Last year, only 17% of attendees at the World Economic Forum’s annual conference at Davos were women. This year, it’s 15%. It’s basically a game of Where’s Waldo, except imagine that Waldo represents over half of the world’s population, is trying to shape policy that will affect the world’s entire population, and is wearing a pantsuit instead of a stripy turtleneck. And check out this Olympic-level buck-passing from the conference’s managing director:
Organizers say it’s simply the reality of today’s world. Many participants are invited to Davos based solely on their job function—like the president of Harvard University, who is currently a woman. When the people in those roles change, so can the demographics of Davos.
“We’re on the front line of reflecting the world as it is, not how we want it to be,” says Adrian Monck, a managing director and head of communications for WEF. Monck says the organization would prefer that its meeting in Davos were more evenly distributed by gender, but its hands are tied by a different imperative: bringing together the world’s most powerful and influential people. Presently only 16.9% of Fortune 500 boards of directors are comprised of women. Fewer than 5% of the Fortune 500 are led by women.
Yeah, what do you want from him, feminists? He’s only the managing director of Davos. What do you want him to do, manage and direct the conference into making some rules about gender representation? Why would he do that when he’s “on the front line “of representing the status quo? Trust us, ladies, he doesn’t want to be sexist: he’s only sexist because the world is.
Chart via Quartz.
Chloe Angyal thinks that “on the front line of the reflecting the world as it is” is a pretty unimpressive place to be.