Davos, the Equality myth & #MentorHer

by | Feb 9, 2018

Being Switzerland based, Davos is ‘just’ a train ride away for me. Interestingly though I have been to Davos to ski a few times, this was the first time in 17 years that I decided to participate at the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF).

With 21 percent of the attendees being female, WEF 2018 conference organizers pointed out that this slim percentage of female attendees is around twice what it was in 2001, putting the event’s current share of women at its highest level since the conference’s founding nearly 50 years ago. Yet, with nearly 80 percent men in attendance at Davos, which to me is a microcosm of the world we live in, was “not by any means representing grounds for celebration”.

It’s one thing to continue to make change part of the dialogue—but as Davos clearly shows, it’s quite another to really make it happen. According to a new WEF report, we have a bigger gender gap than ever before—a gap that could take upwards of 100 years to close (or 217 years if we’re looking specifically at the pay gap)? Now in its 11th year, the report measures the relative discrepancies between women and men across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics.

But is Gender Pay Gap even a statistic that is relevant to measure? GPG measures the aggregate pay for all men and all women in an organisation and the gap is a reflection of the fact that men and women have traditionally held different roles.

The change that is needed is at a far more fundamental level!

Young girls when they choose careers should be offered a diverse range of choices, and believe that they can be successful in any field they choose to excel in. And for those women who are already in the workforce, organizations need to systematically work against unconscious bias.

One of the key ways to address this challenge is for women to be mentored.

Leanin.org research points out some powerful statistics

And that’s where the #MeToo movement has created an unintended consequence – the alienation of male mentors. The New York Times’ investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and assault against media producer Harvey Weinstein inspired millions of women around the world to say “me too”—that they, too have experienced unwanted sexual advances or violence. A wave of accusations followed, knocking nearly 100 powerful men off their perches. And now a new set of findings from women’s empowerment non-profit LeanIn.Org reveal that, since the media reports of sexual harassment have emerged, male managers are three times as likely to say they are uncomfortable mentoring women and twice as uncomfortable working alone with a woman.

To encourage more men to mentor their female colleagues, LeanIn.Org Tuesday launched a campaign called #MentorHer. Already, a number of high-profile male business leaders have made the commitment to mentor women.

Yet another solution to address this backlash is ThriveWithMentoring where we encourage women to mentor women. From its birth in Switzerland, the land of Davos – ThrivewithMentoring went to India, and will travel to 12 cities across 6 countries in its first phase.

ThrivewithMentoring supports #MentorHer and invites you to register as a mentor or mentee when we launch a chapter in a city near to you.

If you are based in Switzerland, please register for our Swiss launch events :

Zurich : 22nd Feb, 2018 , 1800 hrs

Basel : 15th March, 2018, 1800 hrs

Registration link:


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