ZURICH — The next World Economic Forum of world leaders and CEOs in Davos will be chaired by women including International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and IBM's (IBM.N) chief executive Ginni Rometty.
The seven co-chairs for the four-day event in January were announced in the face of criticism that the conference has in the past lacked female representation.
"Co-chairs ... were chosen to reflect global stakeholders," said a spokeswoman for WEF, adding the co-chairs were all leaders in their fields.
The co-chairs shape the programme and lead discussions and panels. The theme of the 48th conference is to "explore the root causes of, and pragmatic solutions for, the manifold political, economic and social fractures facing global society," WEF said.
WEF, in an annual report this month, found it will take another 217 years before women earn as much as men and have equal representation in the workplace, revealing an economic gap of 58 per cent.
It is the second straight year the Swiss non-profit has recorded worsening economic inequality.
A typical representative of the more than 2,500 titans of industry and influence that each January descend upon the Alps has received the unofficial moniker of "Davos Man" — a sign of the further shift in representation and thinking still necessary to balance uneven gender dynamics.
Other co-chairs are Isabelle Kocher, head of French energy conglomerate Engie (ENGIY.PK); Italian physicist and director general of the CERN particle physics research centre Fabiola Gianotti; founder of the rural cooperative Mann Deshi Bank for women, Chetna Sinha; and International Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Sharan Burrow.
Next year's event will take place January 23-26, 2018.