Last weekend, more than 1000 thought leaders came together to discuss the Economy and Society from a female perspective. Unlike the Davos Global Forum, in Deauville powerful women are in the majority at the fifth international Women's Forum for the Economy and Society. Its motto is:
"Think again, think ahead! It is time for action, change and hope".
There were many international speakers unveiling their ideas on politics, entrepreneurship, economics; a lot of the time about the effects of the financial crisis, but also on the chances and opportunities that it brings. Among the speakers - 17 Rising Talents of 2009 - was Founder of Smarta, Shaa Wasmund.
Some conclusions from the forum were:
Women are Hit Hard by the Financial Crisis
It may be that women-led hedge funds have performed better in the financial crisis than hedge funds run by men - as was one of the conclusions of a Report launched at the Women's Forum - and yet women and girls in poor countries have been hit the hardest by the implosion of banks thousands of miles away.
The developed world has received far more funding to combat the crisis, in comparison to that received by the worlds poorest countries. As a result, women now need similarly large-scale solutions, including access to capital and to larger markets, to combat the crisis.
"The ground has shifted beneath the feet of our business models and social and economic policies”, explains Founder and CEO Aude Zieseniss de Thuin. "The Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society views moments of rupture like this as an opportunity to advance new ideas, technologies and even paradigms for society and the economy. With their male counterparts, women have a key role to play in the process of creating a more resilient future," the Founder of the Women’s Forum said.
Empowering Women makes Financial Sense
Discussed at great length, was the idea that empowering women economically is not just a matter of fairness, but of financial sense.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a form of marketing through which a company’s website, or piece of content on a website, reaches a higher ranking on search engines to maximize visibility to consumers thereby creating a higher probability of traffic, which can later translate to sales and/or interaction depending on your business goals.
This is accomplished through creation of “do follow” links within a number of different arenas. While there’s more to making a web-based company successful than just good SEO, it is a very important part of getting clicks and page views.
The NextWomen Social Entrepreneurship Theme
In India, there is no shortage of talented female social entrepreneurs. Women like Ela Bhatt, who in 1972 founded SEWA, the world’s first and largest trade union for undocumented women workers, as well as Women’s World Banking in 1979 - have been inspiring and leading women for generations.
Hina Shah, founder of The International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (ICECD), has worked for over 25 years on scaling micro, small, and medium size businesses across 21 states of India.
Just about everyone reading this will be familiar with WordPress: it’s the behemoth on the content management scene, employed by millions of blogs and web publications large and small alike. The Next Web runs on WordPress, as do most of our competitors, and these days you have to look a little harder to find sites that run on the giants of the past such as Joomla! (formerly Mambo) and the perpetual underdog, Drupal.
World Leaders unite today in Davos for the World Economic Forum, a five day conference in which the most pressing issues facing the world are discussed. This year it is entitled "Shaping the Post-Crisis World." Business leaders, executives, politicians, intellectuals and journalists are expected to talk about the economic crisis and how to get through it, but they also due to cover topics such as environmental damage, corruption, energy or health. Themes can be found here.
Attendees in the forum have historically been primarily men, but this changed when Aude Zieseniss de Thuin founded the "Davos" Women's Forum for the Economy & Society in 2005 to promote a women’s vision on the economic and social issues of the world.
This year, these are the women that will be at Davos:
Many female high achievers have made it on to the list of the The Lawyer's Hot 100 of 2008, the list of UK's best lawyers, annually compiled by editor Catrin Griffiths. Among them websavvy technology and media specialists, litigators, telecom gurus, allround general counsels and money driven tax lawyers. We highlight the following:
- Maya Abu Deed, General Counsel of Bloomberg, who litigated against premature third party Harry Potter publication on the internet
- Mary Geraghty, Group General Counsel of Arcadia, who stood against Google's new advertisement policy on key words of competitors
- Sarah Priestly, tax lawyer at Weil Gotshall, who advises Lion Capital, one of the major consumer based investors (a.o. Jimmy Choo and HEMA)
Mich Turner MBE is founder of Little Venice Cake Company and often described as the ‘Queen of Couture Cakes’, thanks to her award winning designs and celebrity clientele including Her Majesty The Queen, Madonna, Pierce Brosnan, Sharon & Ozzy Osbourne, Cheryl Cole, Gordon Ramsey and David Beckham.
Among her many awards and accolades, Mich was named Harper’s Bazaar & CHANEL Entrepreneur of the Year 2006, and in 2009 Little Venice Cake Company was listed in the Walpole Luxury Brands of Tomorrow. In 2010 Mich was honoured with receiving an MBE for her services to the catering industry.
Mich is a successful author of four books and her latest 20-part television series, Britain’s Best Bakery aired on ITV daytime in November and December 2012, drawing in 2.3 million viewers at its peak.
Cultural differences and different languages can be challenging when leading a team remotely. Whether your team is based over different continents or all over the world, your communication skills will help you to keep your people motivated at all times.
As a manager of a multi-cultural and international team of people your understanding of their culture, their clients and the way of doing business in their part of the world is your key to success.
Leadership became a hot topic in the 1970s, and both the business world and the academic world have been busy discussing it ever since. We are bombarded from all sides with books, articles, training courses, surveys, conferences. If you do a Google search on “Leadership” today you will get over 500 million results worldwide, and over 16 million for the UK alone. Amazon.co.uk offers close on 19,000 books on the topic.
So, what is the definition of Leadership? There are many! John Adair, one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership and leadership development, has this to say: ‘Leadership, like all personal relations, always has something unknown, something mysterious about it’.