out your — let me call it the 50/50 cabinet — the first gender-balanced cabinet in Canadian history and you were asked why that – “Why that gender balance, Mr. Prime Minister?” and you said, “Because it is 2015.” You received a lot of plaudits for that.

But because it is 2015, 2015 in Canada also means that Canada is twice the global average for women earning about $8,000 less than men for doing equivalent work. And I looked at the ratings, the global gender ratings in the WEF study — which I urge you to read — Canada’s still 30. We’re not doing that great for a country which talks about its greatness. What are you going to do?

Photo gallery: Justin Trudeau’s cabinet

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               Well, there’s – there’s a lot of hard work to do. And the first part is recognizing it. And I was obviously pleased when people took notice of our gender-balanced cabinet, but people have to know that before I could say “Because it’s 2015,” an awful lot of hard work went into 2012, 2013, 2014 to get to that place.

We used social media and email blasts as a political campaign to reach out to communities with a campaign called Ask Her to Run, telling people to ask prominent women, you know, hard workers in the community, people they knew, people who had contributors – contributions to make, people who just thought they might be able to make a difference to think about running for office because study after study has shown that if you ask a man if he wants to run for office, his first question is likely to be, “Well, do I have wear a tie every day?” and if you ask a woman if she wants to run for office, her first question is usually, “Really? Why me?” And that idea that do you really think I’m qualified for it, and you have to ask more often, which you know, honestly is really frustrating.

So we said, okay, if we know we have to ask more often, let’s ask more often. And we – we got people to recommend friends, neighbours, in some cases themselves. And then we followed up with them and we asked them, we talked about running. And I personally convinced a number of extraordinary women to step forward along with a number of extraordinary men, to step forward into public office at a time when politics can be very, very divisive.

And I have to say, well, people here at the World Economic Forum know well Chrystia Freeland, who is internationally renowned. It took an awful lot of arm-twisting before she decided — because of family reasons, because of personal and professional reasons — that she should take this leap. And quite frankly, all of Canada and all of the world should be very happy she did because she’s doing an extraordinary job as – as a Trade Minister, but also as a strong woman with a really important voice on the world stage.

Lyse Doucet:                        But even with that effort and even with that in Canada, the percentage of the House – in the House is 26 percent. That’s one percent more than Afghanistan.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               Yes.

Lyse Doucet:                        So I think we still – we still have to do – to do better.

Sheryl Sandberg:                Six percent more than the United States.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               But part of that, therefore – I don’t get to control who gets elected to the House, but I do get to pick who gets to sit in government. And the leadership decision of saying, well, you know what, I’m going to make sure that I can choose 50/50, and you know, the lead-up to our announcement of that cabinet, there were a lot of people making, “Oh, you know, these quotas are bad. It should be merit-based. You know, you shouldn’t be forcing it.” And then once I displayed the cabinet, nobody talked about merit anymore because the people in our cabinet, men and women, are extraordinarily high qualified.

Lyse Doucet:                        And I have to say Canadians and the world will be watching that gender-balanced cabinet because symbols matter, symbolism is important, but substance is much better.

This was to be a panel which mainly focussed on the workplace, but I think you’d all agree that if this is to change, there’s got to be leadership in the workplace, leadership politically and leadership around the world. And of course I should say leadership right in the home as well, between the relationships between men and women and children. But a lot of our experiences here are talking about western cultures. Let’s bring in the world’s real powerhouse, China, and Zhang Xin.

And I have to say I was doing a little bit of research before here, and I put into Google, sorry, China gender gap. And up comes an article on gender gap real estate, which is Xin’s area. I thought, wow, I hit the jackpot. Guess what I found out, ladies and gentlemen? Crucial information. They did a survey in real estate and they asked people what would you like in your house? How about kitchen appliances? Well, you’ll be surprised to hear that 32 percent of single men thought kitchen appliances were the most important thing in their home and only 21 percent of women. And when it came to granite counter tops — come on, who doesn’t want a granite counter top? — 24 percent of men said, “Yes, I want it,” and only 11 percent of women. What is changing in the homes we buy, but what is changing, more importantly in the real estate market?

Everyone talks about the Chinese economic boom, but many people don’t – and even in China, they don’t talk about, I understand, why women are not benefiting, except for high profile examples like you, in this economic boom?

Zhang Xin:                            I think, actually, China is a slightly different situation because we went through a cultural revolution, you know, and those are the days when Mao said women can raise half the sky. So I grew up with seeing every woman work. My mother worked, my aunt worked, everybody worked. There was no women stay at home. So what happened is that today, actually with the last 30 years of reform, you’re seeing two sides of the country. If you see the state-owned sectors or governments, you really don’t see many women, but if you see the private sector, which is the vibrant, the creative side and it’s the driver of the economy, there are an awful lot of self-made women entrepreneurs.

I run the real estate company, I can tell you this is sales – our sales team that are all people based on commission, so I see each sales as like an entrepreneur, the best performing sales are always women. So it just makes me think that women are more natural to be a entrepreneur.

Lyse Doucet:                        So you – the kind of attitudes that Sheryl was talking about and the raising of hands, if we did that same survey in China, you know, how many men think women don’t work, how many men have been told they’re too aggressive, how many women, would you get the same results?

Sheryl Sandberg:                I mean I’ve – I’ve done it.

Zhang Xin:                            She must have done it.

Sheryl Sandberg:                I’ve done it in China. The aggressive thing, you get the same results.

Lyse Doucet:                        The same.

Sheryl Sandberg:                I don’t know about the – I don’t if I remember the working one.

Lyse Doucet:                        And given that you’re working in real estate and you run a very powerful company, what would – what would be the first thing you think would have to change to start addressing the gap because I’m sure there still are gaps in terms of gender parity in the workplace despite what you’ve just said?

Zhang Xin:                            I mean we – in our company, the senior management is naturally 50/50. Actually, it wasn’t because of deliberate – not like the Prime Minister had a quota of 50/50; it just happened that way. And of course the company is run by me and my husband, 50/50 partnership. So that – and some jobs are more for men, like construction jobs, engineers going around the construction, you don’t really get so many women who want to do that job, but also there’s some jobs like sales are naturally women. So I think it’s just if you do not have the bias and prejudice and you just leave it to the natural choice, you probably would end up 50/50.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               I don’t know, I have – I have to disagree with that. In – one of the challenges we have in Canada is – is there’s a lot of young people wanting to go into the trades. And yes, right now there are a few more men than women, but you see a tremendous amount of young women who are excited about – I mean I went to a group of welders at one point, and you know, one was proud to wear a pink helmet. And then I talked to her and she was actually the only one taking the underwater welding course. She was the only one pushing herself further and harder than everyone else and all the guys were looking up to her, and not just because she was in a nontraditional role, but because she was – she was owning it and she was excelling. And just I’d like to get to a point where nobody notices that there might be jobs that more women do or more men do and just look at – at qualifications. And in order to do that, we have to be really thoughtful about how we shape society in a deliberate, and you know, wilful way.

Melinda Gates:                    And I would add to that. We need to look at women’s time because it’s – if you have the expectation that women want to work and should work and are 50/50 in the workforce, you have to also look at their time and where it’s spent. There’s a huge amount of unpaid labour all over the world. So every single day, if you look at the global statistics, women spend four and a half more hours than a man every day at home with tasks at home. They are expected to care for the elderly. They’re expected to care for the children. If somebody gets sick – if you – if you interview Harvard MBAs — two years ago, they did this — coming out, men and women had the same expectations about working, but when you said, “If you choose to get married and have children, who will take the children to the doctor?” both the man and the woman said the woman would leave her job for an hour to go take the child to the doctor.

So we have these unwritten expectations of women. So what we have to do is recognize what our expectations are and then redistribute the workload. I love some of the things that Sheryl talks about in Lean In about you really have to have the conversation inside your own family of what are our roles and expectations and who’s going to do what? And if you don’t have great policies, not maternal leave policies, but family leave policies, so that a man and a woman can take time off, we know that if a man takes time off at the birth of his child, he spends more time with that child and more time on household chores, that’s a redistribution.

You want to talk about the country that has it wrong the most? The United States. We need to change this in the United States. We only have two states today that have a family leave policy, and even those are skewed. We ought to have it in all 50 states. The tech companies are leading with it, but this has to change.

Lyse Doucet:                        But it is – but there is —

Sheryl Sandberg:                We have a toddler – there’s a toddler wage gap in the U.S.

Lyse Doucet:                        There’s a?

Sheryl Sandberg:                Toddler wage gap in the U.S.

Lyse Doucet:                        Yeah.

Sheryl Sandberg:                And different expectations. Little boys in home do fewer chores and get paid more than little girls. No, this is true. We assign our chores to our children in the United States — and it can be worse than other places in the world — where the boys are taking out the trash, it takes less time than cleaning the dishes, and they’re getting higher allowances. And so we start off in our homes with these very different expectations. And the time spent on these tasks is incredibly important and very different.

Lyse Doucet:                        But this is – this is really shocking. Back to because it’s 2015, never have we lived in a world where we are so educated, so well connected, know so much about the world, and I have to just anecdotally, I mean men in this generation do take – are more active in their children’s lives. They do – at least they recognize the need and women recognize the need to share, and yet we’re still having these conversations. If the statistics are correct that something like 33 percent of households in the United States, the main bread winner, to use an old phrase, is a woman, but she may also be a woman doing work in the home.

Sheryl Sandberg:                She still does more in the home. That’s what the data shows very clearly.

Lyse Doucet:                        Okay. Jonas?

Jonas Prising:                     And I would echo Melinda’s – Melinda’s observations because when we look at pipelines, when you look at – you focus on women’s participation in anything as a percentage, you sometimes don’t make the effort to go in and look at what does that percentage mean? And what we found, you know, if you just focus on percentages, you can tick the box and feel good, but the percentages belie the fact that there are break points in women’s lives —

Melinda Gates:                    Yes.

Jonas Prising:                     — when the pressures build up too much at a certain age. Even companies that do very well on a percentage point, they’ll have 50 percent of the workforce up until a certain point and then there’s no migration into more senior leadership roles.

Lyse Doucet:                        And why is that?

Jonas Prising:                     And we can see those break points very much correlating with break points that you would expect in life, you know, when – when the first children are coming and/or when children are there, more income has been earned, but the pressures are building up again. So break points between – there’s a first break point around 30, 28, 30, and then a second — depending on which culture of course where you are in the world — but in the developed countries, you can clearly see break points. We think —

Lyse Doucet:                        But they don’t have to be break points if you’re not penalized at work —

Jonas Prising:                     Of course not.

Lyse Doucet:                        — when you go back.

Jonas Prising:                     Absolutely.

Lyse Doucet:                        And it’s recognized that women will go away because, unfortunately, one thing that so far we can’t change is that the women will give birth to the child and will need a certain amount of time off.

Jonas Prising:                     And what you need – but what you need to think about is that there are break points that then need to be mitigated —

Lyse Doucet:                        Exactly.

Jonas Prising:                     — so you can go past those and you can continue, you know, on the careers that – that women want to have.

Lyse Doucet:                        It’s very interesting the way this conversation is going. It’s almost as if if we are really to have significant changes in the workplace, it has to start with changes in the home and in society. It’s what Xin said, you need a kind of a cultural revolution. You need society to change before the way we work changes because it’s all part of our lives.

So let’s – we’re going to go to the audience in a moment for some questions. Let’s just – one comment from each of you, starting with you, Justin Trudeau. What would have to change first if we are going to make 2016 the year when we’re going to begin to close this gap even more?

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               There’s lots of things, but the thing I’ll pick is that men have to be a big part of this conversation.

Melinda Gates:                    Absolutely.

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Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               One of the things – like I’m incredibly proud to have a partner in my wife Sophie who is extremely committed to women and girls’ issues, but she is – you know, we’re of a like mind on it, and I agree with her on that. And I’ve been very thoughtful about how we raise our daughter. But she caught me – or she took me aside a few months ago and said, “Okay, it’s great that you’re engaged and modelling to your daughter that you want her in power and everything, but you need to take as much effort to talk to your sons” — my eight-year-old boy and my two-year-old’s still a little young still — “about how he treats women and how he is going to grow up to be a feminist just like dad.”

And by the way, we shouldn’t be afraid of the word feminist. Men and women should use it to describe themselves any time they want. (Applause.) But that – that role we have as men in supporting and demanding equality, in demanding a shift is really, really important. And there’s lots of other things governments can do and we’re trying to do but —

Lyse Doucet:                        That’s you.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               — but me personally as a person and as a family member, yeah.

Lyse Doucet:                        Okay, so engage the men. Sheryl.

Sheryl Sandberg:                Understand the motivation. We shouldn’t be working towards equality just because it’s the right thing. We should do it because it’s the smart thing, so from a company point of view or an organizational point of view, if you can use the full talents of the workforce, you’re going to outperform. So whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re the most entry level employee trying to outperform or the CEO, if you engage and really build diverse teams, you’re going to outperform, so do it because it’s going to help you.

Similarly, in the home, we know that couples with more equal – heterosexual couples with more equal relationships have better, stronger relationships, lower levels of female depression, happier marriages, longer term marriages, less divorce. We know that daughters and sons, but particularly daughters and sons too of more active fathers, they do better. They do better emotionally. They have stronger relationships with their parents. They do better in school and they do better professionally. So the reason to work towards equality if you’re a woman or a man is because it’s going to help you.

Lyse Doucet:                        Yes.

Sheryl Sandberg:                And that motivation will carry us through.

Lyse Doucet:                        The arguments seem unassailable, which begs the question is why it’s not happening. Melinda, what would you do?

Melinda Gates:                    Well, one thing I want to bring up a point here, so that we’re not just talking about high income settings or middle income settings is one of the reasons we get to work as women is if we have access to contraceptives. And we know – I mean it’s why women came into the workforce in droves in the United States. We’re not as far as we need to be, but we have 220 million that are asking us for them. Why – not only are they healthier and their children healthier, but if they can space the births of their children, they educate them and then they can work in the workforce, the kids and the moms. So I want to keep that in mind. And part of this – if we’re really about a global conversation.

And the second thing I will just say in any country is role modelling. You don’t change mind sets by just talking about things, you role model. So it’s important for Prime Minister Trudeau to be here and to role model. It’s important for my husband to role model. It’s important for Mark Zuckerberg inside of Facebook to role model paternity leave so it’s okay. So it takes women role-modelling that’s right and it takes men role-modelling that’s right. And it’s going to take all of us doing that. And then expectations do change.

Jonas Prising:                     Yeah, so I think we’ve talked about the case why. Sheryl, you talked about the business case, the moral and especially the business case why this is the right thing. Of course the Prime Minister talks about the leadership and the kind of leadership that you need to have to shift social norms, not the kind of leadership that waves it as one of the prime priorities. And then of course the supporting mechanisms, you know, the contraception, but child care, we see workforce participation rate there is – varies enormously, depending on how robust and comprehensive child care support is, how easily accessible it is and how affordable it is. So to that end —

Lyse Doucet:                        Do you make that possible for your employees? What is your record?

Jonas Prising:                     Well, we operate in 80 countries, so in most of – in many of those countries, child support mechanisms exist and are provided for by the state to the – and in those countries where it doesn’t, we support our women leaders and employees to the degree that we’re absolutely possible, so that they can participate. And they always know that they can – can leave and then – and then come back.

Lyse Doucet:                        And how long is your maternity and paternity leave?

Jonas Prising:                     It depends by country, so it is all legislated and – and you know, as far as our policies are concerned, we always follow everything that – that we can, so that our women are able to come back as quickly as they’re able to. But I do think —

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               For your employees in Canada, know that we’re improving. We already have a good system — better than the United States, not that that’s saying much — but we’ve – one of our commitments was to increase flexibility so that both partners can share it better, can be more parental leave over a shorter period of time with greater amounts or less amounts over a longer period of time to allow for maximum flexibility to reflect the realities of families. I mean that’s – that’s the big thing, that workforce is changing, families’ relationship to it is changing, allow for flexibility. And that’s one of the things we’re working for.

Lyse Doucet:                        But Jonas, I’d like to steal Sheryl’s phrase.

Jonas Prising:                     Yes.

Lyse Doucet:                        I hope you will lean in and you and other members of the global business elite will not just say, okay, Thailand’s – oh, this is the maternity leave in Thailand, this is the maternity leave in China. You should say, “This should be your maternity leave,” because you know that they – the levels are not great in a lot of countries.

Jonas Prising:                     And for all of the countries —

Lyse Doucet:                        And you’re accepting it as a given.

Jonas Prising:                     I am accepting it as a given and – no, I am promoting clearly the need to include as many people into the workforce as possible because that’s the only way that those economies are going to grow.

Lyse Doucet:                        Mm-hm.

Jonas Prising:                     But I think from – from taking all of those as necessary, but not sufficient, actions, from an organizational perspective, to see women rise through the organization, the purposeful and deliberate – the purposeful and deliberate navigation of the kinds of roles that we want women to have will eventually in the pipeline determine what kind of roles they can ascend to. So many women tend to be clustered in certain professions and/or in certain functions. And we believe for there to be more female leaders at the helm of companies — and there are only four percent of companies that are led by female CEOs — you need to make sure that you have women in technical roles, in business roles, in P&L roles because you won’t be able to make the shift late on in your career and just move over. You have to build a body of work and performance and of course results within the areas that you would need if you’re going to run a big organization, but that has to be —

Lyse Doucet:                        And great – and great role models and that others who join the (crosstalk) —

Jonas Prising:                     Great role models but – but it’s not only about role models. It’s enabling women to move into those roles and make it early and purposefully because the social norms and the corporate culture and the expectations may work against that, so you have to work against that, so that you’re able to put more women in the pipeline for those kinds of roles.

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 9.17.46 AM

(World Economic Forum)

Lyse Doucet:                        I’m sure you’re going to change the company name. Xin, from you, one – what would you change from what you’ve seen?

Zhang Xin:                            I believe in quotas.

Lyse Doucet:                        Quotas?

Zhang Xin:                            I think quotas would be a effective way of breaking some of the old, long tradition and habits in bias. And I think that, you know, we talk about this gap in the numbers, of percentage, but what if we have some quotas? Like the Prime Minister have a 50/50 quota. That’s a quota, right? You know, he says this is 2015. Now I don’t know what’s the right number for quota, but I think that would be a effective way of breaking the bias against women.

Lyse Doucet:                        That is being used in boardrooms. Norway started off, what is it, 40 percent in the boardroom. Some resistence. In some countries, it’s working. Melinda, does it work, quotas?

Melinda Gates:                    I think different countries are experimenting with different models, so Germany has a quota system now for boards, France does. Other ones, like the UK, set a goal of where they wanted to go. They actually got there quite quickly, and they had less of a stock market drop by saying it’s the right thing to do, it’s an expectation we have. Let’s figure out how to fill the pipeline. They did it within four years. So I think you can experiment with different ways, but again, having it out there, having it in front and saying what is our expectation helps a lot.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               Our largest province of Ontario has an extraordinary homosexual female premier. And Premier Wynne put forward on corporate boards just a simple requirement that they report explicitly their gender balance, that you say – you know, they’re not going to tell you what to do, but we’re going to say you have to let everybody know what your governance gender balance is, and that puts a tremendous amount of positive pressure on people to do it without, you know, having calls that we’re interfering or imposing. Just say, hey, if you want to justify it to your shareholders, go ahead.

Sheryl Sandberg:                The thing that’s worth noting is quotas can be effective and there are different countries and different models. They haven’t been effective in moving the things which aren’t quotaed. So in Norway, there’s been a 40 percent quota for women on boards and women in Parliament for over 10 years, and they have 40 percent women on boards and 40 percent women in Parliament. Do you know how many women run their top companies? 3.4 percent. Has not moved the numbers. Has not moved the numbers anywhere else in the corporation. And so while they may be good in some circumstances, and I think each company and country needs to decide themselves, we can’t rely on quotas because they’re not moving the things which are not – they’re not applied to. It’s not trickling down.

Lyse Doucet:                        Or up, yeah. Or up.

Melinda Gates:                    The other thing we’re not even talking about on this panel is also though if you talk about this fourth Industrial Revolution, if you believe in a digital revolution, the technologies that are coming, women are so under represented in math, in science, in technology. In fact, when I went to college — I’m a Computer Science major — I didn’t realize we reached the peak in the United States. Thirty-four percent of women were coming out of college with a computer science degree. We’re down to 17 percent. So if you want to say we’re creating the new products for society that men and women and boys and girls are going to use, you have to get women to participate in those fields. So we have to do a lot more.

Even inside the Foundation, when we want to fill a top science post, we don’t let the recruiter just send us male resumes. In fact, we’ll keep the resumes, we’ll keep the interview loop open until we get enough good qualified women. That is not only role modelling, that’s sponsoring, that’s taking behavioural action. Guess what? We have fantastic women scientists inside the Foundation because of that behaviour and that action.

Lyse Doucet:                        These are all really, really good points. And you know, just listening to everyone, it makes me think you know what? I think this is the WEF panel that has the greatest chance of succeeding in what it sets out to do. And why? Because of all you here, you may go to the panel about, say, the Fortune 500, or you know, taking care of climate change or solving the war in Syria, and you sit in your seat and you think, “God, what can I – what does that have to do to me? How can I stop the war in Syria?” Well, look at what we’re talking today. It begins in the home. It begins with every single one of us as mothers, fathers. It all begins with us in society. And the only way that by next year if we come back and the gap will be closed is that everyone starts thinking right from the way you raise your children, the way you interact with your colleagues and friends, the way you interact in the workplace, that is the only chance of this succeeding.

Let me go to your questions. Please raise your hand. Say who you are unless you – your husband or your wife didn’t know you’re here and you don’t want them to find out. Okay. The woman with her hand held highest. Okay.

Question:                              Thank you very much. Can you hear me? Great. My name is Melissa. I’m a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, very well versed in some women’s human rights. I first want to thank the WEF for putting this panel on the main stage. This wasn’t here last year, and I very much appreciate it.

My second question is that I wanted to call out the number that of the white badge delegates that are here at the WEF, the number is 18 percent are women. And I want people to just take a minute and look around this room and probably gage the percentage of women that are in this room. It’s over 50, maybe 60. And so my question would say, or would ask, you know, really, we need to have more men in this audience. And I know we talked about having men as part of this allyship (ph) and moving this deal (ph) but how can we make this conversation pass the people in this room, so we’re not preaching to the choir? Thank you.

Lyse Doucet:                        Keep the conversation going. Okay, who else had – this woman in the front row. Don’t worry, men, I’ll get you eventually.

Question:                              Thank you. Hi. First, I’d like to thank you for the work that you’re doing in terms of the gender equality, but I’d like to issue a challenge and also an overlay. My name’s Denise Bradley Tyson. I’m President of San Francisco Film Commission, Vice-Chair of the Tourism Diversity Community for San Francisco and an internet entrepreneur with a retail site trying to support women’s cooperatives and artisans around the world. But the same conversation that we’re having, you know, the feel excluded as a woman, I feel, you know, empowered by what we’re trying to do, but as a person of colour and if we look at the numbers in terms of people of colour, particularly in the U.S., African-Americans and Latinos, this is a whole other conversation that I think needs to be added to the agenda because those numbers are horrific when we think about the boardroom, the corporate – heads of corporate America.

Lyse Doucet:                        That’s a very good point. Thank you. Thank you for bringing it into the conversation. (Applause.) Okay. Two women with their hands held high. One with the nice gray hair, one with the gray scarf. Choose first.

Question:                              Hi. My name is Nadia Misogi (ph). I’m a Global Shaper in the Cape Town hub in South Africa. And my organization develops women engineers and girls in technology in different African countries.

Lyse Doucet:                        Fantastic. Well done. We want more of that. Yes. (Applause.)

Question:                              I also have a pink hard hat.

Lyse Doucet:                        Fantastic.

Question:                              And a fantastic selfie with Justin Trudeau in a pink hard hat. And it brings back to the question around STEM and there was a question around the panel about girls not wanting to do engineering. And thank you very much for correcting that because as – there’s a lot of girls that do want to do engineering and we’ve – there’s been so many initiatives, both in Africa as well as in the U.S., but the needles just aren’t moving. So where do we need to start? And my dad joked once and he said you’ve got a Go ENG program to get more girls into engineering. Maybe you should with Tod ENG to get toddlers excited about engineering.

Lyse Doucet:                        Exactly.

Question:                              Is that where we do – where we need to start?

Lyse Doucet:                        Exactly. You’re absolutely right. Thank you. And thank you. We love those hats. Where can we get one?

Question:                              Next WEF we’ll all be in pink hats. I’m Taun Wright, CEO of Equal Read. And I work to increase diversity in children’s literature. And I am speaking up because I agree that there’s so much that needs to happen in the home, and it’s important that we all recognize that stereotype develops in children as early as two and a half and that the environment is more powerful than family in establishing bias in children. And so it’s essential that we think about what materials we’re surrounding our kids with and that there’s a density of cues that support inclusion in our society, especially in the classrooms.

Lyse Doucet:                        Thank you very much. There is a new movement now which is saying don’t – don’t make the toys gender specific. This poor man was trying to raise his hand high there.

Question:                              Thank you. My name is Frederico Rivas, and I’m a Global Shaper from the San Salvador hub and an entrepreneur. Sheryl, I’m a huge fan of your book Lean In, and I’ve given it several times. And I actually would like to offer – I don’t know if another man has started a movement, but I would personally like to offer myself to start Lean In in El Salvador, a country that needs more women to stop violence and to produce all sorts of amazing things.

Now I wanted to ask you on the role for legislation, recently in Panama a law has been passed that requires that in the corporate boards there’s a minimum percentage of women in it. So I wanted to know your perspective. And also Minister Trudeau if you’re also looking to implement similar policies and what role policy-making should also have to have more inclusiveness of women even at the highest levels as well. Thank you.

Sheryl Sandberg:                Yeah, so I think, as I said before, quotas can be useful. They have not been shown to successfully move the things which they are not directly applied to. So it can be a useful tool, but it will never be sufficient. It can be one step that people can choose to take or not.

And starting Lean In in El Salvador, we appreciate it. We have Lean In in El Salvador. So along with the book a couple of years ago, started the foundation Lean In, and we help women and men set up Lean In Circles, small groups that meet monthly to help people work towards gender equality. There are over 26,000 now in over a 170 countries in the world, including El Salvador. And most importantly, 80 percent of the people that join one will say that they changed something positive in their life in the first six months.

Importantly, they’ve – we have a lot of partners. There are a lot of them in companies as well. Some of them are in the community, a lot on college campuses. We have very specific ones for computer science and engineering, which Facebook and LinkedIn sponsored because we want to give a push to women in those fields, but also within companies where they can be a really useful tool to raise issues in an anonymous way because one of the challenges people have is a lot of the stuff we’re talking about is unconscious bias. And it’s both men and women acting against women in leadership, but it’s stuff that’s really hard to raise because it feels small, and these are the paper cuts that keep women from getting all the way to the top.

What the circles do is they provide an anonymous way where people are able to say, well, in my circle, we heard X, and they’re able to raise those issues without having to take on their direct manager, which should go well and doesn’t always. And it can raise those issues in a very communal way. And so I hope you start them in your company. We’ll certainly help you, but it’s all up for free on

Question:                              Thank you.

Lyse Doucet:                        Mr. Trudeau, your question is interesting because if change is to come about, how much of it does have to come from governments, that you actually legislate, make – not just quotas in the workplace, but actually legislation which says you – basically, you have to do this or it’s good for you to do it?

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               Well, different governments will make different choices, and I mentioned the Ontario example, but on my personal example, yes, there’s one board I got to appoint and I chose that the cabinet be 50/50, but I also appoint as government, as Prime Minister, thousands of positions across the government, and we have made it very, very explicit that gender balance and diversity as well, not just for its own sake, but because you’re getting better decision-making, you’re getting a governance that reflects the reality of the broad population you’re supposed to serve. So being conscious and mindful and consistent in pushing this not because you have to or because there’s legislation, but because you’re getting better quality of service for citizens out if is at the centre of our approach.

Lyse Doucet:                        Can you share a little bit of confidential information with us because it is Davos, after all? The charge that’s often made when you say, okay, 40 percent of the board has to be women and in the clubs and the bars the men say, “Oh, where are they going to find all those women? They’re going to choose women because they’re women, they don’t – they’re not qualified.” When you were choosing your 50/50 cabinet, when you were choosing your board were you lying awake at night and thinking where am I going to find the qualified women? Was there – was there a problem or did you actually have too many women to choose from?

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               There was a problem because the extraordinary women who ran for us, you know, were – there were too many. There are great women who aren’t in cabinet.

Lyse Doucet:                        So it’s the problem is that more rather —

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               There are great men who aren’t in cabinet as well because we – we were – we were deliberate about getting it small. But like I said, the groundwork we had to do to get to where we could have the kind of cabinet we have, and convincing people to run for politics, convincing women to run for politics was tremendous.

I want to share a story that really, really touched me and touched everyone sitting around the cabinet table. We’re not supposed to talk about what happened in cabinet but —

Lyse Doucet:                        Don’t tell anyone.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               — two extraordinary women, our Health Minister turned to Maryam Monsef, our Democratic Institutions Minister after an intervention that she had made on Syria and on the Syrian refugees, and Maryam herself came to Canada as a 10-year-old girl, a refugee from Afghanistan, and now she’s 30 years old and in cabinet. And Jane, our Health Minister, simply looked and said, “I – while hearing you speak, all I could think of is right now there’s a 10-year-old girl in a Syrian refugee camp who could be sitting around this table in Canada in 20 years.” And that story and that sharing how we’re creating transformative governance by reaching out and bringing people in in every way you can is what we have to do much more of in our communities, in our businesses, in our lives.

Lyse Doucet:                        You know and we should just highlight one of the points that you’ve – that you’ve made a few times now in hinting at something, which is women say, “I’m not sure I want that kind of work.” For example, in the British Parliament, you know, the big push to get more women parliamentarians, they said, “We don’t like the fact that the sessions go on till midnight. We don’t like the fact that everyone retires to the bar.” I mean men say that as well, but when women are looking at work, they’re also looking at the quality of work. It’s not – sometimes, it’s not just that the women aren’t there for the jobs, the women say actually, “That’s not something I want to be part of.”

So we’ve talked about changing the home, but we also have to change the way work is managed. It can’t take over your life. You’re mentioning – there’s a lot of things which have to change. It’s not simply, oh, there’s a great job and put a great woman in it. You have to make sure that it’s a job that brings a human way of working. Am I —

Melinda Gates:                    Absolutely. And I think – but that’s why if you get women into those role models, they’re going to question the social norms.

Lyse Doucet:                        Exactly.

Melinda Gates:                    They’re going to say, “This isn’t acceptable for men or women.”

Lyse Doucet:                        Exactly.

Melinda Gates:                    Do we value work? Yes. Do we value family? Yes. Does society have it backwards right now? Yes. It has to be – we keep talking about work-life balance, but if we have all these work practices that don’t support the balance of the family, you’re going to get this unequal distribution. So you have to do the right things.

What Prime Minister Trudeau is talking about is role modelling in such an important way because it will get other countries to say at my cabinet level why can’t I have 50 percent? Well, can I do what he did to get that done? Women will look up and go all of a sudden I see on that cabinet lots of different styles of female leadership. Not – I may not look like the Health Minister. I may not look like this minister, but wow, I could be a great person on a cabinet. Role modelling is critical in all of these industries. And then once you get the women there, they start to make the change.

Lyse Doucet:                        Exactly. Jonas – Jonas is coming – full of ideas today, Jonas and (crosstalk).

Jonas Prising:                     You know, so clearly the social norms will have to shift in society as well as in organizations. And you know, the benefit of recruiting to the Canadian cabinet is probably then not mirrored exactly in the efforts that organizations have to make to bring women leaders in all through – through their ranks because we know that women leaders are far and few between. And most CEOs would say, you know, “When it came to that time, we looked around and there were no women that were suitable for the role.”

And I think as you look at the talent pipeline, you have to realize that a man looking at a job — and this goes back a little bit to your aggression – the perception of what is going to be said — even if the likelihood of a man is going to be, you know, two percent of succeeding in a role —

Lyse Doucet:                        Exactly.

Jonas Prising:                     — if you ask him if he’s going to succeed, the answer will be, “I will do this.”

Lyse Doucet:                        Exactly.

Jonas Prising:                     “I will do this so well, you have no idea how well this is going to go.”

Lyse Doucet:                        Yes. And the women say, “Well, I need PhD.”

Jonas Prising:                     And in many cases, unfortunately, women with the same question who have just as much capability and skill to do this job, they’ll say, “Well, you know, I’m not really sure.” And you know, “I have these concerns.” And when that gets played back, the feedback is, “You know, she wasn’t really ready. She didn’t really want to do it.” And unless we change the cultural mind set – we understand that there are break points within women’s careers where you need to have supporting mechanisms in society and within organizations and unless you can understand that these are the moments where you really need to push and you really need to —

Lyse Doucet:                        Exactly.

Jonas Prising:                     — not only have a solid pipeline, but you need to understand the language being used and what’s being said and really, really probe and then push beyond because, otherwise, you will get the same answer and the business case is evident. The distribution of men and women is 50 percent in the world’s population. So if that isn’t happening, we must go to more pragmatic solutions and be very, very deliberate in our efforts to make this change.

Sheryl Sandberg:                There’s a lot of data behind what you’re saying, so women are systematically underestimated in terms of their performance compared to men, starting with babies crawling. Mothers will systematically overestimate their sons’ crawling and underestimate their daughters’. When you survey people on objective criteria, GPA, sales quotas, women will get theirs slightly low and men will get theirs slightly high.

We also attribute success differently in men or women. When men succeed, we — meaning the person and other people — attribute that success to the man’s core skills. He succeeded because he was great. He has skills.

Jonas Prising:                     Right.

Sheryl Sandberg:                With women, we attribute that success, both themselves and others, to working hard, help from others and getting lucky. That’s a really big difference. And this explains why men put themselves up for promotion at higher rates and are promoted at higher rates. Men are promoted based on potential, and women are promoted based on what they’ve already proven. And so we have to understand that systematic bias.

Jonas Prising:                     That’s right.

Sheryl Sandberg:                That systematic bias also exists on race. In the United States, we will systematically bias towards – towards the majority rather than the minority. A White-sounding name on a resume over a Black-sounding name on a resume is worth eight years – eight years of job experience in terms of how many interviews you get called back for.

So just understanding these biases, this explains some of the things that we have to overcome in order to get there.

Jonas Prising:                     That’s right.

Lyse Doucet:                        As they say in Britain, mind the gap, gender gap, confidence gap, colour gap. Let’s close the gaps. The lady with the nice black glasses.

Question:                              Hi. I’m Olanda (ph). I’m a Global Shaper from the Jakarta hub, Indonesia, and I also organize Indonesia’s biggest youth conference. And my question would be Indonesia a country who already had a female head of state before the United States after 70 years of independence, but it’s also a country where there are religious values that say that once you get married, a woman has to serve the man, for example. I want to ask the question for Prime Minister Trudeau, as a leader of a country that has multi-culture and multi-faith, how do you plan to encourage people, especially women, to embrace gender parity agenda without compromising religious values that they have uphold for so many years? Thank you.

Lyse Doucet:                        Very good question. Thank you. You are a Global Shaper.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               For me, I think it has to do with understanding that we have to shift actions quickly and understand that sometimes mind sets take longer to shift. I have tremendous confidence when I look at the diversity in our elementary and in high schools, for example, how people learn from each other, how people understand that values of their parents and grandparents might not be suited or fully adapted or fully functioning within our modern pluralistic diverse society. But that doesn’t make them have to reject their pride in family and place and origin. It just means that we’re constantly challenging to update social mores and cultures, so that we – we shift. I mean even within our own society, if you look back 50 years or if you leaf through a magazine from the ‘70s, you see, you know, horrific sexism that is overt in a way that would be unacceptable today. Well, even today, hopefully 20 years from now people will look back at what we thought was acceptable today and find it horrifically off base. So you have to understand that cultures are constantly shifting. You have to respect people’s faith, but also say we share public values of respect, of openness, of equality and that’s – those are the rules of the game in a free society, not just on a moral level, but if we want to be successful as a strong, diverse country and community, we have to make sure we’re working very hard and thoughtfully at that.

Lyse Doucet:                        Thank you.

Question:                              My name is Dasawa Odala (ph) from Jordan. I work for the Government of Jordan for many years. One of the reasons, in my opinion, for the underdevelopment of the Arab world, that the problems that we see in the Arab countries today is the lack of participation of women. And that is distinct, obviously. In the global parity, you can see that very clearly. I believe that countries must reform and must reform quickly if they are going to avert the dangers, not only local dangers, but global dangers and if they’re going to stop producing refugees by – by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands and the millions in the years to come. Reform needs to be indigenous, but I believe that governments and corporations can incentivize reform in the Arab countries. I believe that reform will never happen unless it is somehow encouraged.

And I would just ask if Prime Minister Trudeau, who has tremendous popularity in the Arab world for what he has so courageously done for the refugees, a company like Facebook, the Foundation, the Gates Foundation or other companies, even China and the Government of China, if they can actually help introduce or encourage Arab governments to legislate to find ways for women to participate because unless women participate in the Arab world, we’re not going to have functioning countries across the Arab world. Thank you. (Applause.)

Lyse Doucet:                        Thank you. Thank you very much. Okay. We’ve just got time for maybe two questions. Lovely purple turban, please stand up. He’s a Global Shaper too? My God, you guys rock.

Question:                              Hi. I’m Jeddi (ph). I’m a Global Shaper from Chandigarh (ph) in India. And I’m involved in the electrification of the remotest communities of India. I have two things. One is a comment. Throughout the forum, I’ve attended many sessions on gender parity, and always the discussion is around why we need more women in the workforce. It is justified with numbers. Why are we still doing that in 2016? Why do we need to justify why more women will more value to the workforce? Why don’t we talk about how leaving the 30 percent unproductive men outside of the company and maybe get more better results? So that’s a comment that I have.

And my question is we are talking about women, we are talking about Blacks, Whites, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs. Why don’t we talk about inclusion of human beings?

Lyse Doucet:                        Mm–hm.

Question:                              Let’s stop the discussion around gender. Let’s stop the discussion about religion, caste, creed. Let’s talk about including human beings. What can we make to include a human being in our workforce? What can we do to include a human being in our education system? Why can’t we talk about those things?

Lyse Doucet:                        Very good point. We only have time for one last question, and it should go to the girl with the red shoes in the front row who I think is also a Global Shaper.

Question:                              Not only am I a Global Shaper, I just want to thank my friend Nadia. She actually got her selfie with Mr. Justin Trudeau. I was moderating and didn’t get one, so I’ll try to get you outside.

My name is Youmna Naufal. I’m a news producer and anchor based in Beirut, Lebanon. And I want to echo what the gentleman was saying about how in the Middle East women still struggle to make an impact and are very much put down and belittled when they do. And I want to ask, because I host a series on inspirational women, I want to ask everybody on the panel if you could give a piece of advice because I know sometime during when you were struggling to make it happen, there must have been somebody who advised you. If you could give that piece of advice to these women who are watching, what would it be?

Lyse Doucet:                        Okay. We are not out of time, but since we should work overtime for women, we’re going just going to take a few minutes more and we will end with your question about how to inspire young women. And also a nod to what needs to be done in the Arab world and also in the boardroom.

Zhang Xin:                            Inspire young women, I mean I think that I like Sheryl’s Lean In groups. I actually started a BG Club, Big Girl Club. So what happened is one year when Christine Lagarde came to Beijing and we wanted – she wanted to host a women’s dinner, so I had organized a group of women together, and ever since, that was the basis of the BG Club. And now we’re expanding. So I find this kind of a women’s group, supporting each other, sharing the ideas, you know, and also inviting inspiring speakers to come in, those are role models really helpful. I think that would be small things that everyone can do. You all have some friends and start kind of a Lean In group.

Lyse Doucet:                        Thank you. Jonas?

Jonas Prising:                     Well, we’ve talked about, you know, the unconscious and the conscious biases that exist in the workplace, and a lot of – there’s always a lot of discussion around the mentorship. And I know this is a little bit semantic, but to me, mentorship appears to be the way to mitigate a male-driven, conscious or unconscious bias, so that women are able to survive and don’t leave the company. So I think women should look for sponsors instead of mentors. Sponsors are individuals that are willing to put themselves out there, take a risk with somebody who may say that they’re not ready and push them and move them into a position and also help them navigate some of the times that are going to be more difficult. And I’d like to see that shift occur, and that would be my advice: don’t look for a mentor, look for a sponsor.

Melinda Gates:                    I couldn’t agree with that more, with both of these comments, and I’m going to add one more, which is not just mentorship, it’s absolutely sponsorship. And I will say about women’s groups, I see them at all levels of society. I see them at the village level in India. I see them in Bangladesh. I see them at high levels at corporate boards. I see women in the workplace that when you gather together, there’s a strength in standing together and say, “This is what we’re doing to do,” and you have each other’s backs when you do it. Then you can go say, “These are my rights. Of course I’m a human being. Of course I get to participate in this,” but you have one another as strength and support.


And the second thing I would say is if you are a male in this room — and I think somebody asked earlier what can we do — get 10 men that you know who believe in women and get them to publicly speak about it. When our foundation was first formed and was being talked about in the press, Warren Buffett got asked about Bill’s participation in Bill’s foundation. And he said, “I won’t answer those press questions unless it’s about Bill and Melinda. They are doing this equally.” I’ve been asked here numerous times about Mark Zuckerberg’s new initiative with his foundation at this forum, and I say about it’s not about Mark, it’s about Mark and Priscilla. We have to all talk about this publicly, raise up women.

And the other last thing I’ll say about role models, what’s the biggest predictor of whether a girl will go into a STEM field? Whether her father believes in her. That is the biggest predictor. I didn’t realize it. I went into computer science — my dad was an engineer — because he had female mathematicians and engineers always on his team, and he believed my sister and I could be good in math and science. So what do I do at home to redistribute the workload when Bill was CEO of Microsoft and I was choosing to be home for a few years? Guess what? On Saturday mornings, I wanted to sleep late. So you know what I did? I made sure there were science projects available, and that’s what he did with our two daughters and our son. And guess what my two daughters are interested in? Science and math.

Lyse Doucet:                        Great. (Applause.)

Sheryl Sandberg:                Great. Lean In Circles support each other. No one can do this alone, but coming together in small groups of any form, particularly where men and senior men are involved, then we can change society.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau:               Yes to all that, but when we think about why we want more women in politics, more women in boards, it’s because we want to shift boards to be better at governance, less conflict, aggressive, ego-driven. We want politics to be less like that. Well, let’s start rewarding companies and politicians who aren’t driven by a macho ego approach and (inaudible, technical difficulty with audio) model that to everyone, men and women. (Applause.)


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