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Chiara Corazza, Managing Director of the Women's Forum, presents her recommendations to the French Government to foster women's leadership in STEM

05.02.2020

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Our world is facing a complex transformation: most practices and professions are being invented and reinvented each day. Everything is changing very quickly and if we are not attentive, the risk is to let men shape our world alone, as done in the past.

At the moment, mostly men are in charge and control the levers of change. Unconsciously, voluntarily or involuntarily, based on innate cultural traditions and social pressures, women are not sufficiently represented where they can be a leading force and have an impact.

I would like to pay tribute to President Emmanuel Macron's determination to make gender equality the great cause of his five-year mandate.

In this spirit, the French Presidency of the G7 in 2019 - committed to reducing inequalities, including gender discrimination - has been a key moment in raising global awareness.

For the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society, whose overarching theme was Taking the lead for inclusion, the G7 has been a extraordinary opportunity to highlight the role that women can and must play in creating a more just and inclusive world. I am pleased that our work has been take into account in this action.

It is urgent that women, who contribute up to only 34% of worldwide wealth creation, have access to the jobs of the future, which are in reality the jobs of today. Nobody knows exactly how these jobs will evolve.

What we do know, however, is that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), and not just digital fields, are at the heart of this transformation.

Therefore, it is crucial that women have the same opportunities, assets, skills and expertise as men in order to design and fully benefit of these jobs of the future.

It is a question of justice and equity, but also of economic performance: 240 million jobs can be created by 2025 and 28 trillion dollars added to world GDP if women and men are equally represented.

More female leadership in STEM fields means growth, innovation, creativity, wealth, attractiveness and competitiveness.

France, we don’t say it enough, is often exemplary in promoting gender equality, and is notably a world champion for the number of women on Boards of Directors. Furthermore, France must also be a pioneer in terms of the number of women in STEM, in order to be at the cutting edge of innovation and to face the challenges of the future.

Imagine France, a country of male engineers, becoming also a country of women engineers!

A country where women are developing artificial intelligence, monitoring cyber security, inventing new ways of consuming, but also at the helm of strategic investments, at the heart of the design of cities - where 60% of the worldwide population lives - of the mobility of the future, on the front lines in the fight against climate change, experts in energy and infrastructure...

I am very pleased that the French government has fully considered the stakes of women’s representation in STEM, by widely involving the economic world and civil society, notably through the #FemmesEco public consultation in order to act together for equality between women and men in the economy.

Personally, and on behalf of the Women's Forum, I would particularly like to thank Marlène Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men and the Fight against Discrimination; Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance; and Cédric O, Secretary of State in charge for Digital Affairs, for entrusting me with such an essential mission, to propose and pilot a national mobilisation plan in favour of STEM professions, and to empower women leadership in proactively engaging within the economy of the future.

To meet this challenge, I know I can count on the tremendous support of the members of the Women's Forum Strategic Committee, to whom I would like to pay special tribute. I would like to also thank all our partners for their strong commitment in achieving this project.

Backed by the expertise of the Women’s Forum Daring Circles initiative and our international network, I could emphasize good practices, innovative solutions and pilot programmes.

Moreover, thanks to a wide consultation with French public and private sectors, I could adapt our proposals to the specificities of France. I would like to thank all of them for their support within this project and their enthusiastic involvement in our work.

The challenge now is also for these recommendations to go beyond our borders, and to have an international impact particularly at the G7 Summit in the United States and the G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia, where Women’s Forum can raise awareness around these ambitious initiatives.

Let's mobilise together to create a new order !

 

Chiara Corazza

Managing Director of the Women’s Forum

 

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