Forum Institutional

Why diversity, equity and inclusion should be at the heart of economic recovery

Through various initiatives and platforms, the Forum is working to centre diversity, equity and inclusion action in the CEO agenda. Image: Unsplash/Amy Elting

Julie Masiga
Digital Editor, World Economic Forum
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Davos Agenda

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

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  • Recent global shocks have exacerbated historical legacies of discrimination and inequality, setting back progress previously made.
  • The World Economic Forum is working with public, private, and civil society stakeholders to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in the new economy and to advance gender parity.
  • With five sessions over four days, Davos 22 is spotlighting diversity, equity and inclusion as a priority for society, business and government

Recent global shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine - together with differential effects from the digital transformation - have exacerbated historical legacies of discrimination and inequality. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, another generation of women will have to wait for gender parity, because the global gender gap has increased by a generation, from 100 years to 136 years.

Two years after the global racial reckoning, the racial equity movement has also lost momentum and progress on LGBTQI+ rights remains sharply divided and polarized by country. Rigid norms and beliefs around sexual orientation, gender identity and expression continue to challenge the social and family acceptance of LGBTQI+ people around the world. At the same time, the World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 billion people – 17% of the global population – live with disability. All of these factors combine to exacerbate social and economic polarization within countries.

Within this context, the private sector is increasingly becoming a key agent in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) action. Companies have started prioritizing DE&I initiatives on the CEO agenda and embedding them into their core business. On the public sector front, the connection between resilience, equity and inclusion is widely accepted by policymakers: evidence has shown that creating more equitable and inclusive societies is a crucial part of any economic strategy focused on resilience and recovery. Government and business are re-examining how to prepare for and respond to shocks in the future, whether they arise in financial, health or political systems.


What's the World Economic Forum doing about diversity, equity and inclusion?

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What is the Forum doing for DEI?

“Our focus is on gender parity in particular, because of all of the losses that women have experienced over the course of the pandemic. We will also have a focus on racial justice, disability inclusion and on LGBTQI+ inclusion.”

Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum

Through various platforms and projects, the Forum is working with public, private, and civil society stakeholders to embed DE&I in the new economy and to advance gender parity.

Global Parity Alliance: A cross-industry group of companies taking action to accelerate DE&I in the workplace and beyond. The initiative launched this year with 23 founding members and seeks to drive better and faster DE&I outcomes by sharing proven DE&I best practices and practical insights from leading organizations.

Gender Parity Accelerators: Another generation of women will have to wait for gender parity, according to the Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021. In response to this widening gap, the Gender Parity Accelerators are a global network of national public-private collaboration platforms, which address current gender gaps and reshape gender parity for the future. Mexico and Japan will this year join the growing group of countries that are driving gender parity through this initiative


Partnership for Global LGBTQI Equality (PGLE): A coalition of organizations committed to leveraging their individual and collective advocacy to accelerate LGBTQI+ equality and inclusion in the workplace and in the broader communities in which they operate. The partnership is supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Valuable 500: Launched at Davos 2019, the Valuable 500 was created to set a new global standard for workplace equality and disability inclusion. The goal is to unlock the business, social and economic value of the 1.3 billion people living with disabilities across the world. This year, the initiative will launch Generation Valuable, a programme which will build a pipeline for tomorrow’s C-suite from the community of people living with disabilities.

Partnering for Racial Justice in Business: This is a global coalition of organizations and their leaders committed to leveraging their individual and collective power to build equitable and just workplaces for professionals with under-represented racial and ethnic identities.

The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice agenda at Davos 2022 will feature five public sessions. It will cover in-depth views on the state of disability and LGBTQI+ inclusion, racial justice and gender parity and showcase pathways towards accelerated progress within each dimension as well as at their intersection.

Diversity, equity and inclusion: The Davos 2022 Sessions


May 23, 2022: 16:45 - 17:30CEST


May 24, 202212:30 - 13:15CEST


May 24, 2022 16:00 – 16:45 CEST


May 25, 202211:45 - 12:30CEST


May 25, 202212:30 - 14:00CEST


May 25, 202216:00 - 16:30CEST

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