By Clare Dyckhoff
UN Women NC UK was proud to be a supporting organisation of this year’s Financial Times Women at the Top summit, held on September 27th.
The event aimed to tackle the gender imbalance in the top ranks of business and featured a variety of speakers from the public, private and non-profit sectors – including Justine Greening, secretary of state for education and minister for women and equalities, and UN Women NC UK’s own chair, Laura Haynes.
The panel discussions covered topics such as the importance of diversity and inclusive leadership to growth, what the workplace will look like in 2027, and the global gender equality agenda.
Laura emphasised the importance of speaking publicly about the change that needs to happen, and she championed those organisations getting involved in campaigns such UN Women’s HeForShe movement.
When asked about flexible working hours, Laura said “it is not about the hours you work, it is about the work you are delivering.”
When discussing the future of AI and how technology affects both men and women in the workplace, Anne Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America, stressed the predominance of men in algorithms and machine learning – emphasising a need to address equality in the digital world as well as the physical.
Laura applauded technology as being an “unbelievable lever for change,” not only in terms of providing access to education for people who are difficult to reach, but also to help people return to work – emphasising that this is not just a UK issue.
Marlene Schiappa, secretary of state for equality between women and men in France, stated that the UK is a source of inspiration to her in terms of gender equality – citing that women in the UK could vote from 1918, but women in France only gained the right to do so in 1944.
On the gender pay gap, she said: “We name and shame, and name and change.”
Paris Petgrave, co-founder and CEO of We Love Work, said “I believe fully that change is inevitable.” Upon being asked what she hopes will have changed in the workplace by 2027, she said: “That this room is full of men driving this conversation.”