Closing the Gender Gap

Closing the Gender Gap


The Closing the Gender Gap Initiative seeks to engage all YGLs in taking specific actions to close the gender gap in their organizations and broader spheres of influence.


The initiative seeks to:

1) Raise awareness within our countries about the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index that examines the gap between men and women in four fundamental categories: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment;

2) Create and advocate for policies and practices in our organizations that decrease gender gaps in the four Global Gender Gap Index areas;

3) Empower and develop leadership potential in women within our spheres of influence;

4) Encourage and sponsor increased female participation in governance, board, and senior management positions to promote a diverse set of perspectives;

5) Encourage women to be more effective leaders through mentorship and by linking them with their peers from around the world utilizing YGLs as catalysts in their regions;

6) Strive to provide ongoing dialogue about women’s leadership issues, and the importance of both men and women striving to close the gender gap; and

7) Feature an equitable gender distribution of panelists at YGL events and within the YGL leadership activities.


So far, the initiative includes an online resource forum and is developing a pledge, modeled on the MDG Pledge and Global Business Oath, encouraging YGLs –and eventually a broader audience- to commit to specific, measurable steps to close the gender gap. It is also developing a mechanism for channeling YGLs into board positions both within and outside the YGL community.

Next Steps

Resources are being gathered to support YGLs in achieving those goals.


Michele Wucker

More information

A public website is being planned for the initiative. Additional resources are available at:

The Oath Project


The global financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing economic recession has brought under question the character and trustworthiness of business managers around the world. Unlike other professions such as medicine or law, which explicitly recognize a commitment to serving the greater good and formally espouse a strict code of conduct, management is yet to do either. Widespread views of management often subordinate business contributions to the greater good to the maximization of short-term financial returns, and emphasize a narrow view of managerial responsibilities as serving the interest of shareholders over clients, employees, or society at large. These views misrepresent the full complexity of the management profession and its role in driving global prosperity and, as we have painfully learned, can have disastrous economic consequences when taken to the extreme.

YGL Response

The YGL Global Business Oath aims to transform the value system dominant today among business leaders around the world by: (a) Explicitly recognizing that the ultimate purpose of management is to serve society by bringing together people and resources to create sustainable and inclusive prosperity that no single individual can create alone; (b) Recognizing that the effects (good and bad) of managerial decisions on the welfare of society are amplified by the accumulation of resources under legal corporations; (c) Proposing a code of conduct – a modern-day Hippocratic Oath of Business – that spells out a commitment to “doing no harm” throughout the practice of management. Hence, the Hippocratic Oath of Business aims to commit managers and business school graduates throughout the world to a common Code of Ethics and raise their awareness of ethical values such as integrity, honesty, reliability and responsibility.

Key Accomplishments

Starting in 2009, YGLs developed the “hippocratic oath for business” together with 300+ YGLs worldwide, in a year-long process which ensured the applicability of it to the business context but also in different cultural contexts. The YGLs also worked with other “Oath” organisations to share experience and attempt to harmonize the different codes. A website was launched ( for people to sign the oath, individual YGLs secured their boards and organisations to sign. To date, more than 6,900 current and future business leaders have signed the “Hippocratic Oath for Business”, and have made a personal commitment to lead with purpose, act with integrity, and understand the reach, power and responsibility of business.

Next Milestones

The Global Business Oath will be set up as an independent NGO with a dedicated secretariat. The governing board of the organisation will be 50% YGLs but will also include other Oath initiatives (MBA Oath, Aspen Institute, etc.). The YGL Directorate is working to ensure that current Active Member YGLs remain involved in the appropriate manner.


Angel Cabrera, Samer I. Asfour, Tewodros Ashenafi, Elena Barmakova, Gustavo Cardoso, François-Philippe Champagne, Adrian D. Cheok, Andrew L. Cohen, Arturo Condo, Jennifer Corriero, Jitesh Gadhia, Suhas Gopinath, Haakon of Norway, Lars Hinrichs, Christopher Jahns, Penny Low, Leslie W. Maasdorp, Aaron McCormack, Patricia Menendez-Cambo, David Munro, Henrik Naujoks, Efrat Peled, Paolo Ribotta, Alvaro Rodriguez Arregui, Daniel Sachs, Dan Shine, Jens Martin Skibsted.

Non-YGL Members:
Rakesh Khurana, Nitin Nohria, Manfred Reichl

Looking For

We need as many YGLs as possible to sign the oath and to use their platforms of influence such as business leaders associations (e.g. Mongolia) or boards of directors and senior management teams (e.g. Banco Compartamos in Mexico) to encourage other acting business professionals to join the movement.

Go, sign the oath now! Also, you can check out who has pledged to date here.

Global Dignity


For real progress to be made in this world we need to strengthen what unites us in stead of constantly focusing on what sets us apart. One thing that all human beings have in common is that we all want our dignity to be recognized. We want to strengthen the fabric of our common humanity so that we realize that we are interconnected, that we are all in this together and that the hardships that is experienced by another person also affects us.

YGL Response

Since 2005, they have worked with many Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers and other partners in over 50 countries reaching more than 400,000 youth. Global Dignity has set itself the goal of building bridges and promoting the one thing that unites us all as human beings, regardless of our ethnicity, religion, political views or other differences: human dignity. The aim is to encourage children in particular

Since 2008, we have organized Global Dignity Day in October (held this year on October 17, 2012). On this day we go into schools around the world to focus on the fundamentals of dignity in society as well as in our daily life. ).  During Global Dignity Day, they visit with local schools and communities around the world teaching a “course in dignity” to youth and spreading the mission of helping youth and adults become their best self and helping others to achieve the same.

This year, Global Dignity Day was celebrated in 50 counties and reached over 250,000 youth. Today, Global Dignity has Chairs in 34 countries and five organizational partners. It is a benchmark for successful YGL initiatives that are self-sustaining.

In addition to Dignity Day we want to spur a global conversatoin focused on dignity and we promote dignity centred leadership and decition making.


Global Dignity is an autonomous non-profit, non-criticism and non-partisan project. We wish to be inspiration-based; commending and encouraging best practice and dignity centered leadership rather than criticizing shortcomings.

The mission of the Dignity Project is to implement globally the universal right of every human being to lead a dignified life. This is a paradigm shift in thinking about our global challenges, a new language and a mindset to approach issues of poverty, peace, and progress.
We all have the ability to increase the dignity of others and thus we increase our own dignity.  The dignity approach works on all levels: it works for children and for adults, it works for men and for women, and it works on the micro and macro level. Our aspiration is to eventually make every day of every year a day of dignity for men and women around the world, especially those without a voice to raise for themselves.
This idea depends on seeing dignity in action, and   in all walks of life, based on 5 dignity principles.


Co-Founders: Prince Haakon of Norway, Pekka Himanen, John Hope Bryant

Board Members: Prince Haakon of Norway, Pekka Himanen, John Hope Bryant, Hilde Schwab, Irene Woo Chu

Supported by Young Global Leaders

Looking For

We have a concept that is proven and works. We need scaling. For that we need funding. We are currently looking at how we can reach as many children through our Dignity Day concept as possible. We would like to set up a Global Dignity office with one or two people employed that can coordinate the activities around the world.

Get Involved

  • Educate yourself on Dignity and learn the Dignity curriculum here.
  • Sign the Dignity Principles and make them instrumental in your daily lives
  • You can host the next Global Dignity Day in your local– next global event to be held in October 2010, but you can make this happen any day of the week!
  • to learn more.

To learn more please go to our website and feel free to contact us!

YGL Public Leadership Task Force Initiative


The World Economic Forum has undertaken an ambitious and timely effort to rethink and redesign the public systems, institutions and processes that enable global collaboration. While the structures of the existing global order undoubtedly need to change and be improved if we want to effectively tackle 21st century challenges, the new arrangements and organizations will ultimately only be as good as the people who make them work. That is, even the best institutions and systems need outstanding leadership if they are to excel.


This initiative explores how to foster the next generation of effective leaders in the public sector. In addition to holding sessions at World Economic Forum regional events, they are organizing a Master Class on Public Sector Leadership in July, 2011.


In 2010 we gathered sentiments on why YGLs would or would not run, hosted a master class of more than 70 YGLs in New York during the summer of 2011 (report can be found here). This group has work closely YGL Community Partner, PWC, and would invite you to peruse the below links and articles related to Public Leadership.

In early December, 2012, more than 30 YGLs from 15 different countries convened in Washington DC to take part in the first Young Global Leaders Public Leadership Boot Camp. The boot camp opened by presenting YGLs with a serious reflection on the sacrifices associated with running for public office and then over the subsequent two days focused on a practical combination of skills building  and inspiration from past and currently elected officials, including three YGLs, who talked about the challenges and highlights of their work. Participants also received private tours of Washington DC’s national monuments, the White House and US Capitol. The organizers were especially proud to hear several YGLs declare their intention to run for office. A task force is now thinking about how to replicate the boot camp in other regions and how to support YGLs in their political life.


The initiative is also planning to run a mini-boot camp at the YGL Annual Summit in Myanmar for local Burmese leaders and interested YGLs alike.
Each participant will walk away with a personalized political plan and next steps, as well as his or her own political biography, public speaking,media, technology, and debating skills.
The cohort will be encouraged and supported to stay connected and support each other through their political lives.


The War for Talent –

The World’s Leadership Deficit –

Australia’s Public Leadership Deficit –


Questions, comments or a desire to participant can be directed to Lisa Witter, YGL 2012 and Task Force Chair at