ET Women’s Forum: Eliminating workplace discrimination leads to increased labour productivity, says Marianne Hagen

Norway’s deputy minister for foreign affairs said that quality education is also crucial.

BCCL
Marianne Hagen, Norway’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Economic Times Women’s Forum 2019 took forward the mission that it launched last year — to collaboratively and urgently build a sustainable culture of empowering India’s half a billion women — through a scintillating day of conversations and debates about encouraging greater participation and reducing gender inequality in every sphere of life, work, and play.

Gender equality is simply smart economics and, having one of the highest levels of women’s participation in the work force, Norway has learnt that it translates directly to economic growth, welfare and sustainability, said Marianne Hagen, Norway’s deputy minister for foreign affairs.

While most people assume it’s because of oil and gas, equally important is the value of female labour participation. “This is, contrary to the natural resources, a perpetual source of income,” Hagen said.



All leaders in the four-party majority government in Norway are women. The three top offices — prime minister, foreign minister and finance minister — are held by women, along with those of chief justice of the supreme court and president of the parliament. While women make up 40% of parliament, in broader political participation, Norway has almost reached gender parity.

World Bank research shows that eliminating discrimination against working women has increased labour productivity by as much as 25% across countries. A separate study by the McKinsey Global Institute calculated that the potential benefit of closing the gender gap in the workforce would amount to $28 trillion in global GDP by 2025. “The facts and the lessons are clear. So at this point, we should get past the why and we should direct all our attention fully on the ‘how’ we should fully evolve women in the labour markets,” Hagen said.

Workplace Diversity: Need Equality In The Boardrooms
1/6

The world over, there has been a clamour for diversity in the workplace. In India too, the story is no different. And a lot of corporations have raised red flags over the abysmal representation of women in the boardroom. From treating women equally to women-specific policies, there are various points of view.

So what can bring about diversity?

The world over, there has been a clamour for diversity in the workplace. In India too, the story is no different. And a lot of corporations have raised red flags over the abysmal representation of ..
Read More

Does workplace diversity happen when women are treated the same as the men, be it roles, responsibilities and accountability too? Is diversity a by-product of similar treatment to both genders?

Does workplace diversity happen when women are treated the same as the men, be it roles, responsibilities and accountability too? Is diversity a by-product of similar treatment to both genders?

Or is diversity best guaranteed when corporations put in place specific policies and procedures that ensure women don't lose their career trajectory when they take a break to set up home or start a family?

Or is diversity best guaranteed when corporations put in place specific policies and procedures that ensure women don't lose their career trajectory when they take a break to set up home or start a..
Read More

Most companies today realise the aching need for having more women in the boardroom in order to improve diversity. They understand that they need more women in the corner offices as role models that will go on to encourage more to join the workforce.

Most companies today realise the aching need for having more women in the boardroom in order to improve diversity. They understand that they need more women in the corner offices as role models tha..
Read More

Being a role model isn't easy, though. Most success stories show that women have had to make major sacrifices to reach the top. But young people want their role models to have it all - from an exciting career to a happy family life, wealth, fame and leisure.

Being a role model isn't easy, though. Most success stories show that women have had to make major sacrifices to reach the top. But young people want their role models to have it all - from an exci..
Read More

Workplaces can become inclusive and level-playing fields when there is support and acknowledgement. Women, too, need to seize the day in a line of work they love and enjoy. Prioritising is critical, so is communicating one's needs. And don't be ashamed of asking for help. When the time comes, you can always pass that on.

Workplaces can become inclusive and level-playing fields when there is support and acknowledgement. Women, too, need to seize the day in a line of work they love and enjoy. Prioritising is critical..
Read More

ADVERTISEMENT
Women’s economic independence and potential can only be realised if they have full economic rights. The effort should be to ensure equal inheritance rights, property rights and non-discriminatory family laws. Access to quality education is also crucial. “For young girls in particular, this is the very basis for work and income,” she said.

Thirteen years ago, Norway was the first country to legislate a gender quota of 14% on the boards of all listed firms. The ratio of women has risen from 7% since then to 40%. “And contrary to the predictions of the critics, business is booming,” said Hagen.

ET Women's Forum: Gig By Transgender Music Band, Talking Start-Ups & Beyond #MeToo
1/8

India’s first transgender music band, 6 Pack Band, kick-started the event with an enthralling performance.

India’s first transgender music band, 6 Pack Band, kick-started the event with an enthralling performance.

Priyanka Gill, CEO, POPxo and Plixxo (L), and Sudhir Sethi, chairman, Chiratae Ventures, discuss start-up culture in India.

Priyanka Gill, CEO, POPxo and Plixxo (L), and Sudhir Sethi, chairman, Chiratae Ventures, discuss start-up culture in India.

Noor Jahan, goalkeeper, Indian ice hockey team, and Harjinder Singh Jindi, general secretary, Ice Hockey Association of India, have a light-hearted moment at a panel discussion on sports.

Noor Jahan, goalkeeper, Indian ice hockey team, and Harjinder Singh Jindi, general secretary, Ice Hockey Association of India, have a light-hearted moment at a panel discussion on sports.

Kanta Singh, (L) Gender Lead, United Nations Development Programme, and Sanchita Mitra of SEWA Bharat talk about mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs in the country.

Kanta Singh, (L) Gender Lead, United Nations Development Programme, and Sanchita Mitra of SEWA Bharat talk about mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs in the country.

Birgit Liodden (L), Director of Sustainability, Ocean Industries & Communication, Oslo Business Region, strikes a pose at the event after her power-packed session on going beyond the #MeToo movement.

Marianne Hagen (R), Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Norway, also poses for shutterbugs at the forum.

Birgit Liodden (L), Director of Sustainability, Ocean Industries & Communication, Oslo Business Region, strikes a pose at the event after her power-packed session on going beyond the #MeToo movement...
Read More

Independent director Ireena Vittal, stops for the cameras before her panel discussion on women in the boardroom during the forum.

Independent director Ireena Vittal, stops for the cameras before her panel discussion on women in the boardroom during the forum.

Singer Prateek Kuhad brought the power-packed day to a close as he serenaded the audience at the closing ceremony.

Singer Prateek Kuhad brought the power-packed day to a close as he serenaded the audience at the closing ceremony.

Fawzia Koofi and Julia Gillard engage in conversation during the forum.

Fawzia Koofi and Julia Gillard engage in conversation during the forum.



Download
The Economic Times News App
for Quarterly Results, Latest News in ITR, Business, Share Market, Live Sensex News & More.
READ MORE
ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE:

LOGIN & CLAIM

50 TIMESPOINTS

ET Business Listings
Generate Enquiries for your Business by Listing on Economictimes.com

More from our Partners

Loading next story
Text Size:AAA
Success
This article has been saved

*

+