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Lack of women still a hot topic at Davos‏

It’s a strange thing about Davos: Women represented only 18 percent of the actual delegates, but as a topic, women ranked among the top three — right up there with refugees and climate change.

In fact, the topic of gender parity was the third most tweeted, generating a whopping 10,000 tweets. And among the top quotes:

“You’ve heard a lot about the Internet of Things; I think we need an Internet of women,” said
IMF chief Christine Lagarde.

And from Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent: “We need the three W’s: women, water and well-being.”

Why were women such a minority? And more importantly, how can we engage women in ways that really drive growth in our organizations, our communities and our economies?

It’s a topic I’ve kept my pulse on closely since my days in Silicon Valley, where I founded and later sold Women’s Financial Network.

Fast-forward to Davos, and two things come to mind: First, while women haven’t necessarily made huge strides in organizations, as our global When Women Thrive research will reveal on Wednesday (join the launch here), there are companies — and executives — waking up to the fact that women can truly shape their corporate trajectories.

In fact, we kicked off Davos by previewing our global research to be released and a powerful CEO conversation on the very topic: the role of leaders and, in particular, men.

As we’ll share on Wednesday, only 57 percent of leaders globally are engaged in diversity efforts. Worse, only 38 percent of men are engaged, down a full 10 percentage points, from 49 percent in 2014. And yet leadership engagement on a personal level is one of the six pillars of a successful gender strategy — one that drives real business impact.

Our event led to more than 400 registrants — close to three times last year’s — and, more importantly, shined the klieg lights on some powerful and innovative moves some top CEOs are making, from eBay and Cisco to Marriott and UBS.

It’s a strange thing about Davos: Women represented only 18 percent of the actual delegates, but as a topic, women ranked among the top three — right up there with refugees and climate change.

In fact, the topic of gender parity was the third most tweeted, generating a whopping 10,000 tweets.

LaGarde 2

(From L) International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde, British Finance Minister George Osborne, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Governor of the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda shake hands after a session of the World Economic Forum annual meeting on January 23, 2016.

And among the top quotes:

“You’ve heard a lot about the Internet of Things; I think we need an Internet of women,” said
IMF chief Christine Lagarde.

And from Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent: “We need the three W’s: women, water and well-being.”

Why were women such a minority? And more importantly, how can we engage women in ways that really drive growth in our organizations, our communities and our economies?

It’s a topic I’ve kept my pulse on closely since my days in Silicon Valley, where I founded and later sold Women’s Financial Network.

Fast-forward to Davos, and two things come to mind: First, while women haven’t necessarily made huge strides in organizations, as our global When Women Thrive research will reveal on Wednesday (join the launch here), there are companies — and executives — waking up to the fact that women can truly shape their corporate trajectories.

In fact, we kicked off Davos by previewing our global research to be released and a powerful CEO conversation on the very topic: the role of leaders and, in particular, men.

As we’ll share on Wednesday, only 57 percent of leaders globally are engaged in diversity efforts. Worse, only 38 percent of men are engaged, down a full 10 percentage points, from 49 percent in 2014. And yet leadership engagement on a personal level is one of the six pillars of a successful gender strategy — one that drives real business impact.

Our event led to more than 400 registrants — close to three times last year’s — and, more importantly, shined the klieg lights on some powerful and innovative moves some top CEOs are making, from eBay and Cisco to Marriott and UBS.

Real Accountability. Jűrg Zeltner, CEO of UBS Wealth Management, was perhaps the most adamant, saying, “There’s no more excuses.” He doesn’t want to go into a boardroom without women. He’s directly holding his business managers accountable for more women, saying they’ll be fired if he doesn’t see greater numbers.

Three years ago, eBay president and CEO Devin Wenig decided to start publishing its pay equity data to help identify gaps — and that’s led others to be accountable. “The only thing worse than avoiding the issue is talking about it and not doing anything about it,” Wenig said.

Real data. The real strength of any strategy — whether it’s business or even gender — comes from having real data to identify what works and what doesn’t. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins put it this way: “If we review sales numbers, let’s also review the people numbers.”

He’s invested $2 million-plus specifically on building a data and analytic framework to focus on pay parity. It’s a great example of one of the other pillars of a successful gender strategy: proof.

Rethinking programs. Hanzade Dogan Boyner, a leading figure in Turkey‘s online and digital world, asked at our panel: “Why do women give up at some point? Because it’s very difficult to rise to the CEO level and raise two kids. So we need to change the culture.”

There’s a lot of talk about flexible leave and returnship programs, to name just a few, and their importance to women. But there are a host of issues including the lack of engagement and training of middle managers on how to have conversations with their female workforce that are impacting the ultimate goal of greater representation throughout all career levels.

Wenig of eBay surprised the group by talking about other life events demanding programs to keep women engaged in the workforce like elder care sorely needed by women as they juggle kids and aging parents and their job in the middle. That, he said, is worthy of at least the same attention we pay to maternity/paternity leave programs.

I would have liked to see more women business women in Davos. Their unique skills like flexibility and inclusive team management are more important than ever in today’s complex world.

“Men have a unique opportunity in this, as we still make up 80 percent of the executive ranks and even more than that at the CEO level,” said Julio A. Portalatin, Mercer president and CEO. “We have a unique obligation to be out in front on growing women in the workforce. It’s not a women’s issue. This is a workforce issue.”

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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Business News, International News

 

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Extreme poverty to fall‏

World BankTHE number of people living in extreme poverty is likely to fall for the first time below 10 percent
of the world’s population in 2015, the World Bank said on Sunday as it revised its benchmark for
measuring the problem.

Extreme poverty has long been defined as living on or below $1.25 a day, but the World Bank’s adjustment now sets the poverty line at $1.90 a day.

The Bank said the change reflects new data on differences in the cost of living across
countries, while preserving the real purchasing power of the previous yardstick.

Using the new benchmark, the World Bank projects that 702 million people or 9.6 percent of
the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty in 2015, down from 902 million
people or 12.8 percent of the global population in 2012.

The global development lender attributed the continued fall in poverty to strong economic
growth rates in emerging markets, particularly India, and investments in education, health,
and social safety nets.

“… these projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end
extreme poverty,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

However, he warned that slower global growth, volatile financial markets, conflicts, high youth unemployment and the impact of climate change were obstacles to meeting a U.N. target
to end poverty by 2030, part of a new set of development goals adopted by 193 countries at the
United Nations last month.

“But it remains within our grasp, as long as our high aspirations are matched by country-led plans that help the still millions of people living in extreme poverty,” Kim added.

According to the Bank, around half of those living in extreme poverty by 2020 will hail from hard-to-reach fragile and conflict-affected states. Sub- Saharan Africa accounts for some
half of the global poor.

Expects said the prospect of emerging economies losing steam could challenge promises
to eradicate extreme poverty.

“If economic growth of the developing world over the last 15 years was an anomaly, was
a blip, then we’re in trouble,” said Laurence Chandy, a fellow at the Brookings Institution
whose research focuses on global poverty.

“If instead it’s a kind new normal then we’ve got a good chance of getting close to this goal,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The World Bank first introduced a global poverty line
in 1990, setting it at $1 a day. It was adjusted last in 2008, when the group raised it to $1.25 a day.

Across the planet, the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by more than half since 1990, when 1.9 billion people lived under $1.25 a day, compared to 836 million in 2015, according to the United Nations.

This follows the adoption in 2000 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which included the eradication of extreme poverty.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2015 in International News

 

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Global economic weakness to last into 2016‏

IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde.

IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde.

A relentless deceleration in the economies of the developing world will cause global growth to slow this year and only pick up a bit more pace in 2016, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

In a speech that previewed a report on global growth due next month, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde held back from giving specific estimates.

But her comments appeared to be more pessimistic than the global lender’s forecast made in July, just before global financial markets erupted into turmoil over concerns that China’s economy could crash.

Lagarde said China needs to keep trying to rebalance its economy away from commodity-intensive investment but also must be careful to safeguard “demand and financial stability.”

In a survey of the global economy, she said growth was picking up in the euro area and Japan and still looked robust in the United States and Britain.

“The not-so-good news is that emerging economies are likely to see their fifth consecutive year of declining rates of growth,” she said.

“Global growth will likely be weaker this year than last, with only a modest acceleration expected in 2016,” she said.

In July, the IMF forecast a marginal slowdown in global growth this year to 3.3 per cent from 3.4 per cent in 2014, with a rebound to 3.8 per cent growth in 2016.

Lagarde warned there could be a “prolonged period” of low prices for the commodities that are central to the economies of many developing countries.

She urged emerging markets to diversify their economies and said some of them might be ill prepared to weather the financial storm that could arise when the U.S. Federal Reserve eventually raises interest rates.

“We are concerned about their capacity to buffer shocks,” Lagarde said.

Policy makers in emerging markets should keep a closer eye on company debts denominated in dollars as well as to the banks that lent to them, she said.

The IMF said on Tuesday emerging market firms have racked up debts of $18-trillion and rate hikes in the developed world could spur a rash of corporate bankruptcies.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in International News

 

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President Buhari to appoint himself oil minister

President Buhari to appoint himself oil minister

President Muhammadu Buhari will hold Nigeria’s oil portfolio in his new Cabinet, rather than trust anyone else with the source of most of Nigeria’s revenue, he told Reuters on Tuesday.

“I intend to remain the minister of petroleum resources,” Buhari said in an interview on the sidelines of the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
A minister of state will oversee the day-to-day issues of the petroleum sector, he said.
Buhari has not named a Cabinet but is expected to submit candidates to parliament in the coming days.
A former general who briefly ruled Nigeria 30 years ago, Buhari has deep knowledge of the oil sector, having been head of the Petroleum Trust Fund under military ruler Sani Abacha in the 1990s and oil minister in the 1970s under President Olusegun Obasanjo.
A collapse of global oil prices has whacked Nigeria’s public finances and weakened its naira currency, delaying public salaries and fuelling inflation.
Buhari has said he will trace and recover what he has called “mind-boggling” sums of money stolen over the years from the oil sector.
The dealings inside the state-owned company NNPC are so opaque that PriceWaterhouseCoopers, commissioned to conduct a forensic audit over the missing funds, said it was unable to obtain sufficient account documentation.
Not only is oil money stolen through accounting gymnastics and oversight gaps, but oil itself goes missing at unmetered oilfield wellheads, pipeline taps and export terminals.
Buhari has already split the NNPC into two entities, and said on Tuesday he was considering breaking up the company further to improve efficiency and better root out corruption.
“I haven’t absolutely made up my mind about that. We want to see what we have done in reducing the size and redeploying most of the management. We want to see the impact of that before we decide further.”

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in International News

 

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Internet access to everyone by 2020‏

Bill Gates Mark ZuckerbergFacebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates threw their weight over the weekend behind the goal of bringing Internet access to everyone in the world by 2020.

The pledge comes amid a United Nations effort to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, a goal set on Friday at a special summit at the global body.

The Internet became commonplace in developed countries in the 1990s, but UN officials estimate that half the world does not have reliable access — especially women and girls, whose education is vital to development.

“When people have access to the tools and knowledge of the Internet, they have access to opportunities that make life better for all of us,” said a declaration signed by Zuckerberg and Bill and Melinda Gates, who have devoted their wealth to philanthropy.

“The Internet belongs to everyone. It should be accessible by everyone,” the declaration said.

Zuckerberg, swapping his trademark hoodie for a suit and tie as he appeared at the UN, said that for every 10 people connected to the Internet, one is lifted out of poverty.

“The Internet is more than just a network of machines; it is the key driver of social and economic progress in our time,” Zuckerberg told a luncheon at the UN headquarters attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 31-year-old entrepreneur pointed to the role of the Internet in empowering otherwise voiceless people in places such as Syria, where a civil war is producing a refugee exodus.

“A ‘like’ or a post won’t stop a tank or a bullet, but when people are connected, we have the chance to build a common global community with a shared understanding — and that’s a powerful force,” he said.

He estimated that spreading the Internet could also bring affordable education to 600 million children who would otherwise go unschooled.

Other signatories included Jimmy Wales, co-founder of free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, and U2 frontman Bono on behalf of his One anti-poverty campaign.

Jamie Drummond, global executive director of One which spearheaded the push, called on every country to come up with an “urgent plan” to meet the Internet access goals.

The campaigners did not announce funding on their own, but the UN has said that meeting the new global goals will cost between US$3.5 trillion and US$5 trillion per year.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Saturday launched its own roadmap, which put a top priority on improving the health and education for girls.

Releasing the report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said more than US$25 billion has been committed so far to meeting the goals, led by US$3.3 billion from the United States and large pledges from Canada, Germany and Sweden.

Melinda Gates, speaking to reporters in advance of the launch, said the health and education of girls was critical to anti-poverty efforts.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in International News

 

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UN GLOBAL GOALS IN DETAIL

ban KWhat are the global goals?

The global goals serve as the world’s to-do list from 2016-2030. These goals form a shared agenda to end poverty, promote peace and opportunity for all, and protect the planet. Specifically, the 17 goals to be adopted in September are:

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

Here are some great resources to learn more about the global goals for sustainable development:

UN.org/action2015

GlobalGoals.org

GlobalDaily.com

– See more at: http://unfoundationblog.org/

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Articles, International News

 

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UN 15 Years Sustainable Development Goals

As the United Nations notes, 2015 is a time for global action. From September 25 to September 27 2015, world leaders will gather at the UN to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals to achieve extraordinary things in the next 15 years: end poverty, promote prosperity and well-being for all, and protect the planet. These Sustainable Development Goals set a course to achieve these objectives – for people everywhere.
UN

If the goals are going to work, everyone needs to know about them. You can’t fight for your rights if you don’t know what they are. You can’t convince world leaders to do what needs to be done if you don’t know what you’re convincing them to do. If the goals are famous, they won’t be forgotten.

We can be the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation in history to end injustice and inequality, and the last generation to be threatened by climate change.

– See more at: http://www.unfoundation.org/features/globalgoals/the-global-goals.html#sthash.n3JvZFHw.dpuf

 
 

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