Women in Leadership at Davos

Businesses must examine the type of leadership their organisation rewards, if they are to close the gender gap, says The Myers-Briggs Company

According to data published by Quartz, a fraction of Davos 2020 attendees are women. Although the World Economic Forum is committed to improving the representation of women around the world, women made up less than a quarter of attendees at its annual conference in Davos.  While the proportion of women at senior levels in organisations is increasing, data collected by The Myers-Briggs Company shows that it will be many years before they reach parity with men – if ever. This is particularly true for women from minority backgrounds, who are even less likely to reach the top,  says John Hackston, Head of Thought Leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company, a leading business psychology organisation.

Speaking about the issue, John states that, “companies that do not take the problem seriously are missing a trick, as this is not only a moral, ethical and political issue. Important as these are, businesses with female representation at board level perform better financially.”

“The good news is that organisations can take action to improve their situation, such as creating public goals for improving representation, setting up mentorship programmes, or developing a pipeline that will give opportunities to women as well as men. However, one of the most important things that a company can do is to examine its organisational culture and in particular, how leaders are expected to make decisions. A people-focused, values-driven decision-making style is often very effective, and statistically women are more likely to possess this style than men. However, this style is rarely rewarded. Research by The Myers-Briggs Company found that for women, exerting this decision-making style meant they were less likely to reach the top. This difference did not exist for men, suggesting that a double standard in the why we reward styles of leadership exists.”

“Businesses wishing to improve the representation of women at senior levels should examine what sort of leadership behavior is actually rewarded within organisations, and consider whether this is really the most effective form of leadership."


About The Myers-Briggs Company 
In our fast-changing world, your edge lies in harnessing 100 percent of your talent – whether you’re at work, home, school, college, or anywhere in between. Your success and sense of fulfilment aren’t just about what you know and what you can do, they hinge on your relationships and interactions with others. The Myers-Briggs Company empowers individuals to be the best versions of themselves by enriching self-awareness and their understanding of others. We help organisations around the world improve teamwork and collaboration, develop inspirational leaders, foster diversity and solve their most complex people challenges. As a certified B Corp (and a registered California Benefit Corporation), The Myers-Briggs Company is a force for good. Our powerfully practical solutions are grounded in a deep understanding of the significant social and technological trends that affect people and organisations. With over 60 years in assessment development and publishing, and over 30 years of consultancy and training expertise, a global network of offices, partners and certified independent consultants in 115 countries, products in 29 languages, and experience working with 88 of the Fortune 100 companies, we’re ready to help you succeed.


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The Myers-Briggs Company
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