Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

6 female leaders and the lessons they've learned 

Alessia Baldassarri, 20, who is part of a female-only delivery service is reflected in the mirror of her bike as she adjusts her helmet near the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

Our Meet the Leader podcast features tips from around the world of business and beyond. Image: REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
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Gender Inequality

  • The World Economic Forum's latest Global Gender Gap Report has been released.
  • Here we feature just some of the female leaders who've appeared on our Meet the Leader podcast.
  • The latest report highlights that women remain underrepresented in leadership roles.

The Forum's Meet the Leader podcast interviews leaders from across business and wider society uncovering nuggets on leadership and life.

Here, to coincide with the release of our latest Global Gender Gap Report, we showcase just a few of the female leaders we've featured and the messages they've shared.

While this year's report does show progress in closing the gender gap compared to last year, the impact of the pandemic on gender equality is still clear. Before the pandemic, trends suggested the gender gap was set to close within 100 years, but at current rates of progress it will take 132 years.

And, although we highlight just a few notable female leaders below, women are still underrepresented in leadership roles. As this year's report explains, although women's share of leadership roles has increased, it's not equal across all industries.

Listen to the whole Meet the Leader back catalogue wherever you get your podcasts.

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What's the World Economic Forum doing about the gender gap?

Nela Richardson, Chief Economist at ADP

Nela Richardson, the chief economist at corporate payroll services company ADP, joined Meet the Leader in June during a challenging time for the global economy.

She looked at how leaders can navigate uncertainty and how statistics and metrics can help them to take better care of their workers and prepare for the future.

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Barbara Martin Coppola, ex Chief Digital Officer at IKEA, now CEO at Decathlon

Meet the Leader was joined in July 2021 by Barbara Martin Coppola, then IKEA's first-ever Chief Digital Officer, who has since joined Decathlon as CEO.

From preparing for the big challenges and the leadership lessons the pandemic taught her, Coppola offered a unique view into the world of digital transformations.

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Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer at Morgan Stanley

Audrey Choi, CSO at Morgan Stanley, initially joined to help with leadership development but saw an opportunity to think about the climate and leadership.

In a June 2021 episode of Meet the Leader, she talks about sustainability, why non-traditional backgrounds matter and how anyone can be a leader - regardless of their job title.

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Jane Goodall, Climate Activist

Ahead of COP26, internationally renowned naturalist and climate activist, Jane Goodall, joined the podcast in November 2021.

With vast experience in advocating and pushing for change, she shared her four tips on propelling progress.

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Lindiwe Matlali, Founder and CEO of Africa Teen Geeks

Lindiwe Matlali founded Africa Teen Geeks, one of Africa's largest computer science organizations, in 2014. It has now trained thousands of teachers in STEM subjects and introduced hundreds of thousands of students to programmes in coding and robotics.

She joined Meet the Leader in September 2021 to explain why humility is an important part of leadership, how we can bridge equity gaps in tech and the future of tech entrepreneurship in Africa.

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Anna Borg CEO at Vattenfall

Anna Borg is the CEO of Vattenfall - the first-ever female leader of a Swedish energy company. In January 2022, she joined the podcast around Davos Agenda week.

Technology and a clean energy future are transforming her industry - and others. She says there are four questions you need to ask yourself to navigate change.

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