Taking a Gender Perspective: Women20 Participates in OECD Forum

04.06.2018

Women20 (W20) Argentina launched a series of during the OECD Forum 2018 in Paris – May 28 to May 30, 2018. The forum is an important part of the annual OECD Week that also features the OECD main Ministerial meeting, and seminars linked to key international fora (G20). With the future of international cooperation very much in question, this year’s forum focussed on What brings us together?. High-level government representatives, CEOs, leaders from civil society and trade unions as well as prominent members of academia and media discussed three central and interconnected themes: Inclusive growth, Digitalisation and International Co-operation.

With Susana Balbo chair of W20 Argentina and an entrepreneur, W20 featured prominently in the event. Ms. Balbo shared her expertise in the panel “Women in Tech” discussing the root causes of and remedies for the still significant gender divide in STEM sectors. According to a recent OECD study, Women represent only 30% of graduates in ICT-related studies. Even those women that do persevere, study STEM and pursue a career in science or the Tech industry, continue to face barriers to attaining senior decision-making positions. Women are also more likely to be driven out of the sector and paid less.

During the Task Force sessions of the Business20 (B20) held as part of the OECD Forum, Susana Balbo also stressed the W20 perspective on digitalisation and the future of work and how businesses can ensure inclusiveness. “For both men and women, the future of work will provide plentiful opportunities in different aspects. The governments, organisations and companies of the G20 must commit themselves to ensuring that women do not face the same limitations to access work, finances and productive resources they face today”, stated Susana Balbo.

Adjacent to the forum, W20 hosted two roundtables to reach out to W20 delegates and experts, mainly from Europe. The objective was to bring in different perspectives on how to achieve gender equality and to discuss and consolidate policy recommendations. Forming a network of women’s organisations, female entrepreneurs associations and think tanks, W20 seeks to influence the agenda of world leaders and decision-making groups in G20 to achieve gender equality in the global economy. In a brainstorming session during the first roundtable with W20 delegates and representatives of B20, W20 shared their four focus topics and discussed the main policy recommendations. In line with priorities of the G20, the group focusses on labour market inclusion, digital inclusion, financial inclusion and finally on rural women.

The second W20 roundtable focussed on digital inclusion. It was the first of a series of roundtables to discuss and select the policy recommendations for the final W20 communiqué which will be handed over to the G20 during the W20 Summit in October. Around 35 participants, including W20 delegates, experts and strategic partners such as EMSD discussed recommendations along the lines of digitalisation as a key element for the integration of women in the work of the future; women’s access, use and appropriation of technologies; the need for disaggregated data; and protection of security and privacy online.

EMSD is a strategic partner for W20 Argentina and supports the group with a research study on economic benefits of gender equality, W20’s consultation process, digital tools, outreach events such as the upcoming LATAM Outreach on June 11 and 12, as well as with intellectual and logistical support. Previously, EMSD has been actively involved during the German W20 presidency in 2017 (amongst others a joint study on „Effects of digitalisation on gender equality in G20 economies“, facilitation of several events such as the W20 summit and an All-W20-Presidencies Roundtable).

Additional information

For more information, please contact nina.roth@giz.de