In April I took part in the Women's Forum on Economy and Society in Mexico City. Women’s Forum is the world’s leading platform for women's views and voices on major social and economic issues. Forum’s are held around the globe and each focuses on the important issues that are effecting women’s social and economic participation. However, importantly the forum’s do not treat ‘women’s issues’ as only affecting women, but as economic issues that need to be addressed by all of us – men and women.
Attended by 700 men and women from around the world, the Mexico City forum focused on the importance of the inclusion of women with men in finance, economy, telecom and infrastructure, as well as how we can improve women's economic opportunities and enable more women champions to be recognised.
As the forum was hosted in Mexico, we also discussed women’s status in Mexico today, and what needs to change. This included how education reforms could be improved to cultivate future talent and how programs enabling women to be business creators and participate in political and economic arenas should continue to be a real focus.
During the two day forum I was so pleased to hear such powerful stories and meet so many impressive women and men who are creating real social change across the globe and especially in Mexico.
One story particularly struck me as creating real social change; Marcelina Bautista. Founder of Support and Training Center for Domestic Workers, Mexico came to Mexico City from Oaxaca at 14 years of age. After working for 21 years as a domestic worker where she suffered discrimination and abuse, in 2000 she founded a center to support and train domestic workers (Centro de Apoyo y Capacitacion para Empleadas del Hogar A.C. CACEH) Through this center she has been promoting the rights of household works and spearheaded the campaign to unionise domestic workers In Mexico. She is an incredibly impressive women who is doing so much for her industry and I was pleased to be able to hear about her story and campaign, she is making real change in Mexico.
During each forum a group called the ‘CEO Champions’ are announced, this is an initiative that involves 50 leading CEO's, chairmen and education leaders and serves as a platform for global leaders to establish new and innovative ways to strengthen corporate empowerment and the advancement of women in both public and private sectors. I was pleased to be a part of this group in Mexico, it is an important initiative that allows decision makers to collaborate together and deliver real progress as they commit to chance as a collective. Important peer dialogue takes place which allows for focus on tackling the real issues and make change.
Women’s Forum is an important organisation that is leading the way for men and women to address social and economic issues together.