10 December 1996

United Nations 
Division for the Advancement of Women
Expert Group Meeting on Women and Economic Decision-Making
  in International Financial Institutions and Transnational Corporations
Simmons College, Graduate School of Management
Boston, Massachusetts
11 - 15 November 1996

                             Expert Group Meeting


                      Women and Economic Decision-Making
                   in International Financial Institutions
                       and Transnational Corporations

                                 Simmons College
                          Graduate School of Management
                             Boston, Massachussetts
                             11 - 15 November 1996


Division for the Advancement of Women
Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development
2 United Nations Plaza, DC2-12th floor
New York, N.Y. 10017, USA
Fax: (212) 963-3463
Web location:




       A. Strategic approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-13
       B. Opening statements. .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14-46

Part One


       A. Attendance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  47-48
       B. Election of officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      49
       C. Adoption of agenda and programme of work . . . . . . . . . .50
       D. Working groups. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Part Two

II.    SUMMARY OF GENERAL DISCUSSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52-64


       A. General  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65-66
       B. Transnational corporations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67-71
       C. International financial institutions . . . . . . . . . . 72-76
       D. Governments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77-81
       E. United Nations system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  82-84
       F. Non-governmental organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85-88

IV.    NEXT STEPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   89


I.     List of participants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27-32
II.    List of documents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33-34


1.     In the Beijing Declaration, the governments participating in the Fourth
World Conference on Women (FWCW) reaffirmed their commitment to the equal
rights and inherent dignity of women and men.  They further noted that women's
empowerment and their full participation on the basis of equality in the
decision-making process were fundamental for the achievement of
equality, development and peace.

2.     Implementation of the Platform for Action (PFA) required commitment
from governments and the international community.  The governments represented
at the FWCW committed themselves to take all necessary measures to eliminate
all forms of discrimination against women and the girl child, and remove all
obstacles to gender equality and the advancement and empowerment of women.

3.     The Mission Statement of the Platform for Action noted that a
transformed partnership based on equality between women and men is a condition
for people-centered sustainable development.  It further emphasized that women
shared common concerns that can be addressed only by working together and in
partnership with men towards the common goal of gender equality.  In addition,
it recognized that some women face particular barriers to their empowerment.

4.     The success of the PFA requires the strong commitment of governments
and international organizations at all levels.  Therefore, the Expert Group
Meeting on Women and Economic Decision-making in International Financial
Institutions and Transnational Corporations focused its attention on the
specific roles the various actors in the empowerment process of women in
decision-making could play; and developed specific recommendations on the
actions they should take.  These actions were related to transnational
corporations (TNCs), international financial institutions (IFIs),
organizations, funds, programmes, and agencies of the United Nations system,
governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  These actors, given
their interdependence, need to cooperate in a constantly changing environment.

5.     The Expert Group reaffirmed that the PFA could only be achieved by a
true partnership between men and women.  Therefore, the recommendations
contained in this paper assumed such a partnership.  They further assumed that
recommendations which would benefit women would also have a positive impact on
men and society as a whole.  The Expert Group also noted the positive role
which the media could and should play in facilitating the successful
implementation of these recommendations.  

6.     A major focus of this Expert Group was on section F of the PFA, women
and the economy.  Although the recommendations addressed various strategic
objectives in this section, the major focus was on the fifth strategic
objective, namely to eliminate occupational segregation and all forms of
employment discrimination.  In particular, the Expert Group developed
recommendations based on paragraph 178g (eliminate occupational segregation,
especially by promoting the equal participation of women in highly skilled
jobs and senior management) and directed to actors specified in chapter 5,
section C of the Platform for Action.

7.     The Expert Group Meeting also noted section G of the PFA, on women in
power and decision-making, in particular, the structural and attitudinal
barriers in paragraph 186 of the PFA which were considered  in developing its

8.     With respect to IFIs, the Expert Group considered relevant sections of
chapter 5 of the PFA concerning institutional arrangements.  In this regard,
paragraph 342 concerning "Other international institutions and organizations"
was also noted.

A.  Strategic approach

9.     There is ample evidence that increasing the representation of women in
decision making is the smart thing to do, not just the right thing.  For
corporations, exclusion of women from decision-making translates into costs
and losses;  costs of staff  turnover and loss of talent; loss
of real and potential market share due to overlooking the needs of major
consumer bases; loss of shareholder value, associated with insensitivity and
poor track records on diversity issues.  It translates into loss of some of
half the potential in the talent pool if companies are not seen by
women as attractive employers.  

10.    International organizations know that development must be sustainable
to rationalize shrinking resources and have a lasting impact.  This knowledge
coupled with a changing portfolio generates needs for new approaches,
including expanded consultative processes in project design and
implementation, and greater attention to social dimensions of projects and
capacity-building.  To develop these approaches, TNCs and IFIs, as well as
other actors, need to include the most qualified staff --women and men-- in
decision-making, to increase the diversity of views, to better
reflect the composition of the client population, and to demonstrate through
their own staffing practices that they are committed to the advancement of

11.    Women have made significant progress in terms of education,
participation in economic activity and social status.  However, they have a
long way to go as far as advancement to top decision-making positions is
concerned.  They must assume responsibility for their own advancement but
their ability to do this will be enhanced where governments and employers
create enabling environments.

12.    The full and sustainable empowerment of women requires that a critical
mass of women be represented at all levels in the decision-making process in
national private and public enterprises, IFIs, TNCs, Governments, United
Nations system, and NGOs.  This is essential to ensure that institutional
barriers to the advancement of women are eliminated and that a continuous pool
of qualified women is available for future advancement.  The importance of
this was underscored by the PFA.  Critical mass, which is defined as at least
one third representation of women,  provides a support level which can
mitigate perceived tokenism and a sense of isolation from a lower percentage
of representation. 

13.    To achieve this strategic approach  requires the commitment and action
of local, national and international bodies.  The successful organizations of
the future will reflect the diversity of the nations they represent and in
which they operate.  They will challenge the myths and stereotypes which have
in the past prevented women from achieving their full potential and rightful
place in the economic development of nations.

B. Opening statements

14.    In her opening statement, Ms. Angela E.V. King,  Director of the
Division for the Advancement of Women, welcomed the experts and other
participants and expressed her appreciation to the Dean and staff of Simmons
College, Graduate School of Management for hosting the Meeting.  This was the
first such meeting that brought together experts to focus on women managers in
international financial institutions and transnational corporations.  She
stressed that recent global trends having an impact on women include
structural adjustment policies particularly in the developing countries; the
rapid evolution in information technology creating instant access to a wide
spectrum of information and opening doors for women to play a leading role in
information and advocacy; growing economic interdependence and globalization
of markets and production; and finally, the growing feminization of the labour
market but also of poverty.  

15.    The Beijing Conference gave a sense that something was very wrong in
terms of women's access to top level positions of very influential
institutions and organizations.  Their representation was almost negligible. 
Recent surveys show that in 1995, 95 per cent of all top management posts were
still held by men in the United States of America.  A recent census of
women at the top in the United States Fortune 500 companies indicated that
only 2 per cent of the highly paid positions and 10 per cent of corporate
officer posts were held by women.  She pointed out that the discrepancy was
all the more striking as there have been significant gains at the levels
immediately below top level management, i.e. there are current sizable numbers
of women "in the pipeline" based on their access to tertiary education and
their increasing representation in fields such as law, business and
management.  Failure to achieve equal representation in top management could
not be blamed on the supply side of the equation.

16.    Ms. King noted that despite the 20 years that have elapsed since the
Mexico Conference on Women, there are still only eight women among the 185
permanent representatives to the United Nations (UN), and only five women
heads of UN agencies.  Women are seldom heads of delegations in the economic
and financial committees.  For example in the UN General Assembly Second
Committee, which deals with economic and financial questions, the share of
women heads of delegations has only moved from 3.6 per cent to 13.0 per cent
over 20 years.  In the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the number of
women heads of delegations has remained at one over the same period.

17.    She hoped that the meeting would look at strategies to ensure that the
numbers of women increase and the comparative advantages of women's managerial
styles will be recognized and adopted by mainstream management.  In this
regard, it would be useful to explore whether women who make it in these
organizations have made a difference, and whether this difference is reflected
in different policies and work environments, compared to policies, corporate
culture and managerial styles in male dominated workplaces.  The
recommendations from this meeting, which she hoped would be practical and go
beyond the many proposals in the Beijing Platform for Action, will be
presented to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March

18.    In welcoming participants to the meeting Dr. Anne Jardim, Dean of the
Graduate School of Management, Simmons College, recalled both the growth that
has taken place in the scale of intergovernmental bodies (e.g. the United
Nations doubled its national representation in 30 years). She also described
the learning that is to be gained from the past.  Simmons College was itself
born out of the difficulties of individual women who were admitted as a small
minority to the Harvard Business School.  Their experience encouraged the
foundation of this centre specifically to provide a management education for
women.  This was an entrepreneurial act, bold in concept and in risk-taking
with modest start up finance.  Since then growth has been financed by the
alumnae, an achievement for the School and for the women themselves since it
is a measure of their career success.

19.    Emphasizing the need to move beyond established ways of thinking, Dr.
Jardim advocated that we equip women by helping them to look at issues of 
both leadership and "followership" as they go into corporations where there
were centuries of practices built on men's experience and values.

20.    Ms. Padma Mallampally, Chief, Investment-related Development Issues
Section, UNCTAD, built on her previously circulated paper by reminding the
meeting that in today's economic environment, characterized by globalization
of economic activity and the liberalization of international transactions of
all kinds, TNCs became more important as economic actors.  Although their
direct quantitative impact on employment world-wide was relatively modest,
they were employing increasing numbers of people in developing countries. 
There was, moreover, some evidence that they often provided employment of
higher quality, (in terms of wages and conditions of work) than domestic firms
in developing host countries. In their effort to maintain competitiveness,
TNCs were increasingly pursuing strategies that were efficiency-seeking -- not
only market-seeking or resource-seeking.  Their strategies were directed not
only towards acquiring and servicing national markets, or exploiting primary
resources  (including low-cost labour), but at organizing their operations in
such a manner that production activities or functions located in different
countries or sites contributed the most towards corporate objectives, with
sales often taking place in regional or global markets rather than the
national markets where the parent or affiliates were located.

21.    Ms. Mallampally said that the behaviour of TNCs with respect to the
advancement of women to senior decision-making positions was likely to be
similar to that of other firms or profit-seeking organizations.  There were,
however, some reasons for expecting that they could have a specific role to
play in the area of women's advancement in economic decision-making. 
Because of their greater focus on competitiveness, TNCs might be more likely
than others to recruit and promote on merit.  Moreover, while they spaned
different countries and regions with different cultures and business
practices, their globally organized nature might enable them to remain free
of, or less influenced by local cultural constraints.  This offered greater
flexibility in recruiting and promoting women and in transferring best
practices from one location to another.  In addition, TNCs were increasingly
characterized by network structures in their human resource management, and
such structures were held to be more hospitable to women.  These factors could
work to facilitate and accelerate women's advancement towards decision-making
positions within TNCs in home as well as host countries, including developing
countries.  This could, in turn, affect the practices of other firms linked to
them as suppliers or buyers, and also act as a catalyst for change on a
broader scale.

22.    Information was lacking as to what extent the opportunities and
positions at the senior level generally accorded by TNCs to women corresponded
to these expectations.  Information on individual TNCs showed that a number of
them had instituted policies and implemented measures for advancing women to
higher positions within their corporate systems.  Policies adopted and actions
implemented at the national level were clearly important in creating an
enabling framework that motivates and facilitates enterprises, including TNCs,
taking measures to promote women's entry into and presence in decision-making
positions.  At the international level, existing frameworks dealing with
foreign direct investment and TNCs did not specifically incorporate the issue
of women's advancement in management or other decision-making areas, but
allowed broad scope for application of the standards that host or home
countries considered appropriate.  Public and private sector cooperation, both
in and between countries, in drawing-up guidelines or an agenda for the
advancement of women in private enterprises, including TNCs, would be an
important step forward.

23.    Dr. Ariane Berthoin Antal, the United Nations consultant, referred to
her paper saying that women in management was a comparatively recent topic for
research, therefore information was weak.  It was difficult to make
comparisons across the world.   Where there were numerical measures of
representation, these were often of questionable value as the data were not
comparable.   Nevertheless the premise that increased numbers of women in the
labour force will lead to their higher representation in management was
supported by data from the International Labour Organization (ILO).  This
shows that, over seven years, there had been a doubling of the proportion of
women in management.  In some cases, e.g. Japan, this was from a very low
base, i.e. from 4 per cent to 8 per cent.  Trends showed as well that the
investment in education was also paying off for women.  However, in a number
of countries, although women were more committed to a career and better
educated, they did not generally get above middle management anywhere in the

24.    One recent European-wide study on barriers specifically related to
women in the banking sector showed that the obstacles women experienced change
as they move up the career ladder.   While at entry level women said that the
most important barriers were  related to family issues, as they moved up they
experienced  hurdles related to hidden processes in which promotion decisions
were embedded.  By the time women achieve senior or top management posts, 76
per cent said "traditional male" values were  a barrier.  The study found that
this holds true across Europe including Scandinavia where there was a
perception that there was stronger societal commitment to equality.  
Family/work balance issues continued to be cited and the lack of sufficient
contacts with senior people emerged as a significant factor.   At these higher
levels, information about promotion processes were also a barrier.  The study
found that women and men often had different career paths.  First, women
tended to specialize rather than going into general management, which meant
they were not seen to bring the broad experience needed for senior management. 
Secondly, the decision- making processes and criteria for senior management
positions tended to become less formalized and rational.

25.    Dr. Antal went on to say that, although there were no in-depth 
research studies about TNCs, she agreed that they set agendas by requiring
local countries to adhere to home practices and as a result might create
opportunities for local women.   She cautioned however that when
headquarters switch priorities too fast the change does not become embedded at
the local level.  TNCs could also increase the proportion of women in senior
management by providing international assignments although research showed
they were still often reluctant to do this.  Dr. Antal said that in order to
design effective change processes to grapple with cultural barriers to
women in management, it was useful to learn from what worked  in other change

   Shared vision and concretely formulated targets - build these together;

   Sense of urgency and cost of not changing-should be spelled out;

   Ownership - use process to involve men as well as women;

   Commitment from power holders and role modelling;

   Investment in training - men as well as women;

   Value and build on past strengths - recognition helps with buy in;

   Monitoring and adjustment - what is not measured will not get done;

   Celebrating success - recognize steps along the way.

26.    In concluding, Dr. Antal proposed that the meeting should build a mix
of different approaches to tackle individual, organizational, societal and
cultural issues simultaneously, recognizing that there was no one best way. 
The Meeting should aim to excite people with a challenging vision and to seek
ways to engage and involve men's thoughts and ideas in bringing about change. 
The Meeting should propose mandatory action to establish a baseline but also
voluntary action to allow for experimentation.  Goals should be clearly
measurable.  Finally, diversity must be respected given that situations
differed by country and by people.

27.    In her opening statement Ms. Sununta Siengthai said that there had been
a history of women in Thailand working alongside men but previously women were
not educated to the same level.  Some industries, e.g. textiles and
electronics, employed many women but very few reached the top and companies
were not prepared for women to participate in decision-making.

28.    In Thailand, there were few financial TNCs but many other TNCs. 
However, they tended to send their headquarters personnel to Thailand rather
than appoint locally.  There were some national differences in that TNCs from
the United States of America tended to localize appointments earlier than
those from Japan.   When such companies localized, then there was active
competition for women and men to gain appointments.   However, long held
societal attitudes to women's education meant that there were few women
managers.  Only seven years of education was  compulsory but girls now stayed
on at secondary school; in 1990 they outnumbered boys.  Recently women had
begun to close the gap at the university level also and there was evidence
that more women than men went into business education at the undergraduate
level.  Currently, those numbers diminished dramatically at the graduate

29.    Historically, men had advantages related to seniority as they
maintained loyalty to their own cohort.  At top management levels,
stereotypical views of women lead women to doubt their ability to combine
traditional and executive roles.  Women, while believing they were capable
nevertheless, often internalized the popular stereotype.  

30.    Ms. Siengthai found support for the belief that women managers better
understood the needs of women employees but no information was available on
whether this was related to business performance.

31.    Ms. Valerie Hammond introduced her paper and outlined the UK Campaign
Opportunity 2000 which aimed to increase the quality and quantity of women's
participation in the workforce, with an emphasis on business issues and focus. 
After less than five years Campaign members, who employed more than 25 per
cent of the total United Kingdom workforce, showed an improved situation with
regard to the numbers of women in management in advance of that achieved by
non-members.  For example, the proportion of women corporate Board Directors
in member companies had risen from 5 per cent to 11.2 per cent.   Among United
Kingdom companies as a whole comparative figures showed a rise from  2.8 per
cent to 3.3 per cent over the same period.

32.    Norms had been established for the number and range of policies and
practices which a 'woman friendly' employer typically offerred.   Experience
showed that the situation had improved for men too as policies introduced to
benefit career women were quickly extended to all women and then all
employees.  The Campaign had generated an enormous amount of information about
practices, costs and benefits, and the development of a convincing case for
women's development.

33.    A significant factor in the development and operation of the Campaign
was the active involvement of Board level champions, mostly men, from the
outset.  This enabled the Campaign to use men's networking power to win
support for women's development on boardroom agendas.  The strong emphasis on
identifying specific convincing cases for women's development had "sold" the
campaign into private and public sector organizations of all kinds.

34.    Opportunity 2000 was based on research which drew  on learning from
studies of organization culture change and required simultaneous attention to
four different streams of activity relating to demonstrating commitment,
changing behaviour, building shared ownership, and making the investment.  The
Campaign worked with three target audiences: the Board with a nominated
representative often the Chair or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who took  an
active, high profile role; senior human resource people with a nominated
Opportunity 2000 manager; and, finally with line managers.  Members were
required to set their own goals and action plans and to put into place systems
to measure progress.  The Campaign had won the support of the media and
members agree to give access to their goals, statements and progress.  This
unfettered access exerted a continuing and useful pressure. 

35.    Despite the success of Opportunity 2000 Ms. Hammond said many
challenges remained in the United Kingdom.  Young women were still unprepared
for the organizational environment.   There was significant work to do to
ensure that black and Asian women have equal access.  Stress was not
officially on the organizational agenda but it was something that was
discussed all the time and impacted strongly on women.  In terms of critical
mass, progress occurred where there were clusters of women or where there was
a critical mass of like-minded people, i.e. involving men.  Intriguingly,
there was a high proportion of immigrant women - from North America, South
Africa, New Zealand or Australia - among those in top jobs.  However, learning
from the United Kingdom experience was that high level decision makers in the
corporate world and public sector would buy  into a strategic approach to
women's development.  

36.    Turning to the situation in South Africa, Ms. Dawn Mokhobo asked the
meeting to remember that the political situation in South Africa which
influenced action stemmed from a divided society.  She reminded members of 
President Mandela's address in May 1994 when he stated "Freedom cannot be
achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression".

37.    Women were part of the passion for reconstruction and development to
build the country.   Women are 25 per cent of Parliament and 17.7 per cent of
the Senate,  but they remained oppressed because behaviours and social
practices remained unchanged.  Women were therefore in leadership but had to
quickly learn their role without any formal channels of support.  Women
had got there through their contribution to past struggles for political
rights in the face of pass laws and a violent society.  Most black women were
caught between gender and race with little current attention to gender.  This
had the effect of dividing black and white women.  NGOs kept gender on the
agenda but white women maintained  a low profile and black women were
reluctant to join old structures.   The Commission for Gender Equality was in
place, aiming for broad representation, but corporate women were reluctant to
serve on this Commission.  The Office for the Status of Women was
strategically placed in the President's Office.

38.    Women were more likely to be employed as casuals with very small
proportions in the professions, e.g. 1.5 per cent of engineers were women, 6.7
per cent of architects, 14 per cent of doctors, and 19 per cent of lawyers. 
Only 41 women held executive posts in the top 100 companies in South Africa. 
It was vital to get women into education and off  the poverty line
and to avoid demoralizing women by grand plans which, at this stage, were
beyond their reach.  On the other hand, women were primary consumers in  South
Africa and companies were missing out on this motivation.

39.    It was difficult to build support amongst people at the top of 
organizations (largely white men) since they too felt threatened by
diminishing prospects and were unable to share or support these issues. At the
same time trade unions played a significant role in corporate South Africa
in that, by law, there were  regular monthly meetings with management and they
had considerable influence on human resource practices.   However, black trade
unions and management associations currently focused on race, rather than

40.    At present the workplace environment was limiting to women;  they were
not welcome in many companies; they felt disempowered and reluctant to push
for crches, etc., with the result  that there were few women in the pipeline
for management and those women in the corporations were leaving.   In the past
women developed resourceful ways of coping with a lack of funds, e.g. Stokvel
system where they paid small amounts regularly as a saving programme.  It
seemed that women had exchanged a past adversary for a new one.  In coming to
a solution it was important that black and white women found ways to work

41.    Ms. Apollonia Kerenge described the situation more generally for women
in Sub-Saharan Africa.  During the last decade, African governments had 
slowly started to see the political and socio-economic participation of women
as a key factor and catalyst in the processes and linkages that engendered and
encouraged equality, health and development of peace for accelerated
advancement of women as well as for the continent's economic and social
political development.  However only modest progress had been made.  The
situation was  reiterated  in the African platform of action that women's
inherent knowledge, talent, organizational and managerial abilities had not
been fully recognized as attributes for their active participation in politics
and decision-making processes. 

42.    Studies in corporations showed that, compared to men,  the pool of
highly qualified women was more limited.  This was linked to the limited
access to education by girls in most Sub-Saharan nations.  Where women had 
achieved management posts,  they had proved effective despite existing
stereotypes based on culture and traditions.  Institutions and agencies
including the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI), the
International Labour Organization (ILO), Economic Development Institute of the
World Bank (EDI), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the
Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)  had
contributed to this situation through training programmes for women managers. 
This had proved beneficial in terms of formal training, but geography
inhibited informal learning possibilities, e.g. physical networking was not
viable economically; post services were problematic; telecommunications were

43.    It was a concern that recruitment and promotion decisions were
sometimes based on subjective judgments in the absence of clear, objective
criteria.  In those circumstances it was understandable that women sometimes
lacked self-confidence.  One response was to mainstream gender awareness by
including it in general management programmes and training women themselves to
overcome their own barriers.

44.    The prime need was to find ways of institutionalizing gender within
corporations and to encourage women in leadership and decision-making roles to
also take a more active role in the development of other women.

45.    Ms. Meg Armstrong focused strongly on the need to find ways to
illustrate quickly the cost to organizations of not developing women.  She
offered models showing the cost in graphic terms emphasizing that while family
friendly type initiatives might assist at entry level, they did not, of
themselves, propel women to the top jobs.  She recommended instead arguments
relating to the cost of turnover at middle management level, underutilized
human assets, reduced motivation stemming from a demotivating climate,
recruiting advantage and an enhanced corporate image.

46.    To get to the top, Ms. Armstrong said women needed:  line experience in
key appointments early in their career, a broad range of  relationships, the
presence of mentors and sponsors and a knowledge of written and unwritten
rules at every level.  Men must be involved as well as women who were  already
in senior roles.  Curricula about leadership and development as well as peer
to peer relationships were important.  Networks and associations played  an
important role in providing contacts and learning and, sometimes, in
facilitating top level business-to-business links for women as they interfaced
with men. 

Part One


A.     Attendance

47.    The Expert Group Meeting on "Women and Economic Decision-Making in
International Financial Institutions and Transnational Corporations" was held
at the Simmons College, Graduate School of Management, Boston, Massachusetts,
from 11 to 15 November 1996. It was organized by the United Nations Division
for the Advancement of Women, Department for Policy Coordination and
Sustainable Development (DAW/DPCSD) in cooperation with the Simmons College,
Graduate School of Management.

48.    The Meeting was attended by 27 participants, including five experts and
16 observers;  staff members of the United Nations Division for the
Advancement of Women; the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD); the World Bank; the International Monetary Fund (IMF);
representatives from regional financial institutions, private corporations,
non-governmental organizations,  and participants from civil society.

B.  Election of officers

49.    At the first plenary session on 11 November 1996, the Meeting elected
the following officers to the Bureau:

       Chairperson: Ms. Dawn Mokhobo
       Rapporteur: Ms. Valerie Hammond.

C.  Adoption of the agenda and programme of work

50.    At its plenary session on 11 November 1996,  the Meeting adopted the
agenda and programme of work as follows:

       -      Opening of the meeting
       -      Election of officers
       -      Introduction to purpose of the meeting, as well as to rules and
              procedures followed in Expert Group Meetings
       -      Adoption of the agenda
       -      Introduction to the themes of the  meeting
       -      Presentation of papers by the consultant and experts:

                     1. General assessment of the situation and main
                        constraints to women's equal access to top
                        decision-making positions in regional and
                        international organizations

                     2. Case studies: South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa,
                        Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America

       -      General debate
       -      Discussion in informal groups
       -      Completion of draft report
       -      Adoption of report of the Expert Group Meeting
       -      Closing of the meeting

D. Working groups

51.    Discussion groups and working groups worked from 11 to 14 November and
focused on the following issues.  Each group arranged its own working

Discussion Groups:

             Developing a convincing case for women's participation in top
decision-making positions in regional and international economic

             Strategies and policies needed to improve women's individual

             Approach to be adopted to get and sustain commitment to
advancing women to decision-making positions in transnational corporations and
international financial institutions.

Working Groups:

             Working Group 1:     Strategies to be adopted by international
                                   financial institutions.
             Working Group 2:     Strategies to be adopted by transnational
                                   Strategies to be adopted by
                                   non-governmental organizations.

             Working Group 3:     Strategies to be adopted by Governments;
                                   Strategies to be adopted by the United
                                   Nations system.

Part Two


52.    The discussion based on the opening statements was wide-ranging and
covered the needs of the different players involved in the issue of women in
economic decision-making as well as the issues for women in general.  These
players included transnational corporations (TNCs) and international financial
institutions (IFIs), Governments, United Nations Agencies and Trade
Unions as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and individual  women
and men.

53.    TNCs and IFIs faced specific challenges and opportunities by the nature
of their work.  In organizations where no one national culture predominated,
it was often more difficult to identify the cultural norms by which decisions
were made.   In other situations, the home base might dictate the approach to
women's development. Members were concerned about the possible tendency for
organizations to regress where standards differed between the local and home

54.    Points raised in the discussion of IFIs highlighted ways in which they
were unique, as well as ways in which they shared the situation of TNCs.  IFIs
were unique in that they were not subject to legislative mandates (e.g., equal
opportunity legislation) in countries where they were headquartered, or
accountable to any external governing body; as multicultural organizations,
they had strong organizational cultures defined by technical as well as
cultural identities; ownership by member countries created the  need to
balance multiple national concerns and to operate by consensus.  Even within
the IFI community, there were  variations in structural and operating
procedures.  On the other hand, the same biases and similar administrative
systems existed in IFIs and TNCs, and each could learn from the other in
developing effective tools and strategies.  For example, it was noted that
IFIs and private corporations both had used social and gender impact
statements, modelled on environmental statements as tools for assessing gender
dimensions of initiatives and projects.  It was noted that all the IFIs which
attended at the Meeting had made progress in increasing the participation of
women at all levels, but that in management and senior positions, they were
still severely under-represented.

55.    Participants considered the business arena in which the actors
operated, thinking more broadly about the role of institutional investors and
the media, particularly about how poor performance on social and environmental
issues was increasingly and speedily reflected in the bottom line.

56.    A priority need was for accurate comparative work force data and
participants discussed the need for Governments and other agencies to put in
place the machinery to collect and monitor data and to ensure that they used
influence and followed best practices by themselves reflecting
the proper representation of women.

57.    Recognizing the role of the trade unions, the meeting also called for
unions to ensure the full participation of women at all levels, in particular
at the senior levels of management in trade unions.  In meeting the future
challenge of governance, trade unions should ensure that their organizations
were supportive and sensitive to the empowerment of women as full and equal

58.    Discussion on the role of NGOs recognized that these have an essential
role to play, particularly in linking the different actors.  Understanding
that in some parts of the world there was a sensitivity about pre-existing
structures, an additional responsibility for NGOs could be to underpin the
creation of new networks.
59.    What would be the appropriate action to be taken by  women and by men
as individuals and as groups formed  an important element of the discussions. 
Thinking first of women, a priority was the need to build solidarity between
women, women of all races, throughout the world.  The meeting acknowledged the
lack of hard evidence and discussed the need for research on matters including
women in international leadership, the skills and styles they brought to the
job and the different ways in which they contributed  to the bottom line. 
Members reviewed the training and development needs of women, particularly how
they could be prepared and supported as they achieved the most senior roles.  
The tendency for persistent undermining action of women who had  broken
through to senior, public roles was examined and suggestions made on how to
overcome such negativity.  Ways of raising women's awareness of informal
mechanisms and political skills were discussed since these became more
important at senior levels.  Turning to men, members discussed the
desirability of  understanding the concerns of men, especially in those
situations where their own roles were not secure.  On the other hand, men
could be powerful advocates in favour of women in top management, especially
in influencing other men.

60.    Reviewing  selection and recruitment processes, participants explored
the ways these impact on women, particularly where these were covert.  In some
parts of the world it seemed that where criteria were explicit, they might
discriminate against women , for example by stressing  international education
when few women had access to overseas travel.  At the same time, participants
discussed the difficulty of  recruitment announcements reaching all relevant
women.  They saw the value of bringing women into senior positions from
outside the organization but felt that this should only be a short-term
solution.  In particular, they discussed the need for more, and different,
women on the Boards of TNCs and IFIs and in public life and private sector

61.    Turning to career development and to training more generally,
experts/participants discussed the means of meeting the needs for women to
compete more effectively for senior roles.  Discussion ranged over the
potential for exchanges, internships, study assignments to build experience as
well as formal and informal mentoring systems.  The group challenged the
notion of one right route to the top noting the range of different experiences
that were increasingly valued today, especially in view of the way
organizations were themselves changing.  Sources of powerful role models for
women in leadership were identified including those beyond the conventional
world of business.  The meeting thought it useful to teach women early about
the role of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and to use women-only training
where this would be helpful.  Gender sensitivity training was discussed as
essential for both women and men, especially where this was fully incorporated
into regular management training.  Participants also discussed work/family and
personal life balance and were concerned that these be routinely taken
into account in organizational life.

62.    Turning to the issue of critical mass, the Meeting discussed areas
where there was already a large number of women such as in the public sector
and looked at areas where women cluster in certain countries.

63.    The Meeting reviewed a number of strategic approaches to improving the
situation and recognized it would be necessary to work at both the top and the
bottom.  Ideas included setting up parallel organizations for women's
development, creating international scholarships for women, looking for
partnerships between business and education, and building convincing "business
cases" that were appropriate and fit with different cultures.

64.    Participants discussed the need for having measures in place to review
progress and particularly to see the correlation between good business
performance and effective policies for women.


A. General 

The change process

65.    The Expert Group Meeting considered that: 

       All institutions are in a period of unprecedented transition. Change
processes open up  opportunities for gender balance initiatives.  To be
successful, change processes need to take into account important factors, such
as the following:

       (a)    Change is a long-term process, requiring adequate time to build
personal and institutional ownership;

       (b)    Change has to be built on fact rather than myth. This requires
on-going data collection, analysis and feedback.

             Change goes through cycles and reflects the transition process
(denial, resistance, exploration, commitment) that may be repeated many times;
persistence is a key to success.  Resistance can be harnessed to drive change,
and may be greatest before real change occurs.  

       (d)    Initiatives have to be inclusive;  they require champions and
the involvement of all strategic players.

       (e)    Change processes have to be built bottom-up and top-down
simultaneously, and women and men have to be involved.  Questionnaires,
surveys, focus groups, task forces and conferences can be used to raise
issues, to open up honest and complete dialogue between men and women to give
voice to implied and non-verbal cultural and operational processes.  Anonymity
may need to be guaranteed.  It must also be acknowledged that some people may
not get all they want in the overall effort to advance women's empowerment.

       (f)    Initiatives need to model successful change processes.

       (g)    It is vital to be clear about the relationship between gender
and other factors.  In achieving change, the Meeting warned of ascribing
changes to gender when they may be related to more general changes in the
environment;  on the other hand, stressed that changes which remove gender
biases benefit women and men, and by extension, the institution as a whole.

Operationalizing actions

66.    The recommended  actions contained herein need to be operationalized
and adapted to the situations and working cultures of the various actors
addressed in this document.  In formulating actions to be taken, the Expert
Group Meeting recommended the following:

       (a)    Actions should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic
and, where appropriate, time-bound;

       (b)     Actions require effective monitoring mechanisms; 

              Successful implementation requires a partnership between women
and men;

       (d)     All actors including IFIs, TNCs, Governments, the UN system,
and NGOs have an obligation to eliminate all institutional barriers which
restrict the recruitment, development, retention and advancement of women;

       (e)    All actors including IFIs, TNCs, Governments, the UN system, and
NGOs have an obligation to provide all employees with the training and
development opportunities necessary for them to achieve their full potential;

       (f)    Actions should be taken in cooperation with different partners
(IFIs, TNCs, Governments, UN system, NGOs and media);

B.  Transnational corporations

67.    The importance of TNCs has been increasing and their  organizational
strategies have been evolving to reflect the increasing importance of
globalization.  In 1993, the worldwide sales of TNC's amounted to $6 trillion,
an amount well in excess of the value of global export sales. 
They also play a significant role in terms of sustainable economic
development. Their ability to act as a catalyst for change, their ability to
transfer knowledge of markets, employment, management skills and  technology
to host country operations adds value in excess of their purely financial
investments and revenue generation.

68.    From a strategic perspective, TNC's have the ability to implement
leading edge policies and global best practices with respect to the social and
economic impacts of their operations.  In particular, they have the ability to
recruit,  develop, promote and retain employees who reflect the demographic
mix of their customers and to use labour markets as a means of developing a
competitive advantage, particularly in developing countries.  In the context
of the development of employees, both male and female, TNC's can provide the
expertise of a global human resources development process and capability which
often exceeds the equivalent capacity in single-country organizations.

69.    Since a TNC's culture may, in fact, influence local culture and
practices, it provides an opportunity for them to act as a catalyst for change
increasing the representation of women in all levels of decision-making and
enacting policies in support of equity and the empowerment of women.  In
addition, TNCs have the capacity to develop all employees in terms of both
domestic and international assignments of increasing responsibility and to
fund community projects.  Such activities can provide TNCs with access to key
government decision-makers and create scope for cooperative efforts in human
resource development.

70.    The Expert Group Meeting considered that one cautionary note should be
observed.  The growth in dual career families, particularly in developed
countries, makes it more difficult to persuade high potential women and men to
accept international assignments which are often the key to career advancement
in TNCs.   This problem is exacerbated by the difficulty in obtaining work
permits, as well as other related employment issues, for the accompanying
spouse and family members.   Therefore, TNCs may benefit from becoming more
directly involved in lobbying both home and host governments and institutions
to create the necessary framework to facilitate this process.


71.    The Expert Group Meeting recommended that, as women are participating
in unprecedented numbers at all levels of society and the economy, TNCs

      Appoint a critical mass of women to their boards working towards at
       least one-third representation, resulting in the following added value:

            - A broader perspective reflecting:

                     (1) Customers;

                     (2) Employees;

                     (3) Shareholders (institutional and other).
            - Different perspectives from a significant portion of the
              potential market that can flow into new product/service
              development and market strategy;
            - Monitor TNC policies and practices relating to gender equity;
            - Have a positive cascading effect on the recruitment,
              development, and advancement and retention of women at all 
              levels in the organization.

      Develop and adopt policies and practices which:

            - Facilitate the advancement of  women;
            - Promote gender equality;
            - Institutionalize recruitment processes to identify and attract
              qualified female candidates. Potential actions include:

                     (1) Develop links with universities in home and host
                         countries to identify women before they enter the
                         pipeline (more cost effective long term);

                     (2) Provide scholarships to support the development of
                         women for leadership positions;

                     (3) Use internships as a means of attracting potential
                         candidates and enhancing TNC's attractiveness as a
                         preferred employer;

                     (4) Require that all positions staffed from external
                         sources, e.g. headhunters and advertisements, clearly
                         state request for female candidates (within local
                         legal guidelines).

            - Ensure that TNCs do what is necessary to enable all employees to
              balance work, family and personal life;

            - Ensure that decision-makers who have responsibility for the
              promotion and advancement of women have specific, measurable
              goals which are tied to their compensation and bonus plans.

      Recognize the strategic dimension of human resources by:

            - Ensuring that the human resource function is part of the
              strategic and business planning process;

            - Develop specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound plans
              for promoting women to senior positions.  Potential actions

                     (1) Internal support systems, e.g. mentoring, inclusion
                         of high quality diversity training in mainstream
                         training programmes;

                     (2) Identification of high potential pool for career

                     (3) Open access to information regarding jobs available,
                         e.g. job posting system;

                     (4) Definition of experience, skills and competencies for
                         all jobs to support career planning.

            - Appoint women to international assignments to gain the following

                     (1) Cultural change that is conducive to the further
                         advancement of women in home and host cultures;

                     (2) An enhanced pool of qualified women from which top
                         management positions in TNC's can be filled;

                     (3) Role models that demonstrate the value of women in
                         senior roles;
            - Ensure balanced representation of women and men are on external
              advisory councils and regional boards of TNCs.

       Engage in the following additional actions:

            - Allow women to take sabbaticals and/or encourage their
              participation in cross- sectoral assignments, e.g. between TNCs,
              Governments, and NGOs, to maximize:

                     (1) Cross fertilization of learning between
                     (2) Knowledge of the global market place;        
                     (3) Cross cultural approaches to product development and
                         market opportunities.

            - Develop mechanisms to ensure flexibility in the redistribution
              of work to support full employment in societies, e.g. avoid
              disparate impact on women downsizing or in difficult economic

            - Partner with others, e.g. governments and NGOs, to enhance the
              skills of women managers and those of women in the larger
              community [see section III. D and F below];

            - Develop best practices to enhance and support the development of
              women through organizations such as chambers of commerce,        
              business and professional clubs and associations, boards of
              trade, and industry associations.

C. International financial institutions 

72.    International Financial Institutions are defined as the Bretton Woods
institutions (World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) and the regional
development banks (Asian, Inter- American and African Development Banks et.
al.).  Over time, this group has been joined by other actors in development
banking, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(EBRD), non-profit development banks (e.g., Women's World Banking), and 
private, for-profit financial institutions (considered with TNCs in section
III. B of this report).  In recent years, expanding competition and the
limited resources available to IFIs have created a need for more effective
organizational performance.  

73.    IFIs have a significant role to play in setting the agenda for economic
and development policies at the global, regional and national levels.  As
development agencies, IFIs need to increase their positive impacts  in areas
ranging from  macro-economic policy to specific projects;  and, to act as
catalysts by promoting sustainable economic growth with greater concern
for alleviating income disparities, social problems and  poverty.

74.    Meeting these challenges requires conscious efforts to develop new
approaches, methodologies and skills.  Women represent an under-utilized pool
of resources for IFIs in this area.  IFIs that bring more women into
decision-making will enhance their effectiveness as funders supporting
development, and as employers by better reflecting the composition of  the
client populations; bringing new skills, approaches and understanding of
client population needs to development problems; being role models for gender
equality in client countries; maintaining a competitive edge by attracting,
developing and supporting  the highest-quality women and men from member


75.    Consideration of the gender dimension has to be built into all aspects
of institutional decision-making, from the overall philosophy and strategic
objectives through operational and administrative policies and procedures.
Given this framework,  IFIs can leverage change at numerous points.  The
Expert Group Meeting recommended that IFIs should do the following:

      Use every appointment, policy, process, decision, speech and meeting to
promote the goal of having a critical mass of women in decision making and
management throughout the institutions, including Boards and senior staff

      Encourage Member States to establish a pool of and appoint qualified
women to serve at the international level as board members and at the
managerial level in IFIs;

      Encourage Member States to expand opportunities for women to
participate in management and decision-making at the national level to help
achieve high-quality, sustainable socio-economic growth and development.;

      Encourage local organizations to reflect the composition of recipient
populations in their management and decision-making structures, so as to be
sensitive to the critical needs of women and men;

      Review the gender dimension during all phases of programme and project
preparation, management and evaluation.  This may be achieved through balanced
staffing mixes in the IFIs and by broadening consultative processes to include
NGOs and other members of civil society;

      Assess executing agencies for their ability to implement projects in a
gender-sensitive manner;

      Formulate programme and project conditions to require implementors to
involve women in the management, decision-making and evaluation processes;

      Develop indicators and monitor: 

            - The representation of women in decision-making in funded
              programmes and projects; 

            - The impact of programmes and projects on the representation of
              women in management and decision-making in the entities affected
              by the project;

            - The impact of the involvement of women in decision-making on the
              outcomes of programmes and projects. 

Making it happen: ideas for action

76.    The commitment of the Presidents of IFIs and human resource directors
is crucial for achieving change.  Managers also need to be committed and held
accountable for results.  Human resource practices need to be revised to
correct gender biases;  and to enhance women's participation and economic
well-being.  Such improvements will benefit both women and men, and,
therefore, the Organization as a whole.  The Expert Group Meeting recommended
the following approaches for the IFIs themselves:

      Go beyond conventional methods of recruitment and traditional labour
pools to identify and hire qualified women;

      Modify selection profiles to reflect new skill mixes needed for
changing programmes, including the ability to work effectively in a diverse
environment, and commitment to gender issues;

      Create an environment that encourages women to move into management,
and modify practices to increase their rate of selection and promotion in
order to achieve a critical mass at all levels of the organization;

      Develop practical interventions to address dual career issues;

      Create a work environment to enable all employees to balance work and
family life;

      Use results to demonstrate IFIs' commitment to gender balance and work
with the media to communicate this message in headquarters and member

      Hold managers accountable for developing action plans and for achieving
change in their areas of responsibility, and link it to performance evaluation
and rewards;

      Monitor the representation of women in the organization and disclose
the results and trends  to encourage transparency;

      Invest in developing the skills of men and women to work together in
management and decision-making;

      Enhance programmes to help retain and develop both women and men, such
as internal and external assignments and secondments;

      Encourage the growth of support systems, such as mentoring and

      Learn from initiatives and best practices in other types of
institutions through benchmarking.

D.  Governments

77.    Governments play a variety of roles which are essential to the full
economic empowerment of women.  As direct actors, they determine national
labour and employment policies, including the development of enforcement
mechanisms for legislated employment practices in both the public and private
sectors.  While governments can also act as facilitators in the process of
empowering women, when necessary, they must be prepared to utilize the
enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure compliance with the law.  This
requires tracking mechanisms focused on the participation of women in
decision-making at all levels in the public and private sector.  Such
mechanisms highlight potential areas of concern with respect to the so called
"glass ceiling" or other institutional barriers to the full empowerment of

78.    In their own activities,  governments can ensure that the programmes,
policies and practices they adopt and the composition of their labour force
serve as a role model for the private sector.  At both national and
international levels, governments can promote the equal participation of both
women and men in top governmental decision-making positions. As member
countries of international organizations, they can and should appoint women to
multilateral and intergovernmental boards of directors as well as to senior
staff positions in all UN organizations, funds, programmes, specialized
agencies and all other intergovernmental organizations, including head of
delegations to United Nations committees, commissions and conferences, as well
as in the foreign service.  Governments can also use their purchasing power to
award contracts to companies that have effective programmes to advance women
in management and top decision- making positions.  

79.    With respect to TNCs, particularly those in developing countries,
governments can utilize existing governmental or quasi-governmental agencies
to link social objectives concerning the empowerment of women in
decision-making roles with foreign direct investment.  For example, national
Boards of Investment can require or encourage enterprises, including TNCs, to
establish mechanisms to ensure that the recruitment, development, retention
and promotion of employees reflects, as far as possible,  the general
demographics of the country.  In this regard, the government can not only set
a vision for the country, but also take concrete actions to assure that the
entire human asset potential of the country is harnessed.  In addition, given
the increasing importance of international exposure and assignments in the
development of decision-makers, governments must play a pro-active role so
that existing work permits and associated structures and processes do not act
as  barriers which prevent both women and men from achieving their full

80.    The full empowerment of women is predicated on the elimination of any
and all barriers to the education and training of women and the girl child,
including the revision of curricula to ensure that they are gender-sensitive. 
With a global vision that the employment practices of the future are going to
be different from those of the past, governments must take the necessary steps
to ensure compliance with section B of the Beijing Platform for Action. 


81.    The Expert Group Meeting recommended that governments should: 

      Develop programmes, policies and practices with respect to women's
recruitment, development, retention and promotion to ensure gender balance and
participation  at all levels of decision-making in:

            - All governmental committees, bodies and delegations;

            - Intergovernmental boards of directors; UN programmes, funds,
specialized agencies, bodies and committees, meetings and conferences; and in
the foreign service;

            - Regional and international financial institutions.

      Create, develop, monitor and enforce employment policies in both the
public and the private sectors directed towards achieving critical mass and,
ultimately, equal participation of women and men in decision-making positions.

      Incorporate provisions into bilateral treaties and other agreements
that facilitate spousal employment in home and host countries.

      Identify and eliminate discriminatory employment practices in all areas
and sectors, and monitor compliance with employment legislation designed to
facilitate the advancement of women in decision-making positions.

      Remove obstacles which restrict the formation of NGOs, particularly
those advocating women's empowerment.

      Establish or expand mechanisms that facilitate interaction between, and
mobility among managers / executives in profit, non-profit and public sectors
to prepare women for senior leadership positions.

      Establish partnerships with NGOs, academic institutions and
professional associations to develop programmes for the full empowerment of

E.  United Nations system

82.    The United Nations system, including its funds, programmes, specialized
agencies and organizations, has a major responsibility for implementing the
Platform of Action, and for taking a lead in ensuring that women are
represented in top levels of management. To this end, following the Beijing
Conference, the Secretary-General appointed a Special Adviser on Gender
Issues, and the General Assembly adopted the system-wide medium-term plan for
the advancement of women, 1996-2000, which is aimed at assisting governments
in increasing the role of women in decision-making in the economy.

83.    Much work needs to be done to improve the representation of women in
the UN system itself.  For example, in the UN Secretariat, women account for
only 4 per cent of all USG (Under- Secretary-General) posts.  The Secretariat
has adopted a Strategic Plan of Action for the Improvement for the Status of
Women in the Secretariat (1995-2000), that calls for 50 per cent  women in top
positions by the year 2000. 

84.    To help the UN system meet its responsibilities of helping member
nations and its own agencies achieve the goal of a critical mass of women in
decision-making and management positions,  the Expert Group Meeting
recommended that:

      Agencies specializing in human resources, education, finance and other
areas covered under the system-wide medium term plan, critical area "women in
the economy," provide assistance to governments, TNCs, IFIs and organizations
generally, in support of their efforts to promote women into top positions;

      Encourage member governments to appoint more women to the Boards and
Secretariats of UN bodies, particularly ones where women are severely
under-represented such as UNCTAD and WTO, and to UN Committees dealing with
economic, financial and budgetary issues;

      UN agencies including the specialized agencies such as the Bretton
Woods institutions, should increase collaboration and information-sharing in
order to collaborate on recruitment, (for example through development of joint
data bases on women candidates); develop indicators for benchmarking; exchange
best practices; monitor progress; develop strategies responsive to the needs
of multicultural institutions owned by Member States.

F.  Non-governmental organizations 

85.    Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have played and will continue to
play a major role in the economic empowerment of women at all levels.  As
broad-based, grass roots organizations, they act as both advocacy groups and
catalysts for change.  Both women's organizations and non-gender-specific NGOs
bring considerable expertise which can be used to leverage activities of
governments, IFIs, TNCs and other important actors in the process of
identifying and eliminating barriers to women's empowerment.

86.    NGOs can and should play several key roles:

      Assist in identifying qualified women as candidates for decision-making

      Serve as potential members of boards, regional advisory councils or
other business organizations;

      Monitor the progress of the various actors in their efforts to
eliminate barriers to the empowerment of women;

      Serve as a communication link with other interest groups and the media;

      Recognize and acknowledge positive performance by IFIs, TNCs and other

      Build awareness of national legislation and international
norms/standards/conventions and best practices relating to the advancement of

87.    Because NGOs are largely not-for-profit organizations and are
independent players, historically, they have high credibility in recognizing
and promoting actors who advance the status of women.  In addition, their
access to both key decision-makers and the media may enhance the impact of
their recommendations.  In this context, it is important that NGOs continue
to pro-actively develop partnerships with the various actors.  At the same
time, it is necessary to recognize that the capacity and the development of
NGOs are uneven across regions and countries.  Efforts have to be made to
enable NGOs to play the role described above.


88.    The Expert Group Meeting recommended that NGOs:

      Identify and partner with TNCs, governments, IFIs, other NGOs, and
other actors as appropriate to:

            - Enhance/develop common interests, e.g. employability of women,
training, internships, and product/service development using focus groups;

            - Develop common projects/programmes around shared interests and

      - Disseminate information concerning improving the status of women in
decision- making;

            - Develop and award scholarships in support of women's education
and advancement;

            - Partner media endeavours to strengthen women in top management.

      Identify and recommend potential employees and board members.

      Monitor and publicize best and/or worst practices with respect to the
advancement of women.

      Provide reward and recognition for TNCs, IFIs, governments and other
actors as appropriate.

      Report regularly the progress of all actors to the Commission on the
Status of Women (CSW), in the context of the implementation of the Beijing
Platform for Action including an assessment of their national government's
periodic reports.

      Seeking the training, technical assistance and governmental support
that will enable NGOs to play an active role in promoting women in decision
making, especially in countries where NGOs are weak.


89.    The Expert Group Meeting agreed that this meeting is a first step in
what should be an on-going process of awareness-raising, information-sharing
and concerted action to achieve change.  Recommendations for next steps

      Using the members of the current Expert Group as the core of a network
and forum for continuing exploration of issues concerning women in
decision-making, through e-mail communications and periodic meetings (e.g.,
every 18-24 months);

      Organizing meetings for  top female and male decision-makers in the
IFIs and TNCs, to review the report of this group and decide how
recommendations might be implemented in their organizations;

      Organizing similar events at the regional level to highlight issues of
women in management and decision-making;

      At the individual level, carrying back messages of this meeting to
managers and colleagues in each participating institution.


                       I.   LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

                              United Nations

Ms. Angela E. V. King
Director, Division for the Advancement of Women
Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development
Two UN Plaza, DC2-1220
New York, NY   10017  USA
Tel: (212) 963 5086/Fax: (212) 963 5138

Ms. Semia Guermas de Tapia
Social Affairs Officer
Division for the Advancement of Women
Two United Nations Plaza, DC2-1242
New York, NY 10017 USA
Tel: (212) 963 3168/Fax: (212) 963 3463

Ms. Padma Mallampally
Chief, Investment-Related Development  Issues Section
International Investment, Transnationals and Technology Branch
Division on Investment, Technology and Enterprise Development, 
UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Palais des Nations, Room E-9012
1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: (41 22) 907 56 31 Fax: (41 22) 907 0194

              Simmons College, Graduate School of Management

Dr. Anne Jardim
Simmons College
Graduate School of Management
409 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA   02215 USA
Tel: (617) 521 3818/Fax: (617) 521 3881

Prof. Jim Grant
Professor of Finance
Simmons College
Graduate School of Management
409 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215 USA
Tel: (617) 521 3800/Fax: (617) 521 3880


Ms. Meg Armstrong
The Leadership Group
300 E. 40th. Street, 21st Floor
New York, NY   10016   USA
Tel: (212) 867 3124/Fax: (212) 867 1465

Ms. Valerie J. Hammond
Chief Executive
Roffey Park Management Institute
Forest Road
Horsham, West Sussex RH12 4TD
United Kingdom
Tel: (44 1293) 851644/Fax:(44 1293) 851 565

Ms. Apollonia Kerenge
Team Leader and Coordinator
Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI)
P.O. Box 3030  Arusha, Tanzania 
Tel: (255 057) 8384/3439 Fax: (255 057) 8285

Ms. Dawn Mokhobo
Executive Director: Growth and Development
ESKOM  P.O. Box 1091
Johannesburg 2000, Republic of South Africa
P.O. Box 791
Petervalle 2151, Republic of South Africa
Tel: (27 11) 800 3714/ 784 7834/Fax: (27 11) 800 5808

Dr. Sununta Siengthai
Associate Professor and 
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy
Thammasat University, 2 Prachan Road
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: (662) 221 6171 ext. 2201- 2202/Fax: (662) 225 2109 or 222 1331

                       United Nations Consultant

Dr. Ariane Berthoin Antal
Senior Fellow
Science Center Berlin (WZB)
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, Germany
Tel: (49 30) 25491 625/Fax: (49 30) 327 5821


United Nations

Ms. Zohreh Tabatabai
United Nations Focal Point for Women
Office of Human Resources Management
United Nations Headquarters, S-2535
New York, NY   10017 USA
Tel: (212) 963 6828/Fax: (212) 963 9545

International Financial Institutions

The World Bank

Ms. Sheila Reines
Office of the Senior Adviser on Gender Equality
1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC   20433  USA
Tel: (202) 458 7401/Fax: (202) 522 3434

International Monetary Fund

Ms. Leena Lahti-Kotilainen
Special Advisor on Diversity
700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC  20431
Tel: (202) 623 8206/Fax: (202) 623 6927

Ms. Harriet Shugarman
Special Assistant to the Director/United Nations Office
1 United Nations Plaza
Room 1140, New York, NY 10017  USA
Tel: (212) 963 0355/Fax: (212) 319 9040

Asian Development Bank

Ms. Claude Bernier
Deputy Director
Budget, Personnel and Management / Systems Department
Asian Development Bank
P.O. Box 789 Manila 0980 , Philippines
Tel: (632) 632 4118/Fax: (632) 636 2526

Inter-American Development Bank

Ms. Marta Tvardek
Advisor of the Administrative Manager
1300 N.Y. Avenue NW
Washington, DC   20577  USA
Tel: (202) 623 1275/Fax: (202) 623 3157


Polaroid Corporation
Ms. Carole Uhrich
Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain 
Cambridge, MA    02139 USA
Tel: (617) 386 3284

Ms. Susan Kaplan
Staff Director, Global Supply Chain
549 - 2 Technology Square 
Cambridge, MA  02139  USA
Fax: (617) 386 3154

Royal Bank of Canada
Ms. Lynda White
Manager, Employment Equity and Diversity
Royal Bank Plaza, North Tower
200 Bay Street, 11th Floor
Toronto, Ontario  M5J 2J5   Canada
Tel: (416) 955 5822/Fax: (416) 855 5840

The Gillette Co.
Ms. Judy Herald
Corporate Director of Workforce Strategy
Prudential Tower Building, Floor 49
Boston, MA 02199  USA
Tel: (617) 421 7994/Fax: (617) 421 8581

Ms. Julie Baskin Brooks
Manager, Diversity and Life Cycle Strategy
800 Long Rich Road
Stamford, Connecticut 06904 USA
Tel: (203) 968 3637/ Fax: (203) 968 3761

International Non-governmental Organizations

International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW) 
Ms. Jane Sheridan
Fundraising Chairperson
c/o Caltex Petroleum Corporation
P.O. Box 619500
Dallas, TX   75261  USA
Tel:(972) 506 9726/830 3925/Fax: (972) 506 0249/830 9208

Zonta International

Ms. Marcy Varnerin-Luongo 
c/o Putnam Investments
31 Mann Street
Braintree, MA   02184   USA
Tel: (617) 760 5797/Fax: (617) 760 5702/5790

Civil Society

National Association of Gender Diversity Training
Ms. Leslie Jenness
4621 E. Abraham Lane
Phoenix, AZ   85024 USA
Tel: (602) 473 0426/Fax: (602) 473 0427

Ms. Lynne Sullivan
Senior Consultant
Towers Perrin
175 Bloor Street East  South Tower, Suite 1501
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3T6, Canada
Tel: (416) 960 7090/Fax: (416) 960 2819

Foundation for Future Leadership
Ms. Bonnie B. Whyte
Executive Director
Employers Council on Flexible Compensation
927 15th Street, N.W., 10th Floor
Washington, DC   20005 USA
Tel: (202) 659 6364/4300/Fax: (202) 371 1467

                          II.    LIST OF DOCUMENTS

Information Papers

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/INF.1             Proposed Programme of Work
17 October 1996

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/INF.2             Information for Participants
17 October 1996

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/INF.3/Rev.3       List of Participants
15 November 1996

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/INF.4/Rev.1       List of Documents
12 November 1996

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/INF.5             Statement by Angela E.V. King, Director
12 November 1996                   Division for the Advancement of Women

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/INF.6             Procedures followed in ad hoc Expert Group
12 November 1996                   Meetings organized by the Division for the
                                   Advancement of Women

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/INF.7             United Nations Division for the Advancement 
12 November 1996                   of women

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/INF.8             Follow-up to the 1995 Beijing Platform for
12 November 1996                   Action: Work Programme of the United
                                   Nations Commission on the
                                   Status of Women 1996-2000

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/INF.9             Composition of the United Nations 
12 November 1996                   Secretariat
                                   (A/51/421, A/51/304, selected tables)

Background Papers

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/BP.1       Women and Economic Decision-Making: Experience of
5 November 1996             the United  Nations, Division for the Advancement
                            of Women

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/BP.2       Transnational corporations, the employment of 
8 November 1996             women's participation in decision making, Padma

Working Papers

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/WP.1       Women and Senior Economic Decision-Making: the 
30 October 1996             Experience of the United Kingdom, Valerie Hammond

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/WP.2       Women and Decision-Making in International
31 October 1996             Financial Institutions and Transnational
                            Corporation; the African Perspective, Apollonia

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/WP.3       Women and Economic Decision-Making in
1 November 1996             International Financial Institutions and
                            Multinational Corporations inThailand,
                            Sununta Siengthai

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/WP.4       Shattering the Glass Ceiling:  the South African 
4 November 1996             Reality, Dawn Mokhobo         

EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/WP.5       Women in Management Worldwide: Trends and Issues, 
7 November 1996             Ariane Berthoin Antal
EDM/IFI-TNC/1996/WP.6       Diversity with a Difference: Road Map for 
11 November 1996            Performance Meg Armstrong


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Date last updated: 06 December 1999 by DESA/DAW
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