Role of women executives in building successful business models

Irina Gaida, Partner, Strategy& Russia, spoke at the session on women executives in business at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The discussion was devoted to the women’s economic empowerment, in particular as it pertains to their taking senior management positions at large companies, as well as the need to develop business standards to enhance the contribution of such women for sustainable economic development. The subject of this session referred also to the role of politicians and business leaders in engaging more women in economic activity.  The participants talked about the specific measures that should be taken to promote women’s leadership in manufacturing and the public sector.



Irina Gaida noted that there are three reasons why women should be involved in business - customers, investors and the labor market. The role of women in decision-making is incredibly high, whatever is the level of the question on which the decision needs to be made. In addition, the statutes of many companies, Irina emphasizes, spell out the rule of gender equality, for example, the presence of at least three women on the board of directors. Such companies turn out to be more successful in practice in comparison with the ones where the percentage of women is less regarding to men. Women also represent a pool of talented personnel, and many employers are interested in hiring women, offering them an effective social elevator.

Other panelists:

  • Li Yong, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO);
  • Gulnaz Kadyrova, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation;
  • Anastasia Kalinina, Head of Eurasia, World Economic Forum;
  • Galina Karelova, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation;
  • Erika Lindauerova, General Manager for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, HP Inc.;
  • Doris Lippert, Head of Digital Advisory Services for Austria, Microsoft Corporation;
  • Veronika Peshkova, President, Foundation for the Development of Public Diplomacy Women's Perspective; Goodwill Ambassador, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO);
  • Julia Solovieva, Director for Business Operations on EMEA Emerging Markets, Google Russia.

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