November 30, 2016; No. CCXLIX

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No. CCXLIX; November 30, 2016
THIS ISSUE’S HIGHLIGHTS:

I. MALE CEOs AT 2017 GLOBAL SUMMIT OF WOMEN
II. MEET MARITA CHENG: YOUNG ROBOTICS ENTREPRENEUR FEATURED AT 2017 TOKYO SUMMIT

III. CEOs VALUE TECHNOLOGY OVER PEOPLE,STUDY FINDS
IV. NUMBER OF WOMEN HEADS OF STATE DECLINING


I. MALE CEOs AT 2017 GLOBAL SUMMIT OF WOMEN

Over 1,000 women leaders in business and government from over 70 countries are planning to join the 2017 Global Summit of Women in Tokyo, Japan on May 11-13, 2017.  As it has for the past 26 years, the Summit continues to focus on solutions in increasing women’s economic empowerment globally, while providing skills-building sessions and establishing networks of women leaders in business and government.

In addition to the rich array of women CEOs and executives presenting throughout the Summit program, the 2017 Summit features a Male CEO Forum focusing on “Leading Diversity from the Top.”   In the plenary session to be moderated by Financial Times Publisher Angela Mackay, Summit attendees will hear from male panelists including Sodexo’s Sunil Nayak (India), President of Corporate Services Asia;  Technip’s Arnaud Pieton (France), President of the Asia Pacific Region;  Metlife Asia’s President and CEO Christopher Townsend (U.K.); and Shiseido’s President and CEO Masahiko Uotani (Japan).

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These corporate leaders bring a background of successfully implementing initiatives which have resulted in greater gender diversity in their senior management and throughout their workforce.   For instance, Shiseido, a Japanese cosmetics company, is a pace-setter in Japan with four women serving on their board of 12.  Nayak of Sodexo has been an outspoken advocate for the need for more women in leadership positions and under his leadership, Sodexo Asia and India received numerous awards for their diversity initiatives.  Technip, a leader in the energy industry headquartered in France, has made gender diversity a key strategic priority company-wide, while Metlife’s Townsend has emphasized the value of diversity to the company’s bottom line.

For more information on the 2017 Global Summit of Women, including Summit Registration, Hotel Information, Summit Program, and Travel to Tokyo, please visit www.globewomen.org/globalsummit


II. MEET MARITA CHENG: YOUNG ROBOTICS ENTREPRENEUR FEATURED AT 2017 TOKYO SUMMIT

2“Do you know what it’s like not to be able to hug someone or to be able to hold a toothbrush or to pick up a fork to eat your meal comfortably?”  That’s a question that led a remarkable young Australian inventor and entrepreneur Marita Cheng, Founder and CEO of 2Mar Robotics, to create a robotic arm that enables disabled people to have a more normal use of an artificial limb.  Her company also developed a telepresence robot, which allows children with cancer to ‘attend’ school even while confined to a hospital bed.

Cheng and her partners at 2Mar Robotics invented the robotic arm to benefit people with quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and other conditions by allowing them to perform tasks such as opening doors, turning on switches, pouring drinks, taking medicine or drawing pictures, among other uses.  For Cheng, engineering is about creating products that help people cope with life’s difficulties.

In addition to growing this company, Cheng is also an advocate for women in technology.  Noticing the low number of women in her engineering classes, she gathered her fellow engineering students and started going to schools to teach girls robotics as a way of encouraging them to enter engineering.  She created Robogals, which she has expanded throughout and outside Australia, reaching over 55,000 girls from 11 countries.  Marita is both a commercial and social entrepreneur, whose pluck and creativity will be shared at the Global Summit of Women in Tokyo, May 11-13th.

Join Cheng and other inspiring women at the 2017 Global Summit of Women in Tokyo. Registration is open at www.globewomen.org/globalsummit


III. CEOs VALUE TECHNOLOGY OVER PEOPLE, STUDY FINDS

3A recent global study of 800 CEOs leading multinational corporations conducted by Korn Ferry reveals a startling lack of focus on the value of people in their companies, while putting a higher value of technology and tangible assets as priorities in their strategy for future growth.

Key findings of the survey include:

  •  63% say that in five years, technology will be the firm’s greatest source of competitive advantage;
  •  67% say that technology will create greater value in the future than people will; and
  •  44% say that robotics, automation and artificial intelligence will make people “largely irrelevant” in the future of work.

Recruiting, growing and retaining talent was not listed in the top five assets in the organization five years from now.  Technology, Research and Development, Product or Service, Brand, and Real Estate were all more highly valued than human capital.  (“Korn Ferry Global Study: Majority of CEOs See More Value in Technology Than her Workforce,” Nov 17, 2016.)

“It is disheartening  that while many women are still fighting to be a part of a gender-diverse workforce, human capital is not recognized as a part of corporate leaders’ business strategy for future growth,” states Irene Natividad, President of GlobeWomen Research and Education Institute.  She adds, “technology happens because of people who invent and innovate, as well as those who see the connection between these tools and bettering people’s lives.”


IV. NUMBER OF WOMEN HEADS OF STATE DECLINING

With the tenures of several women Presidents and Prime Ministers ending in 2016, such as Jamaica’s Portia Simpson Miller, Kosovo’s Atifete Jahjaga, the Central African Republic’s Catherine Samba Panza, and the removal of Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, the number of women Presidents and Prime Ministers among the 193 Member Nations of the U.N. now stands at 17 (9%), the lowest total in over a decade. 


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Throughout most of the past decade, 20 to 22 women held the top government positions at any one time.  The loss of U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections as well as the current turmoil in South Korea concerning President Park Gyun-Hye threaten to bring a further decrease to the decimated numbers. The one bright spot in terms of women leading nations is Angela Merkel’s announcement that she will run for re-election in Germany for a fourth term.

Of the 17 current sitting Presidents and Prime Ministers, nearly half are in Europe, whose recent additions include U.K.’s Theresa May and Estonia’s Kersti Kaljuliad.  Five serve in the Asia-Pacific region with two each in the Americas and Africa.

To see who the 17 women leading economies worldwide are, visit www.globewomen.com or Click Here.


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