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G20 Empower: Building a pipeline of talents is the key to women’s leadership

The event brought together over 60 representatives from G20 and guest countries. They worked hand in hand on the identification of measures to accelerate the process of women's empowerment

May 7th, 2021

G20 Empower: Building a pipeline of talents is the key to women’s leadership

On May 4th, 2021, the second plenary meeting of G20 EMPOWER took place. In line with the G20 Agenda for 2021, which focuses among others on the importance of PEOPLE, G20 EMPOWER held its second plenary session centering its debate on the female talents’ pipeline as a crucial means to enhance women’s leadership.

“Across all industries there is a narrowing female talent pipeline heading towards senior management”, according to the World Economic Forum. G20 EMPOWER, the Alliance that brings together G20 countries’ private sector leaders and government counterparts to support and promote the advancement of women in leadership positions, inaugurated its second plenary session starting from this statement of one of its Knowledge Partners, the World Economic Forum.

The event, organized by the G20 EMPOWER Italian Presidency held by Paola Mascaro, President of Valore D, with the support of the Italian Department for Equal Opportunities, took place virtually and brought together over 60 representatives from G20 and guest countries. They worked hand in hand during this session on the identification of policies and measures to be promoted by G20 EMPOWER, in order to accelerate the process of women’s empowerment and to strengthen the pipeline of female talents around the world.

The state of play on the female talents’ pipeline was outlined during the event by G20 EMPOWER’s Knowledge Partners OECD and McKinsey & Company and supported by a range variety of data.

Firstly, emphasis was put on the fact that, despite investing in women as they enter the workforce, companies then seem to frequently lose this “investment” as they don’t succeed in retaining them along the way. As a matter of fact, women still make up only about 6% of CEOs (Catalyst) and occupy only 27% of all managerial positions (WEF). Moreover, throughout the last year the situation has further deteriorated due to the impact of the pandemic: data on employment show that women suffered a higher job loss than men (5% against 3.9% of men – ILO data), and a reduction in the recruitment of women in leadership positions was registered (LinkedIn data provided by WEF). At the same time, women have been dealing with an increased burden of childcare and domestic work (UN Women). This framework has been further worsened by the fact that only 42% of all COVID recovery measures have been gender-sensitive (UN).

According to a survey conducted by the Italian Presidency of the G20 EMPOWER among its 28 member countries in April 2021, relevant policies aimed at developing a pipeline of female talents were adopted. Measures on flexible work, as well as parental leave policies, have been identified by G20 EMPOWER Representatives as the priorities to focus on to strengthen the pipeline, and they have also been ranked among the most urgent measures to be taken within the context of the Covid-19 recovery plan strategies. Among the other policies that need to be adopted on a broader scale, members put a specific focus on pay gap measures and policies focusing on recruitment, promotion and retention of women.