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I have always known that it’s necessary to raise the profile of women who deserve recognition. That’s been even more true since I took over the reins of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society: now, every day I am passionately committed to making their names known. Last year, I was happy D chose me as one of 100 women who are changing the world. It therefore gives me great pleasure, pen in hand (like years ago when I was a rookie journalist at Globo), today to have the chance to champion ten women who have put their talent, energy and generosity into creating a more just and more inclusive world. These women are the leading lights of the SHE-covery, the post-crisis, female-led revival. They will be speaking at the Global Meeting of the Women’s Forum on 18 and 19 November in Paris, alongside other committed men and women, on the topic “Beyond the Recovery – Designing an Inclusive World”. Don’t miss this formidable opportunity to get to know them and find out about us (updates will be appearing on the site)!

I know these ten women well: we share the same values and ambitions as we work together to boost female leadership at all levels around the world. Women’s Forum members include Christine Lagarde, who gave the opening speech at Women’s Forum Americas and who has always supported our initiatives; Halimah Yacob, who opened Women’s Forum Asia; and Kersti Kaljulaid, who opened the Women’s Forum in Rome. Recently, we’ve virtually hosted the likes of Madeleine Albright, Melinda Gates, Kristalina Georgieva, Chelsea Clinton and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Our next virtual appointment is with Mariya Gabriel, a 41-year-old Bulgarian woman who is determined to create a Europe based on research, innovation and culture that offers young people more opportunities. With her, we are pursuing the STEMKEY project to attract more girls to STEM disciplines, the gateway to many world-changing professions.

Elisabeth Moreno may have a different profile but she shares the same will to advance women in the jobs of the future. Born in Cape Verde and raised in France from the age of seven, she did not hesitate when the Prime Minister asked her to return, even though she was Head of HP Africa, and had formerly held the post of CEO at Lenovo France. It was at Lenovo that she became a pillar of the Women’s Forum’s CEO Champions initiative, to mentor women into governance positions. I work shoulder to shoulder with her to implement twenty-seven proposals for women to be at the heart of the economy, which we submitted to the 2019 G7 Meeting. From politics to business, I am keen to highlight women who are having a positive impact in crucial areas.

Take Yas Banifatemi, a lawyer specializing in international arbitration. Of Iranian origin, she has been a professor at Harvard, Yale and the Sorbonne. Working with a team of experts, with great dedication Yas has enriched the proposals I will be making to G7 and G20 leaders to support female entrepreneurs’ access to finance.

To do something about the fact that two hundred and forty million businesswomen have access to less than 1% of public and private procurement funds, Faiza Lahlou is working with the Women’s Forum to develop diversity models for the supply chain. Faiza is personally mobilizing the many brands at a group like Procter&Gamble, which reaches 5 billion people.

Judith Hartmann of Austria is one of the finest international managers promoting a Green new deal. Part of a triumvirate at Engie, she won the Financial Director of the Year award in 2019 and has gained solid field experience in Germany, Canada, Brazil and France. She is also convinced that during this crisis, it is essential for governments and central banks to focus their investments on clean, renewable energy.

When it comes to environmental matters, Marie-Claire Daveu has been a tireless leader of genuine activism in both the public and private sectors. She ensures high standards of sustainability, production and responsible consumption in the fashion world on Kering’s Executive Committee.

Sara Cheng is another leader who has signed up to our ideals. Born in Taiwan and with a successful career in the USA, Japan and Europe under her belt, she sits on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Forum as a champion of women in the digital world. She runs Twitter Greater China, and could not be more aware of how essential communication is to achieving such a goal. Although she is based in Singapore, every year she spends her holidays cycling with her husband through Italy, whose dolce vita she adores.

Angeles Garcia Poveda, a Spanish-born headhunter for Spencer Stuart, is proof that women who dare can arrive anywhere. Her expertise and empathy have made her a rare female presence in the upper echelons of a French listed company becoming now President of Legrand. She has always cared about the women’s advancement, and is a valuable ally in the Women’s Forum’s Rising Talent initiative, which mentors the personal and professional growth of young talents all over the world.

Despite her tender years, Karima Silvent is a Rising Talent who already sits on the Executive Committee of Axa, a group highly sensitive to gender equality. During the crisis, Karima was able to set up remote working methods that have helped to preserve social ties within the company and at the same time promote female talent. The period of crisis we are traversing offers us an opportunity to rethink the world of work.

Sofia Merlo is convinced of this. Of Franco-Moroccan origin, she will be joining the Executive Committee of BNP Paribas in November; there, she will continue to foster investment in social responsibility. A woman of substance and broad international views, she will attract talent and further strengthen BNP Paribas’ commitment to diversity.

Chiara Corazza, Director General, Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society

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