Gender Forum - Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now



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Agenda / Printable .pdfSpeakers │ Practical Information

 RegistrationRelated InformationInformation for Media

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 Background and Forum's Structure

Equal economic opportunities for both men and women lead to stronger and sustainable growth through increased labour productivity and human capital. However, despite numerous improvements in women’s outcomes there are still many gender gaps in economic opportunities.

The OECD Gender Initiative was launched to explore economic aspects of gender equality and develop knowledge on why barriers to greater equality persist, focusing on three key dimensions: education, employment and entrepreneurship (“the three Es”). The Gender Initiative also identifies policy practices that can reduce the gender gaps in economies around the world.

The Forum will be a one-day event structured around three panels. The first panel will focus on the contribution of gender equality to economic growth; the second will look at gender equality from a business angle; the third will debate ways to address gender stereotypes.

Please refer to the agenda below for more details about the event. 

Interpretation in English and French will be provided during the event.


"To win the future , we must equip the young women of today with the knowledge, skills and equal access to reach for the promise of tomorrow (...). Expanding opportunities for women and girls in the STEM fields in critical for growth in the 21st century economy."        

- President Obama


Agenda - 17 December 2012

OECD Conference Centre, Room CC12

09:00 - 09:30  

Opening Remarks: The OECD Gender Initiative

Welcoming remarks by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, will open this forum that marks the launch of the OECD publication, “Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now”.

09:30 - 11:00

Panel session 1: The economic case for gender equality

Reducing persistent gender inequalities is imperative not just because of fairness and equity but also out of economic necessity. Improved educational attainment among women has boosted economic growth but greater participation in the labour market, more equal labour market outcomes and a more efficient use of women’s skills are needed to ensure continued economic growth and provide governments with additional, much needed tax revenue and social security contributions as the population ages.

Proposed issues to be addressed in the discussion: What should governments, political leaders and individuals do to enhance the gender balance in economic opportunities? How have women been affected by the crisis? How can governments make sure that fiscal consolidation and public sector spending cuts do not hinder female participation in the labour market?

Moderator: Mr. Anthony Gooch, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, OECD


Ms. Elsa Fornero, Minister of Labour and Welfare, Italy

Mr. Ulf Kristersson, Minister for Social Security, Sweden

Ms. Jennifer Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Australia

Ms. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Women's Rights and Government spokesperson, France

11:00 - 11:15


11:15 - 12:45

Panel session 2: Advancing Women in Business

Introduction: Ms. Martine Durand, Chief Statistician and Director of Statistics Directorate, OECD

Unleashing women’s potential in the workplace bears significant economic gains for companies, as well as for societies as a whole. By promoting more women into senior positions, companies can tap into the best talent, enhance leadership through diversity, achieve a better understanding of consumer markets and ultimately improve their performance.

Proposed issues to be addressed in the discussion: What are the ongoing obstacles to progress in advancing women in business? What approaches are being successfully used by companies and business organisations to promote gender diversity in leadership positions? What are the key public policies that enable employer best practices? Women on Boards: should governments step in when employers dither in getting women to the top?

Moderator: Ms. Heather McGregor, Managing Director of Taylor Bennett and Financial Times columnist


Mrs. Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Labour, Norway

Mr. Roger Dassen RA, Global Managing Director Clients Services & Talent, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd

Ms. Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the British Trades Union Congress, United Kingdom

Ms. Kaori Sasaki, Chair - President & CEO of ewoman; Founder & President of UNICUL International Inc.; Chair, Committee for the International Conference for Women in Business, Japan

13:00 - 14:30


14:30 - 16:00   

Panel session 3: Boys, Girls and Stereotypes

Introduction: Ms. Barbara Ischinger, Director for Education, OECD

Achieving gender equality in education and a more equal sharing of paid and unpaid work between women and men will involve changing norms, culture, mindsets, and attitudes. Such changes involve individual choices and take time, but policy and dissemination of evidence have a role to play.

Proposed issues to be addressed in the discussion: Attitudes and aspirations are formed early in life. What can schools and parents do to change gender stereotypes and attitudes among children? How can girls be attracted to typically male fields of study and vice versa? What are effective ways of raising awareness of gender biases that restrict the economic and social role of girls and women?

Moderator: Ms. Alison Smale, Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune


Mr. Jaak Aaviksoo, Minister of Education and Research, Estonia

Mr. Manu Sareen, Minister for Gender Equality, Denmark

Ms. Brigitte Grésy, l'Observatoire de la parité et Conseil supérieur de l'égalité professionnelle, France

Ms. Ripa Rashid, Vice President, Global Workforce Diversity and Inclusion, Time Warner Inc., United States

16:10 - 16:30         

Closing remarks

Mr. John P. Martin, Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD

Mrs. Jeri Guthrie-Corn, Chargé d'Affaires, Permanent Delegation of the United States to the OECD

Ms. Daniela Bankier, Head of the Gender Equality Unit, DG Justice, European Commission

Printable pdf version of the agenda: here

Complete list of speakers - Who's Who.


"Let's help all the men, women and children who are trapped in the inequality gap. For they need not be there. Let's give them the best education we can and the tools they need to work their way out of poverty...dignity intact. That is the definition of common humanity. That is a global family. When we look after each other." 

- Queen Rania



Practical Information

General information for visitors coming to the OECD -

Hotels close to the OECD



The Forum is by invitation only; if you wish to participate please contact the OECD Secretariat at


Information for Media

This event is open to the media. To register or for further information, please contact Spencer Wilson of the OECD Media Division at

Video - Gender Equality  

Launch December 17th 2012

"Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now"


           Animated gif - new slides 14 november

Related Information

OECD Gender

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Visit the WikiGender website Visit the Wikiprogress website                        

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