Bridging the gap: A call for inclusive progress
10-11 MAY 2018 Toronto, Canada


TORONTO, 10-11 MAY 2018


Bridging the gap: A call for inclusive progress


The G7 is a uniquely influential coalition for decision-making and policy alignment among the world’s leading economies. It has a powerful influence on the shape and direction of global solutions, whether through the policy frameworks it chooses to apply, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or through the specific issues it chooses to address, like the end of malaria and tuberculosis. Thus, the G7’s leaders know they need to listen to diverse voices in order to make their deliberations as inclusive as possible.  


With disruption and division dominating headlines, the bloc has never been more important. The issues at stake – inclusive growth, jobs for the future, women’s empowerment, climate change, and security – require urgent action to engage for impact and break out of outdated patterns and mindsets that stymie progress. We believe that women can provide the innovative views, perspectives and daring leadership that are needed to bridge humanity’s challenges and return the world’s economies to the path of inclusive human progress.   


The G7 Women’s Forum will gather 1,000 leaders from the G7 countries, North America and beyond to reflect and react to the topics on the G7’s agenda. Grounded in potential solutions and insights, the G7 Women’s Forum will offer the leaders of the world’s most influential economies a distinctly different view of how the developed world can bridge the gaps in an increasingly divided world – between developed and emerging economies, between the private and public sectors, between men and women, between the included and the excluded. It will challenge the G7 not just to take on the issue of gender equality but to unlock the transformative potential of women’s leadership with the goal of having an impact on decision-makers. Will the G7 dare to listen?


The G7 Women’s Forum will take place on 10 and 11 May 2018 in Toronto, one of the most diverse cities in the world. Policymakers, business executives and representatives from diverse sectors will have discussions and explore best practices and proposals to create impact. The goal is to express a clear vision and gender-based analysis of issues in four central pillars:


  1. The new bottom line: Inclusive growth


Recent studies about women’s leadership styles reveal they are driven by making a positive impact on their employees, communities and societies – as well as on the bottom line. Promoting a gendered view of how the private sector can drive inclusive growth, skill people for the future of work, employ new technologies to overcome exclusion and promote equality in the workplace may open new conversations and possible solutions. This pillar will explore the role of business in promoting an inclusive society and the levers the private sector can deploy to accelerate progress. 


  1. Women for women: Driving economic empowerment globally


In policymaking, men far outnumber women as heads of state and parliamentarians. But driving women’s economic empowerment globally requires more than governance; civil society is equally important in innovating and executing solutions to gender inequality. How can women’s voices from all sectors and regions be amplified to contribute to the global progress of women everywhere, and what role will technology play in communicating these perspectives? This pillar explores the barriers to and opportunities for women’s leadership on women’s issues, from social media to finance and from fintech start-ups and entrepreneurship to menstrual activism. It includes the CEO Champions workshop, an initiative to drive progress in women’s advancement and develop the future of diversity by engaging corporate leadership at the highest levels.


  1. Common cause: Building on the spirit of climate action


The planet is the ultimate inclusive stakeholder: As the climate changes, all of humanity will be affected. While some populations, like women, are more vulnerable than others, we will all be affected. The global fight against climate change, as well as other environment questions such as the health of the oceans, is a test platform for how we can bridge all of our differences to come together, across sectors, and implement just solutions – technological, systemic and cultural. Continued economic progress and integration calls for increasing capacity in energy provision, sustainable tourism and mobility solutions. A reaffirmation of our commitment to climate action – as illustrated by the Women’s Forum climate manifesto – will be needed to ensure that meeting these new demands does not derail the achievements already made in climate and environmental action.


  1. New frontiers: Shaping lives and livelihoods through technology


Technology is reshaping our world at a rapid pace. The ways we shop, communicate, travel and work are being disrupted, with views on the future ranging from optimistic to dystopian. The future of work is especially prone to extreme views, often exacerbated by politicians and media offering binary visions of the impact of technology. While a more nuanced vision is probably likely, society – led largely by the private sector – must anticipate and account for how changes to livelihoods will affect not just how we work but how we live. This pillar will explore how business can shape the future of work and collaborate with policymakers to build inclusive societies while mitigating technology’s potential to amplify societal and economic divides that lead to conflict.       


In these four areas and beyond — and throughout the year — the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society brings a distinctly female perspective to addressing the issues affecting all of humanity and engaging for impact toward solutions.