International conference

Reflecting Global Change: Women in Business and Management

An international conference organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and hosted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on 28th April 2015 in London.


Women in the private sector represent a powerful source of economic growth and opportunity for enhanced business performance.Numerous recent studies document the positive business outcomes gained in hiring/retaining more women at the highest levels as part of more diverse management teams. Today, women represent around only 5 per cent of CEOs of the largest global corporations. Even though women are beginning to outnumber men in higher education, they continue to be under-represented at senior management levels in business. The larger the company, the fewer women there are at the top.

To discuss and share solutions aimed at driving better business results, the ILO together with the CBI and IFC, are bringing together experts and practitioners from around the world to identify critical steps to accelerate women in business and management.

Conference Agenda

The Conference will commence with Opening Speeches from Ms Katja Hall, Deputy Director-General, CBI; Mr Guy Ryder, Director General, ILO and Ms BaharAlsharif, Deputy Treasurer, IFC.

Thereafter two panel discussions have been lined up that include speakers from around the world - covering Europe, South Africa, America, Singapore and Korea:

  •   Dame Fiona Woolf, DBE - former Lord Mayor of the City of London
  •   KhanyisileThandiweKweyama - Vice President Chamber of Mines and CEO at Business Unity South Africa
  •   TruiHebbelinck - Vice President of HR Operations UK Ireland, Nordics and South Africa at Shell
  •   Thomas Mackall - Vice President Global Relations at Sodexco
  •   Marcela Manubens - Global Vice President for Social Impact at Unilever
  •   Tish Clyde - Senior Vice-President Corporate HR International at DHL
  •   YeonJoo Kim - Chief of the Entire GPS Unit at IBM Korea
  •   Kelly Sofian - Senior Director for Quality and HR at Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte (SSMC)
  •   Dr Fleur Bothwick - Director of Diversity and Inclusive Leadership at Ernst & Young.

The Panel discussions will be moderated by professional journalists: Alison Holt from the BBC and Felicity Barr from Al-Jazeera. The panels will include conversations on:
  1. The persistence of gender stereotyping in labour markets and the institutional barriers this has created over time in company recruitment, retention and succession planning
  2. How to promote broader awareness of the business case for gender equality at the top
  3. Overcoming the work and family divide as a critical issue
  4. Embracing diversity management principles as a bottom line issue for businesses.

The day will finish with concluding thoughts and insights from Vivian Hunt, Managing Director at McKinsey & Company, a leading Global consultancy firm. Vivian's work in this area is widely recognised and has led to her being noted on Debretts top 500 business contacts. Her insight into the struggles of women achieving success in a male dominated role and her thoughts on what comes next will be a fantastic way to round off a day of debate, discussion and deliberations.