Home > Uncategorized > I don’t want more women at Davos

I don’t want more women at Davos

January 20, 2016

There was a New York Times article yesterday entitled A Push for Gender Equality at the Davos World Economic Forum, and Beyond. It was about how only 18% of the attendees of the yearly dick-measuring contest called the World Economic Forum – or Davos for the initiated – are women, and how they are planning to force companies to bring more women to improve this embarrassing attendance statistic.

One thing the article didn’t consider is the question of whether it’s actually a good thing that women aren’t at Davos. I think it is; I’m proud that women have better things to do than spend their time in high-security luxury to disingenuously discuss the world’s poor.

Davos is a force of inequality. It brings together dealmakers in finance and technology, and also the TED-talkish Big Idea promoters and “thought leaders,” and it encourages them to mingle and make deals. And while they might discuss the world’s big problems – like increasing inequality itself – I’m pretty sure they try much harder to help themselves than to solve those problems. In any case, I have little faith in their proposed solutions, especially after talking to Bill Easterly on Slate Money last week.

Let’s just cancel Davos altogether, shall we? That will do the world more good than getting more women to attend.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 20, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Perhaps the only realistic way of increasing the proportion of women is to decrease the number of men who attend. In that case, pushing for better gender balance would be a win-win.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leila
    January 20, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Oh well, maybe if there were more women at Davos they might actually do something. Who knows?


    • January 20, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Maybe. But maybe also a significant gender gap between (say) WEF and WSF sends some kind of strong signal.

      Just out of curiosity, what’s representation of women in TED talks?


      • mathematrucker
        January 25, 2016 at 10:04 am

        Sampling the first ten (ordered alphabetically by surname) on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_TED_speakers yields a value of 20%. One of the two women spoke for TEDWomen 2010, the other for TEDGlobal 2009.


      • mathematrucker
        January 25, 2016 at 10:25 am

        It turns out my previous comment’s estimate isn’t all that bad (as of 2013 anyway). Improving my search term on Google yielded the following page, which reports that as of April 2013, 72.5% of all TED speakers were male:



  3. Jim Johnson
    January 20, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Just so.


  4. January 20, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    The only way to reduce the gender pay gap is to have more high earning women in positions of influence, and that in turn requires the kind of networking that occurs at Davos.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rob
    January 20, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    The Slate Money interview is excellent! The Clemens’ “Economics and Emigration: Trillion-dollar bills on the sidewalk?” aggressively supports Easterly’s view


  6. Prakash
    January 22, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Wow! One of the best suggestions I have heard about Davos.

    Liked by 1 person

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