ISSUE 2 SUMMER/AUTUMN 2017
Cherie Blair Cbe Qc
Dr SandiE Okoro
Arianna Huffington Disrupting the Burnout Mindset
Diversity Google Pwc Aviva
Foreword During a recent trip to India to meet some of the women entrepreneurs we work with, I met Priyanka. As a journalist, Priyanka realised not only that she was earning less than her male counterparts, but also that she lacked the ﬁnancial knowledge and support to optimise her money. After speaking with friends she realised she was not alone, so she launched a social enterprise offering ﬁnancial management classes and resources to women. Priyanka is just one example of the many women around the world who are creating a powerful chain of empowerment – some of whom are detailed within these pages. They are using their position as leaders to elevate others along with them - not only by creating jobs but also by sharing knowledge with, and inspiring conﬁdence in those around them. To those of us already in leadership roles, we beneﬁt from having unique platforms and positions of inﬂuence. I believe that using these tools to create positive social change is not just important – it is imperative. In the not-so-subtle words of Madeleine Albright: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”
he brilliant Maya Angelou once said: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.”
The road to equality is rocky, strewn with both milestones and potholes. But the important thing is that we keep going, leading by example and driving change. Because, if there’s one thing that history shows with absolute certainty, it’s that women won’t win anything without a ﬁght.
I can’t think of a better mantra to follow, and it reminds me of the countless women I’ve met over the course of my life who have done exactly that. From my formidable mother and grandmother who raised me, to the many women I’ve met who have overcome incredible odds to become leaders within their communities, societies, sectors and beyond.
Cherie Blair CBE, QC Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair Leading lawyer and committed campaigner for women’s rights
Despite the legions of inspiring women we all know and admire in our lives, a gender equal world is still a long way off - a shocking 170 years away, according to the World Economic Forum. Financial independence is an issue that remains stubbornly resistant to progress, and no country in the world has yet managed to close the gender pay gap.
I believe this is one of the most pressing issues of our time, which is why I established a charity to support women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies to access the skills, technology, networks and ﬁnancial services they need to thrive.
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Contents Foreword - Cherie Blair CBE QC......................................03 Contents ...............................................................................05 Editor’s Note ........................................................................06 Contributors.........................................................................09 Nishma Robb on Women@Google .................................... 12 Ayesha Bedwei on PwC(West Africa) Diversity................ 16 Jan Gooding on Inclusion at Aviva ................................... 18 Thought leadership: Gender Equality in the Workplace by Ravi Karkara ....... 24 Redeﬁning Disability - Portrait of the Differently Abled... 28 Arianna Hufﬁngton - Disrupting the Burnout Mindset .... 38 Dr Sandie Okoro - Demystifying Success .......................... 42 Book Club - NorthernPower Women Recommended List by Simone Roche ............................... 46 Thought leadership: Council of Europe’s Drive for Equality - Liri Kopaci-Dimichele.................................. 50 Editor in Chief
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu
Women in Leadership publication Tel: 0800 970 9862 Tel: +44 (0)207 206 2596 email@example.com www.wilpublication.com
Publisher Women in Leadership Publication Ltd
Copy Editor Dr John Rowe
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In this issue, we tackle the stigma of disability and portray 5 incredible women from around the world overcoming the odds and trailblazing within their areas of expertise inspite of their disability - they redeﬁne disability as being differently abled. We hear from leading women in media, marketing, international business and large corporations on breaking down barriers, demystifying success and using their roles to redeﬁne diversity and inclusion in their organisations. Intriguing pieces of thought leadership articles from senior executives at UN Women and Council of Europe pushing the agenda on equality add to the discourse on this topical issue. Delighted to have Cherie Blair CBE QC write the foreword for this issue and share profound words of wisdom from her experience. Fantastic to have the impassioned Arianna Hufﬁngton bring an enlightening perspective on disrupting the burnout mindset - her strong message is you can still be successful without compromising your well being. Without a doubt the distinguished Dr Sandie Okoro is powerfully motivating with the simplicity of her message of success and being the best version you can be.
The Women in Leadership publication is part of the Women in Leadership Foundation initiative, a non-proﬁt organisation, to promote equality and diversity. © 2017 Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu. All rights reserved.
here is much to be celebrated about the resilience, fortitude and determination of women of this era to fulﬁll the potential they see within themselves and embrace their ambition. Furthermore, the growth of more women supporting other women is broadening the economic and social empowerment of women in their respective societies. From politics to lifestyle choices, more women are taking the driving seat in determining what is appropriate for them, their businesses and profession. It is without a doubt a time for disrupters and innovators to bring about change in an impactful way.
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“We tackle the stigma of disability and portray 5 incredible women from around the world overcoming the odds and trailblazing within their areas of expertise inspite of their disability” Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu PhD MBA LLM MA LLB IAQ Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Women in Leadership Publication Founder of the Women in Leadership Foundation New York Attorney and Solicitor of England & Wales (Consultant Solicitor) Author, Public Speaker & Hufﬁngton Post Contributor @SholaMos1 www.drshola.com
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Contributors RAVI KARKARA UN Women Senior Advisor on Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy to the UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director Acting Head of Private Sector Partnerships Co-Chair (UN) Policy Strategy Group World We Want 2030 @ravikarkara
LIRI KOPAĂ&#x2021;I-DI MICHELE Head of the Equality Division at the Council of Europe in charge of promoting and implementing Council of Europe standards and activities in the area of gender equality and the rights of persons with disabilities.
SIMONE ROCHE Founder, Northern Power Women; Partner, Northern Powerhouse; MD, Events 1st, Event Curator Advisory Board, Gender Networks; Licencee, TEDxWhitehallWomen; Board Advisor, World Merit Gender Pay Gap Champion, GEO @lirikopaci
GET ON BOARD!
Can you share thought leadership articles, your experiences and lessons learnt to strengthen others? Are you ready to raise the difďŹ cult issues others don't? We welcome contributions from individuals and organisations on all practical aspects of leadership. We would also love to see your ideas, thoughts, experiences through art, photography and illustrations. Email us today at email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Google, Pricewaterhouse Coopers & Aviva
WOMEN@ GOOGLE WITH NISHMA ROBB @nishmarobb
How are diversity and tolerance infused at and through Google? The reason I think Google continues to be successful and retain talent, is genuinely because of the people in it. It's not just their skill but their attitude and approach. On one hand we attract people who are incredibly ambitious and driven to succeed but who, on the other hand, also genuinely want to make social change. Ordinarily, people don't necessarily equate one with the other however Google has an interesting model where it shows that people are incredibly ambitious but they use their ability to try and do better for society. We've still got a long way to go. For instance, our engineering team is not as diverse as it should be because of the systemic problem of not enough women in the industry. We need more girls to study technology and pursue technology in their careers. We still have some way to go in terms of getting true parity at senior level, there's good parity at the lower levels but not at the senior. It's still imperfect but there is deﬁnitely the recognition and focus to improve this. There is an awareness at the senior level to change and improve things. I meet lots of diversity leaders and their biggest challenge is that they don't have buy-ins at a senior level to bring about change. I'm so fortunate that is not the case at Google.
ishma Robb is Google Head of Ads Marketing and YouTube’s advertising products in the UK. She is also Chair of Women@Google UK, a group originally founded by Sheryl Sandberg to start a community around the progression, recruitment and development of women. Nishma is listed in The Hospital Club's prestigious 100 2016 list as one of the top most inﬂuential and innovative people in the UK’s creative industry, and is recognised as one of the top 7 BAME execs in marketing as well as one of the top 10 women in B2B marketing.
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The actual premise of Google as a business is that it is a product for everyone, democratising information for everybody so we all have access to the same information. This is what attracts talent to Google as a business and product. Through marketing, we get the license to tell people's stories and actually help to shape culture as well through the work that we do. As an example, YouTube, which is really a technology platform gives voice to so many. Our values are around freedom of speech, celebrating diversity including the work we do for the LGBT community, women empowerment and ethnicity.
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“The actual premise of Google as a business is that it is a product for everyone, democratising information for everybody so we all have access to the same information. This is what attracts talent to Google as a business and product.” How do you respond to reports about Google underpaying women?
What are your key lessons learnt thus far in your professional experience?
We have a really incredible system for how we look at payment and reward, which we don't necessarily share and talk to people about. We have algorithms to help us set payment.
I think one of the key things I say to a lot of women who are at the early to mid stages of their career is to enjoy the journey and pace it. Make sure that you are a priority as well as your career. It is really important. Pace, health and well being are crucial. It is also important to have long-term goals, it gives you a sense of direction. You don’t have to have it all mapped out but having some sense of a goal that you’d like to get to really helps.
One of our challenges is the fact that when we recruit women, they come to us with such a disparity in their pay. We try to bridge that gap when recruiting. We are not dismissing pay inequality as an issue that exists in the world, we just don't have that as a problem in our organisation. Deﬁnitely not an issue that I've personally come across. We bridge the gap and pay what we believe that individual is worth. We connect across other women's networks and share information around our approaches and strategies on tackling the issue of pay inequality.
GET INVOLVED! The Women of the Future Summit aims to increase women’s empowerment, challenge gender stereotypes and give delegates unique insights and opportunities to build their network. Over 300 delegates hear from a range of remarkable speakers from all over the world and we explore how shifts in culture and leadership style reﬂect global challenges and open up new opportunities. www.summit. womenofthefuture.co.uk
SAVE THE DATE
If you’re on a journey that’s taking you somewhere it’s about ﬁlling your bag with skills and experience rather than just hitting each next milestone. The other key lesson is senior women to use their inﬂuence to bring about change. Just having a chat with a young girl somewhere or ﬁghting internally for change, are steps towards driving change. We all have the power within us to make a difference. Whatever that might be. We live in a tough world so having some resilience to face setbacks is important.
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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could recruit people based on their failures? Resilience and your ability to deal with challenges, self-reﬂect and then move on makes you a stronger candidate in my opinion because that’s actually what will determine your success in the future. Proudly supported by
A double Paralympic gold medallist, a screenwriter and the founder of a global social innovation agency were among the winners of the 2016 awards. Join us in unearthing the next generation of high-ﬂying women and make nominations for this year’s event. Nominations are open. www.awards.womenofthefuture.co.uk
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PRICEWATERHOUSE COOPERS (WEST AFRICA)
What is PwC's brand proposition for workplace diversity in West Africa? Often the term ‘diversity’ refers to visible differences, for example, age, race, gender and physical (dis)ability, but really diversity is so much more. In PwC, when we talk about diversity, we are referring to all the ways employees are unique, for example, our life experiences, our religions, our caring responsibilities and our study disciplines. We believe that by creating an inclusive workplace culture, we can understand and leverage each person’s unique contribution.
To succeed in our network-wide goal and to be number one for talent, we have to attract, develop and retain highly-motivated men and women who can work with each other easily and effectively. @aabedwei
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
lobal ﬁrm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is widely acknowledged as a strong proponent of creating value through diversity and inclusion; it places this at the centre of its commercial strategy. PwC goes further by managing diversity as a reputational risk and business opportunity which makes it a magnet for recruiting and retaining talent.
To see how this global mandate ﬁlters through its regional ﬁrms, we take a look at PwC West Africa and speak with one of Ghana's most inﬂuential female business leaders, Ayesha Bedwei. She is the Tax energy partner and Diversity & Inclusion leader at PwC in Ghana. She talks us through the brand proposition of PwC for workplace diversity in West Africa and cultural sensitivities. Page 16 | WILPUBLICATION
Our goal is to build an iconic professional services ﬁrm by delivering distinctive client service through the quality of our people. Inspiring and providing an environment in which all our people can give their best is fundamental to this aim
What proportion of women are in senior leadership and board roles at PwC in West Africa? In West Africa, 21% of senior leadership roles are occupied by women. We are actively working towards improving this ﬁgure. How does PwC compare with its competitors on workforce diversity in West Africa? The leadership team at PwC Africa are ﬁrmly committed to Diversity and Inclusion and we adopt the Global Inclusion Index locally as part of our many activities to drive leadership commitment to, and accountability for Diversity and Inclusion, in addition to using it as a tool to continuously assess our progress in this area. Speciﬁc data points and territory results are conﬁdential and for internal use, and thus are not publicised or distributed externally.
“ When we talk about diversity, we are referring to all the ways employees are unique, for example, our life experiences, our religions, our caring responsibilities and our study disciplines. ”
Communication – Our messaging must capture and retain interest. We use visuals and social media messaging to keep our people engaged. We also organize open dialogue sessions with staff to tackle particularly sensitive areas or hot topics of the period. Are there cultural and social factors that shape or inﬂuence the workplace place diversity initiatives in West Africa? In PwC West Africa, Diversity is speciﬁcally deﬁned to include – Gender, Culture, Disability and Generations. However, LGBTQ is excluded from our market area due to cultural sensitivities and legal reasons. Other market areas however, include LGBTQ such as the South Market Area, speciﬁcally South Africa. Aside from this, the execution of our initiatives are the same as in other regions, with a local twist to make them more relatable to our staff.
What challenges do you face in implementing workplace diversity initiatives? Resistance to change – All change is difﬁcult however perseverance is the key. We repackage, re-propose and represent our initiatives until they stick! Page 17 | WILPUBLICATION
JAN GOODING INCLUSION AT AVIVA @Jan_Gooding
What are you passionate about in your role? What I feel quite strongly about is this idea of creating inclusive cultures which can include many dimensions and aspects of all of our differences as people and then measuring the diversity that you get as a result of that culture in multiple ways. This Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure will evolve over time. The reason I feel strongly about this is because very often when we talk about diversity, conversations quickly become reduced to the gender agenda: men versus women; or race and ethnicity; or disability and age. All of these things are important but that's not really what we're driving at. From Aviva's point of view we want to be able to be as empathetic and connected with our customers as possible in the digital economy. We're discovering, in the digital economy, that the speed with which you can evolve customer experiences and develop new propositions is really accelerating. In a world like this you have to have people working in your organisation who can empathise with other people's lives and what they're like. How does Aviva drive for diversity and inclusivity? I'm establishing a global inclusion council of people from across the different markets we work in. Hand-picked inclusive leaders who have a passion for this subject, already role models and represent diversity in Aviva. There are some practices that we may develop which many markets may adopt, but may not be appropriate for others. It's so heartening to discover how many good things we've got going on.
an Gooding is Aviva's Global Inclusion Director and the ďŹ rst director to be appointed to lead the diversity and inclusion strategy across the Aviva Group. She is chair of trustees at Stonewall, the LGBT equality charity and was ranked 16 in the Top 100 Outstanding in Business list published in the Financial Times.
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For instance, with LGBT we have Aviva Pride operating in Canada, Ireland and the UK. Aviva Pride is ten years old this year and not only helps people who are LGBT feel that they're in a community they belong but also makes Aviva visible as a welcoming employer to LGBT people. We are very visible as an employer and engage our workforce in what we do.
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For example, we fundraise for the Albert Kennedy Trust, helping children who've been driven out of their home get back into school. This comes from our mantra that education is insurance. Aviva Pride have also offered guidance on improving the customer experience, which is a direct beneﬁt of an inclusive approach.
How powerful would you say genderneutral language is? One of the things that's challenging about language and what people ﬁnd appropriate is it keeps evolving and changing. I think what's going to happen with language is it will become more inclusive. I don't think by becoming neutral necessarily, but by acknowledging more difference. There will be circumstances where it makes sense to be gender neutral and there will be other circumstances where actually, you're able to enrich and acknowledge more difference. I think it will depend on the circumstances. One thing is for sure, whilst we have discovered unconscious bias has helped us understand how we've got to where we've got to, we've now just got to get an awful lot more conscious about things like language so that we're not unwittingly excluding huge groups of people.
You are uniquely placed to cover all the areas of inclusion you are now tasked on, does that give you a unique insight? That's absolutely true. I joke about being a walking tick-box. I, as a gay woman, have been open about suffering from post-natal depression when I had my two boys. I am getting older and I'm a woman. I think it's one of the reasons that's led to my role. By often representing many of the things that people ﬁnd troubling to talk about I can speak about it from a personal perspective and be approachable and not jump on anyone if they think they may say the wrong thing. I've said so many of the wrong things already. One of the things I enjoy most about my job is how much I'm learning about difference. Page 20 | WILPUBLICATION
“I have been open about suffering from postnatal depression when I had my two boys. By often representing many of the things that people ﬁnd troubling to talk about I can speak about it from a personal perspective and be approachable and not jump on anyone if they think they may say the wrong thing. I've said so many of the wrong things already. One of the things I enjoy most about my job is how much I'm learning about difference.” You don't necessarily offend people but you may often unwittingly be disrespectful or excluding, you just don't realise that you've closed somebody out. Out of fear of offending, we often don't talk enough about how complicated, difﬁcult and challenging it is to get it right. The important thing is to reach into who we are as people and be respectful of that.
You describe a need for a more understanding and empathetic view of things to be respectful, how do we achieve that? For me, it's as simple as being curious about who each other are, ﬁnding difference interesting and knowing that, if you're curious and if you ﬁnd difference interesting, you may solve problems in a different way and you may come up with business ideas that are more successful and you may make decisions that are better because they're more rounded so I think that's the point really, that there's a beneﬁt to this, this isn't just a moral question, there is actually a beneﬁt to your business, to your organisation, to your society, to your country of being curious, of being interested, of being respectful and through that exploration ﬁnding creativity and innovation and making better choices yourself. What change is Stonewall currently focused on for the LGBT community? Our line is acceptance without exception, which I think sums it up very well. We are in interesting times with Brexit so we're deeply concerned right now that all of the hard-won legal change, which has been an amazing journey of the last twenty-ﬁve years, might be at risk. We're on alert for any threat of slipping back and want to make sure that, at a political level, all our party leaders understand that there is still progress that needs to be made speciﬁcally around areas like gender identity. It's quite interesting to ﬁnd that even in the deﬁnition of hate crime, hate crime against LGBT people is not treated in the same way, for instance, as racism. Hate crime against LGBT has gone up in the last three years. Stonewall is very concerned that it has gotten worse and no progress has been made.
Over the years, the workplace has seen greater, albeit not enough, representation of women as managers, executives, administrators and workers. This has changed the organization dramatically. There is an immediate need to empower both men and women to respond to changing gender relations in the workplace. A process of fundamental restructuring seems to be the need in the present scenario of increasing number of women in the workplace. What has not changed is that women are concentrated in the lower levels of management and hold positions with less authority overall than men. This brings us to the question, do we need to increase the proportion of women in upper, middle and lower positions? One of the major deterrents for achieving this is the way discrimination and prejudices operate to exclude members of a particular group. The excuse of their gender, race, disability, age, class or any other aspect of their identity is the biggest single reason for the waste of human potential in most enterprise and in society as a whole. Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but evidence shows that its achievement has enormous socioeconomic ramiﬁcations. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.
BY RAVI KARKARA
Thus, it follows that the effects of gender stereotype on the work relationships between men and women could result in decreased productivity of the economy as a whole. Individuals who hold traditional attitudes towards women and their role in society are more likely to see working women and men in stereotypical terms than individuals with less radical attitudes.
igniﬁcant changes are occurring in the status and interaction between women and men in the workplace. There has been an ongoing process of restructuring relationships at the workplace. According to World Bank Statistics, the female labour force participation rate is only 49 percent (as of 2015), as against 76 percent for males Although the gender gap has been reducing over the years, the rate of progress is not commensurate with the urgent need for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
In turn, a variety of personal characteristics appear to inﬂuence attitudes towards women. Male attitudes towards women workers are affected by personal experience with women on the job.
GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE
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Men who have worked with women peers longer are less likely to characterize them according to gender stereotypes. Interestingly, in most cases, gender stereotypes, enter into relationships due to individual’s personal characteristics and characteristics of their work situation. Broadly, male perception of the female is inﬂuenced more by the feminine stereotype than by actual traits and behavior. Similarly, the female perception of the male is inﬂuenced more by the masculine stereotype rather than by other attributes such as education that are more reﬂective of workplace characteristics. How can we reduce the effect of stereotypes and prejudice and in turn remove discrimination of any kind? We could do this by increasing equal opportunity efforts. This means increasing efforts in equal opportunity in recruiting and promoting individuals for all jobs, at all levels in the organization. In light of this, the four key ILO gender equality Conventions to promote gender equality in the world of work are the Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100), Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (No. 111), Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention (No. 156) and Maternity Protection Convention (No. 183) . These Conventions borrow from an array of international agreements advancing equality between men and women in the workplace. These include the UN Charter itself, numerous resolutions of the General Assembly, the 1997 UN Economic and Social Council’s Agreed Conclusions on gender mainstreaming, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action and its follow-up, the Millennium Development Goals and the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals.
“Women are concentrated in the lower levels of management and hold positions with less authority overall than men.” These instruments have aided in the mainstreaming of gender concerns in the workplace and set a stage for global reform. Sustainable Development Goal No. 5, which states “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, puts gender equality at the forefront of all social, economic and political agenda. It also recognizes the crucial role the private sector can play in realizing this goal to the full of its potential. Since reform of this kind involves a vast degree of attitudinal change, a top-down approach may be more effective in addressing stereotypes of all kinds. This is why UN Women in collaboration with UN Global Compact introduced the Women Empowerment Principles. The WEPs are a set of principles for businesses offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, community and marketplace. Asking CEOs of large corporates to sign these principles allows for a certain degree of accountability and commitment on part of the top management to engender the workspace. While ground level agitation is equally important to keep checks and balances on the top management, a written statement from the leadership showing commitment to women’s issues and diversity in the workplace only strengthens mass efforts.
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“One of the major deterrents for achieving this is the way discrimination and prejudices operate to exclude members of a particular group. The excuse of their gender, race, disability, age, class or any other aspect of their identity is the biggest single reason for the waste of human potential in most enterprise and in society as a whole”. A bottom-up approach to reduce discrimination, stereotype and prejudice would include training programmes for employers and employees that will help them to address these stereotypes. We could do this by making them attend gender sensitization programmes. Many direct and indirect manifestations of stereotypes such as sexual harassment, labelling, prejudices, and discriminations can be dealt with in such programmes.
WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT PRINCIPLES 1. Establish high-level corporate
leadership for gender equality. 2. Treat all women and men fairly
at work - respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination.
5. Implement enterprise
development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women. 6. Promote equality through
community initiatives and advocacy.
3. Ensure the health, safety and
well-being of all women and men workers.
7. Measure and publicly report
on progress to achieve gender equality.
4. Promote education, training and
professional development for women.
Thus, it is of critical important to put people, both men and women, senior and junior, at the center of all the activities of the organization. We need to develop strategies that include both men and women in the enterprise, especially in planning and decision making. Increasingly, organizations are investing in building a diversity and inclusion network through employee resource groups and corporate social responsibility initiatives. We need to build an organization where we initiate a process of taking positive action to bring everyone irrespective of their sex, age, class, race and ethnicity into each and every aspect of the enterprise. We need to welcome people with their diversity of background and abilities, not only for moral reasons but also for social and economic proﬁtability.
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PORTRAITS OF WOMEN REDEFINING DISABILITY
'The Differently Abled'
he stigma and misperception surrounding persons with disability has, more often than not, exposed them to discrimination and inequality. Where society may view disability as limiting one's ability, this feature showcases portraits of ďŹ ve incredibly accomplished women,
from different parts of the world, who have overcome the limitations of their disabilities and continually set the trend for others to follow. By their achievements, resilience and aptitude, it is clear to see that they are in a class of their own and impactful women leaders.
@ MalvikaIyer @MalvikaIyer
MALVIKA IYER (USA)
JUMOKE ABDULLAHI (UK)
“Disability is not an identity. An individual is a person before one is disabled. The term "disabled" makes a person sound imperfect or incomplete. People with disabilities are healthy, whole and complete by themselves." Malvika's transition from being a bomb blast survivor to an activist has been inspiring. She became the voice of the differently abled and is a strong advocate for positive body image, accessible fashion, elimination of discriminatory attitudes towards disabled people, universal design and accessible public spaces. Apart from being a Disability Rights Activist, Malvika is also a motivational speaker who has inspired millions and taken them along with her on her motivational and purposeful journey.
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"The stigma attached to disability seems to come from the outside. The issue is usually that people are not being enabled to reach their potential. These are the things that need to change." Among her personal achievements is being the ﬁrst in her family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. She deﬁes the stereotype that being disabled limits you or your choices. ‘My absolute passion in life is travelling and seeing as much of the world as I can. As a travel blogger, I have yet to ﬁnd someone with my particular niche. I am a black disabled female travel blogger, and usually it is abled bodied black travellers or disabled white people that are featured. It is not enough for me to just see the world through travel, but others have to see me around the globe as well, not just existing but thriving. I hope in some small way, that I am showing things are possible for those like me that have a thirst for adventure and exploring!’
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KERRY GIBSON (CANADA)
FARIDA BEDWEI (GHANA)
" We truly need to mainstream disabilities, so that people cease to be patronizing/predatory/dismissive and start realizing an individual's worth and value to society sometimes bring a set of wheels to the table."
"There is a stigma attached to disability but we need to recognise it so that disability-friendly initiatives can be taken to make our lives more comfortable and give us opportunities to reach our potential."
Award winning entreprenuer, inﬂuencer and global social activist, Kerry is a UN Women Planet 5050 Champion who raises awareness about early and forced marriages; and is an advocate for Women in Trade, Women in Stem and Gender equality. Among her many accomplishments, one of her most signiﬁcant is raising millions of dollars in private funding for social causes and speaking at the United Nations about Women in STEM, the Canadian government and disability. As an inﬂuencer, Kerry believes in leading by example, 'I tend to go on crusades where necessary and rally those around me to take up each cause. I am notorious for "ﬁxing" situations where I ﬁnd them, and people become excited to be a part of that. People like to be a part of big things.'
An award winning entreprenuer, she is the co-founder of Logiciel (Ghana) Ltd, a software company developing banking systems for the microﬁnance industry, and has also been appointed as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Her role involves assessing the industry and coming up with practical solutions, which are easy to use by persons with no formal banking training. She believes the informal sector, which makes up between 60%-70% of the population across Africa, deserve the same banking services as those in the formal sector. Thus by building affordable banking systems for them, the microﬁnance industry will be able to realize their full potential and offer adequate banking services to their customers. She has won a number of local and international awards, and was adjudged the most inﬂuential woman in business and governance (ﬁnance sector) for her work in computerizing the microﬁnance industry.
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TRISHNA BHARADIA (UK) MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS "Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m more concerned about the misunderstanding of the term and the fact that people most often only connect it with visible disability e.g. being in a wheelchair. There needs to be more education and awareness surrounding hidden disabilities, such as fatigue, pain, bladder/bowel incontinence, cognitive issues etc. and also that disabilities can be variable." Trishna is a multi-award winning leading advocate for people with multiple sclerosis (MS)/chronic illness/disability after being diagnosed with MS in 2008, aged 28. She advises on projects including BAME engagement in healthcare and volunteering, and is a patron/ambassador for MS Society UK, the Cambridge MS Therapy Centre, the Wheelchair Dance Sport Association and Sue Ryder. She was painfully shy growing up, yet managed to build her conďŹ dence to dance in front of millions of viewers on Strictly Come Dancing, given presentations to audiences as large as 700 delegates, frequently go on the radio and television to speak about issues relating to MS, chronic illness and disability, and even been a guest speaker at a reception at 10 Downing Street. Page 34 | WILPUBLICATION
Walk Away With An Action Plan London Welcomes Over 200 Women Entrepreneurs For WINTRADE WEEK A Conven on For WOMEN IN TRADE - Interna onally Trading. 5 Days| 8 Countries |10 Venues |12 Events |200 Women |100s of New Contacts |Millions of pounds in contracts | &
YOU! Visit h p://bit.ly/WINTRADEWEEKLONDON
The convention program is focused on helping your company to understand where to ﬁnd the right trading opportunities.Learn from enterprise and innovators how they are harnessing their national and international opportunities.Walk away with a special report from on how to deploy your own business trading strategy.
Who Should Attend
London Welcomes Over 200 Women Entrepreneurs For
WINTRADE WEEK 2017 WOMEN IN TRADE A Convention For Women Internationally Trading.
ore than 200 women business-leaders from across the globe are expected to convene in London for the 2nd WINTRADE WeekBusiness Trade Summit 25th to 29th September 2017. Women business leaders will attend from a diverse range of sectors and include, Inventorsand Innovators, Designers, Health & Lifestyle Management, Retail, Professional Services, Financial & Medical Services Tourism, Personal Development Services, Communications and Event Management, to name a just a few. Women will be coming in from the Netherlands, France, Nigeria, USA, China, Malaysia, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi to do business in London, the best city in the world to start, grow and do business from.
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WINTRADE WEEK is the UK’s largest independent event focused on the state of enterprise and international trading. WINTRADE WEEK is designedto help business executives cut through the red tape of trading nationally and internationally, and learn how to trade to build a competitive advantage, drive new business opportunities, reduce costs and accelerate innovation efforts.
Business Executives |Founders & CEOs of Venture-Backed Companies |Angel Investors |Media | Key Connectors |Corporate DevelopmentOfﬁcers | Business Development Managers |Product Managers |Marketing Leaders | Early Stage Entrepreneurs |PR Managers & YOU! FIND OUT MORE: TEXT: WINTRADE TO -+44(0) 7763842655 http://bit.ly/WINTRADEWEEKLONDON CALL: 08009709862/ +44(0)2072062596 EMAIL - email@example.com FOLLOW US ON WILPublica on
WINTRADE WEEK is the “must attend” event for enterprise executives and decision makers from global organizations. The 5–day conference brings together the international small business ecosystem, including innovative enterprises, industry thought leaders, start-ups, investors, developers, independent researchers and leading solution providers. This event is for true entrepreneurs wanting to Promote your business | Networking for contracts | Meet international partners looking to do business with you. Page 37 | WILPUBLICATION
Disrupting The Burnout Mindset
“The best way is to have recharged and nurtured your resilience before the challenging situation arrives. It’s a bit like a ﬁre extinguisher.” from exhaustion in 2007 and broke my cheekbone. And what I learned was the idea that I had to burn myself out in order to succeed was a delusion. And it is the same delusion fueling our global epidemic of burnout. Now I’m deliberate about making sure I get more sleep, and I make time to disconnect and recharge. I meditate and do breathing exercises in the morning, instead of reaching for my phone ﬁrst thing. And if I ﬂag during the day, I’m now an expert napper. How do you envisage educating the next generation of millenials on sleep revolution so they can avoid the dangers highlighted in your book?
n an age where the present generation, and those preceding it, are raised with the burnout mindset of hustling and ambition over everything else, media mogul Arianna Hufﬁngton is redeﬁning success through the unchartered territory of growth wellbeing and sleep revolution. She demands an end to the global epidemic of the burnout mindset and stresses the importance of not passing this burnout culture to yet another generation. Arianna Hufﬁngton is the founder of The Hufﬁngton Post; and the founder and CEO of Thrive Global. She has been named in Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most inﬂuential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. In May 2005, she launched The Hufﬁngton Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequentlycited media brands on the Internet.
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In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer wellbeing and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. In an exclusive interview with WILpublication, Arianna shares her thoughts, experience and lessons learnt on this revolutionary journey. Why sleep revolution at a time for a call to action in an era of undisputable change in politics, human rights and the economy? Yes, this is a time of great transition and stress for much of the world. But that’s precisely why we need to be mindful about our resilience. It maximizes our ability to navigate not just one change, but the process of constant change itself. And if you’re outraged about what’s going on, you might have good reasons for that, but living in a state of perpetual outrage isn’t good for us.
I’m not saying ignore what’s going on, but if we step out of the storm, to the calm center of the hurricane, and make time to disconnect and recharge, we’ll be more effective, resilient and creative in rising to whatever challenges we’re facing But the good news is that more and more young people are taking on the science that clearly shows they’ll be more productive, including with their school work, if they prioritize their well-being. And since they’re also new to the workforce, they’ll be less likely to buy into the delusions about burnout, sleep and work that my What is the hardest lesson in resilience you have experienced and how have you replenished your reserves to stay strong? The hardest lesson about resilience was when I collapsed
It’s very important that we not hand off our culture of burnout to yet another generation. As it is, studies have found that Millennials are more stressed than other generations. So it’s vital that they reject the idea that burnout is necessary for success right at the beginning of their careers, which will help accelerate the culture shift. Is it too late for the older generation to adopt a new approach to this? Deﬁnitely not, it’s never too late! No matter how old you are, the beneﬁts of taking care of yourself, sleeping, and prioritizing your well-being can make a difference in your physical and mental health. And there’s a wealth of science that shows that this is particularly true for older people. In your opinion, what is the best way to de-stress and unplug when faced with a difﬁcult or challenging situation? The best way is to have recharged and nurtured your resilience before the challenging situation arrives.
It’s a bit like a ﬁre extinguisher, when the ﬁre hits, it’s too late if you haven’t taken the time to make sure you’re prepared. But unlike with ﬁres, which even though we prepare for them we hope will never happen those, difﬁcult, challenging situations are absolutely inevitable. They’re part of life. The variable is what’s in our tank to respond to them. What resilience does is help us respond calmly, creatively, and without reacting emotionally. And so the key is to make time to recharge every day. This means getting enough sleep, building time in your day to disconnect from screens and devices, especially banishing your phone from your bedroom at night.
What changes would you like to see to support the transition of more women into leadership roles as entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs? Women pay the highest price for macho workplace culture in which burnout is taken as a proxy for commitment and dedication. Given that even when they’re working, women are doing the lion share of the work of keeping up the household, this becomes a backdoor way of making it harder for women to advance. So that’s why it’s all the more important to change this culture of burnout. sleeping, and prioritizing your well-being can make a difference in your physical and mental health. And there’s a wealth of science that shows that this is particularly true for older people.
What 3 top lessons learnt would you share with women coming up behind you? 1. Prioritize your own well-being: Women are often taking care of other people in their lives and end up putting themselves last. But it’s like what they say on airplanes, put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. 2. Don’t listen to the voice I call the obnoxious roommate living in our heads: that voice that feeds on putting us down and strengthening our insecurities and doubts. We all live with that voice, but the times it comes out the most is when we’re tired, stressed and run down. That’s when we’re most likely to doubt ourselves, most likely to react emotionally, and when our perceptions are at their shakiest. 3. Mentor other women: Mentorship is very important. It’s about passing down wisdom and institutional knowledge, things that have been important not just since women entered the workplace, but for thousands of years. And, of course, mentorship has often excluded women. Yes, both men and women can be great mentors to women, but it’s especially vital that women, because we’ve been excluded and because there are still old boy systems of mentorship that are still mostly male, help other women. As Madeleine Albright once said “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” And that means that the converse is also true – that there’s a special place in heaven for women who help other women.
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DR SANDIE OKORO Demystifying Success @SandieOkoro
“My attitude to comments about something being too hard is usually, that's not my story I’m different!"
orld Bank Group General Counsel, Dr Sandie Okoro is a seasoned and highly reputed lawyer attaining a height of success in the legal profession which many are yet to measure to. A strong mentor and advocate for aspiring leaders, Sandie motivates many to stretch themselves and reach for unattainable goals because she says 'if you set goals that are attainable you’re not stretching yourself.' She is a ﬁrm believer of being the best version you can be and holds the view that 'ambition' is a word women should claim back. One of her favourite quotes by Oscar Wilde constantly reminds her to “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”. Sandie is warm, down to earth with an engaging sense of humour. She has the ability to draw you in and afﬁrm the positive in you. She has signiﬁcantly impacted the lives of both men and women in their professional development. Proud of her Nigerian and Trinidadian roots, Sandie is an advocate of strong work ethics and self-belief, a legacy from her parents which has held her in good stead throughout her life. Page 42 | WILPUBLICATION
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“When I ﬁrst started off in my career, people told me 'you’re black and female, you won’t really get far in the law and in the city' but they were wrong. I didn't do anything magical. I stayed focused and got on with my job."
Do you feel a sense of responsibility as a role model?
How powerful would you say mentoring is?
I see myself as a child of three cultures, Britain where I grew up; Nigeria, where my dad is from; and Trinidad where my mum is from. These cultures are easily identiﬁable within me.
I think mentoring is a very powerful tool if done correctly. It's about going with your instincts in relation to the person you have in front of you. I've never said the same thing to any two people, apart from some of the obvious things. With each person, I tailor it individually to them and their circumstances.
One of the reasons I kept my surname is because I want to be identiﬁed by my Nigerian roots as well, it is very important to me. Do I feel responsible? Yes I do, not that I've asked for it. I didn't go out there seeking it, but I recognise I have it and therefore my success is everybody else's success and that has to be the case. I don't want to put myself out as a role model because I don't see myself like that at all, and I don't actually see myself as successful but I accept that other people do. I do recognise that I do owe something to this. I really don’t think God gave me this success to sit here and look pretty, I think he gave it to me to fulﬁll a function to help others along the way and I truly believe that if I did not do that there would be no point to it, and it would fall way.
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The most important thing about mentoring is demystifying. People will often think, it must have been hard to achieve success and they can't do it because it's somehow mysterious. With women, for example, particularly young black women, there are so many challenges they face because of all the stereotypes of being black and female. The challenge young black women have is they have so very few role models to see themselves in. I'm talking about young professional black women in the legal profession. There are so few role models that they feel like they are the beginning of it. When I ﬁrst started off in my career, people told me 'you’re black and female, you won’t really get far in the law and in the city' but they were wrong. I didn't do anything magical. I stayed focused and got on with my job.
What would you say is a key element to your success to date?
How would you advise people to overcome mistakes in their careers?
I am very goal orientated and resilient. When I want to achieve something, I keep going because my mother warned me about being lazy so I set myself really big goals. It’s not that I did anything magical, it’s just that others gave up so they created more room. When you give up, you’re actually creating the space for somebody else to take your place because someone always will. So why don’t you just take it yourself?
No such thing as a mistake. There’s only a learning opportunity. It’s only a mistake if we don’t learn from it. I think it’s a very simple thing. With a learning opportunity, you can often think that, well that’s the end of that. But that’s in your head. Yes there are some mistakes that end up in a jail sentence or end up in you being disbarred. We’re not talking about those kind of mistakes. We’re talking about mis-steps, bad judgement calls, things that throw you off the path, not things that are an end to it.
Never give up. You can give up for ﬁve minutes, go buy yourself some chocolate and ice cream, sit there and binge; and watch whatever it is you watch in your pyjamas.Do whatever you need to do but get back on track. Say, ‘that’s it, done that, felt sorry for myself’, and then give yourself time and space but never ever get off that track. Somebody is waiting for you to do just that, and you also don’t know what people's motivations are for telling you something is too hard. Is it because of their own fears or their own unconscious bias? My attitude to comments about something being too hard is usually, that's not my story I’m different! And it’s stood me in very good stead. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it, and you’ve got to recognise the difference between the two. So if you adopt a mentality of, it’s going to be difﬁcult, it will be difﬁcult. Or if you adopt a mentality of it’s going to be easy, it’s going to be easy. It’s that simple.
So you have to ﬁrst of all distinguish between those things you can come back from and those things you can’t come back from. Most of the time you can come back from it, and the way to do it is not let someone else’s perception of you become your reality, OK? Because that’s what you’re doing if you allow that mistake to mean you can’t get up, dust yourself off and put that down to experience. Your perception of yourself should always be top notch. People will believe what you believe about yourself. If you make that mis-step, provided it’s not a life threatening career ending or go to jail type of mistake, you learn from it, move on and do not shut the doors.
How do you feel about ambition? Oh God it’s great! Don’t be afraid to have it. It’s not a dirty word and just because you say it out loud doesn’t make you a bad person. I think it’s a word we need to claim back as women and again it goes back to the sporting analogy. Ambition is great in sports - if you say I want to win a gold medal, people say that’s ﬁne, great! You go for it! One of the things that always made me laugh earlier in my career when I started to travel and got very busy, people would go: ooh what about the kids? And I would go, damn! I knew there was something! I forgot to ring social services to let them know the kids are on their own, excuse me. [Laughs] You have to have a sense of humour about people's perception of your ambition and shut it down quite quickly. Don’t ever be rude, always assume people are coming from a good place and they’re coming from a point of protection with you. But if you want to shut it down you have to do it with a sense of humour.
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3. Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett
BOOK club 1. My Own Story – Emmeline Pankhurst Emmeline Pankhurst's autobiographical work is a timely read ahead of 2018’s centenary. This book is a must; to rejoice in the drive, determination and strength of our feminist foremothers, demonstrated in both their radical actions and ceaseless energy for engaging with the endless tedium of the British political system. Unswerving single-mindedness is unlikely to be a leadership model to replicate in the 21st century. Throughout history women have made change happen. We can learn from their experiences and have their strength in exploring new ways of achieving change. Recommended by Nicola Waterworth, Co-founder Happen Together CIC. Twitter @nicwaterworth
2. Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership by Joseph Jaworski
NORTHERN POWER WOMEN RECOMMENDED LIST BY SIMONE ROCHE ‘I am delighted to engage with the Northern Power Women community to create this reading list - there are some brilliant role models out there and great to hear their inspirations and book choices.’ Simone Roche, Founder Northern Power Women Page 46 | WILPUBLICATION
My favourite quote is: “Leadership is all about the release of human possibilities.” My main take away is about becoming more aware of the ﬁne line between making things happen and letting things happen. By focusing on our 'being' - a combination of character and consciousness, instead of our 'doing', he illustrates how real leaders spark moments that he describes as 'predictable miracles', seemingly synchronistic in nature. We need to deepen our understanding of reality by shifting our minds in three areas: How we see the world, how we understand relationships and how we make commitments. Twitter@MarlouHermsen Recommended by Marlou Hemsen, Chief Operating ofﬁcer of World Merit.
We’ve all been there. You’re in a meeting. You wait for your male colleagues to ﬁnish speaking, and then you politely ask ‘Can I just come in on that point…’ But before you can reach the end of your thought, you’re interrupted. And now the man that interrupted you is paraphrasing exactly what you just said to appreciative nods from his male colleagues. Bennett draws on stories of the ‘feminist ﬁght club’ she has put together in her work place to write a funny and irreverent guide to managing workplace sexism. She offers a typology of the different species of male you’re likely to encounter when working-whilst-female – from the Manterrupter, to the Dismisser, to the Menstruhater. Recommended by Grace Blakeley, researcher at the think tank IPPR North. Twitter@graceblakeley
4. Presence by Amy Cuddy The idea of the imposter syndrome is one that resonates with may successful female leaders across the world., attributing career achievements to being in the right place at the right time or luck instead of realising the hard work and signiﬁcant contribution they have delivered. In this book, Amy gives her personal reﬂections on how to master the art of being truly present, providing useful insights and a signiﬁcant body of research that backs up the power of body language and a positive mind-set on performance. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself then who will? Recommended by Angela Norman, Corporate Affairs, RBS England & Wales. Page 47 | WILPUBLICATION
5. Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers A book I always recommend to anyone male or female who suffers from a lack of selfbelief. It teaches you how to use adrenaline as energy rather than fear and helps you become a more conﬁdent person in everyday life as well as work. Recommended by Donna Hall, Chief Executive at Wigan Council, Greater Manchester.
6. Rising Strong by Brene Brown
I was gifted this book after a difﬁcult period in my life, and highly recommend it. Brene says, “If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall. This book is about what it takes to get back up.” Brene asked people, including Fortune 500 leaders, about their stories of being brave, falling and getting back up. The outcome...they weren’t afraid to lean in to discomfort. She says, “..reckon and be curious about our emotions; rumble with our stories to a place of truth; and live it to revolutionise our lives”. That’s a pretty good motto to live by. Recommended by Murryam Anwar, Local Enterprise Partnership lead, Liverpool.
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7. The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future by John Gerzema and Michael D'Antonio Women in senior leadership positions outperform average businesses on both equity and proﬁt, yet, we’re not sure what’s driving that success. The Athena Doctrine has the answers. A compelling piece of global research – 64,000 people interviewed across 13 countries – showed that a better balance of masculine and feminine values in our cultures is needed to thrive in today’s world. From our workplaces to our national way of doing things, female values like planning for the future, ﬂexibility and empathy, when balanced with perceived male qualities of focus, determination and being straight forward, was recognised by 81% of those surveyed as essential for future success. Recommended by Lauren Coulman, CEO and Social Impact Consultant at Noisy Cricket Ltd. Twitter@LaurenCoulman
8. Compelling People by John Nefﬁnger and Matthew Kohut A refreshing take on leadership skills through the labels 'strength' and 'warmth'. Using the latest psychology research, Nefﬁnger and Kohut argue that what traditionally were seen as male and female traits are actually far more universal. By analyzing the most successful, powerful and inﬂuential people in the world they show the most effective personalities are those that combine strength and warmth. It’s an accessible read that gives you the psychology then moves into how you can apply to your own life, both practically (think hand gestures and tone of voice), and in different situations from work to relationships to politics. Recommended by Maya Dibley, Head of Programmes and Partnerships, The Landing
9. Be Gender Smart by Inge Woudstra A useful reference for women in business, and particularly those in leadership roles, as it gives good reminders about how gender inﬂuences behaviours at work, and goes on to provide practical tips for embracing the differences between men and women in key situations, like decision making and creating strategic thinking. The book is also clear about the need for organisations to be transparent meritocracies, and environments where women are given opportunities to voice their opinions. It’s about adapting but embracing differences, and is summed up by a quote from the book “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger, it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength” [G.D. Anderson]. Recommended by Louise Marshall, Director Brother UK Infrastructure and Shared Services
10. Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg A book I recommend to brilliant women in my team. As the CEO of Facebook Sheryl has forged her way to lead an organisation in a male dominated environment where there weren't even female toilets when she was appointed. I love her Heidi/Howard scenario, ie the same person with a different gender treated completely differently by mixed gender Harvard students. Recommended by Donna Hall, Chief Executive at Wigan Council, Greater Manchester.
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“Our societies have both a duty and an obligation to remove barriers and ensure that every citizen has equal opportunities to contribute to and beneﬁt from the active participation in all areas of life in society. ”. An estimated 15% of the whole European population has some form of disability. Barriers persist regarding legislation, services, accessibility, the physical environment or attitudes towards persons with disabilities thus feeding into discrimination and preventing them from the full enjoyment of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Our societies have both a duty and an obligation to remove barriers and ensure that every citizen has equal opportunities to contribute to and beneﬁt from the active participation in all areas of life in society.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE'S DRIVE FOR EQUALITY BY LIRI KOPACI-DIMICHELE
nequality and discrimination affect all societies and present a challenge to the full realisation and enjoyment of human rights of individual citizens. Women and persons with disabilities are frequently most affected. Effective gender equality remains work in progress. Despite noticeable progress, gender gaps persist and discrimination against women, across social structures and throughout their different life stages, is well alive. Violence against women - the most pronounced expression of the uneven balance of power between women and men and a ﬂagrant violation of human rights - remains widespread and with devastating consequences for women and our societies.
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The Council of Europe, the continent’s leading human rights organisation, has made it its mission to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of human rights for all. It has played a major role in the development of legal and normative standards regarding both gender equality and the rights of persons with disabilities.
Guided by strategic documents agreed by the member States , the work and activities of the Council of Europe seek to inspire and support action and change in policies, legislation and practices through the implementation of the Council of Europe standards and recommendations, to ensure equality, dignity and equal opportunities for all. Gender stereotypes and sexism, including sexist hate speech, violence against women, in particular the ratiﬁcation and implementation of the most advanced legal treaty in this ﬁeld, the Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), equal access to justice, balanced participation in political and public life and ensuring a gender perspective throughout the work and activities of the Council of Europe are in the focus of gender equality work.
The new Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Human Rights: A reality for all – outlines action in ﬁve priority areas: equality and nondiscrimination, awareness raising, accessibility, equal recognition before the law and freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse. The strategic objectives are aligned to speciﬁc articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and contribute to its implementation. Last but not least, work developed at the level of the Council of Europe in the area of equality, provides valuable contribution towards the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goals 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” and Goal 16: “Peaceful and inclusive” societies to ensure “no one is left behind”.
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