The 11th World Women's Forum opens in France, Deauville on the 14th of October 2015. More than 1,300 men and women from 73 countries have gathered together. We discussed various pertinant topics, ranging from socio-cultural concerns to economic development issues. The forum engages world issues from the perspective of women. Hence, I am honoured to be Singapore’s representative for this forum.
The 3-day forum was built on the theme of “Energizing the world!”, of which more than 40 seminars were held. These seminars focused on how to leverage on the digital age of advanced science and technology to meet the basic needs of all human beings. The aim is to increase the survival rate and create a sustainable social development model. We touched on several discussion points which include environmental protection, technology, innovation, education, finance, healthcare, careers, media etc.
It was an immensely fruitful experience for me. I have heard the voice of more than 100 female leaders and decision makers sharing their experiences and ideas on the importance of women’s role. Particularly in promoting economic growth, eliminating gender inequality and building a democratic society. These leaders include women such as Ameenah Gurib-Fakim the President of Republic of Mauritius, Anosheh Ansari the first female astronaut and many others from the politics, business and research field.
In today's world, innovation is key and women should play an active role in this economic and social change. We discussed feasible ways to continually explore different means to support women’s participation in global innovation and sustainable development.
Singapore’s Janet Neo, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific and Women’s Forum Rising Talent 2015, is one of the awardee of Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. Janet shared with us effective ways to manage company with a more democratic approach. This includes striving to promote the culture of equality and promoting sustainable development of enterprises.
An interesting point was brought up by Seraina Maag, President & CEO EMEA, AIG Property & Casualty and Jane Griffiths Company Group Chairman, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. According to statistics, children of professional women have better development in their careers than children without professional mums.
The advancement of technology gives rise to other compelling issues – Are robots capable of replacing human in the workplace? How can the next generation compete with artificial intelligence? Would bots displace the more experienced and seasoned workers? We could actually ask these questions from another angle. Instead of asking “Will humans be replaced by bots in the future as they become increasingly productive in the workplace?”
On the contrary, let us post a new question – Will human’s potential be further stretched into a new realm as we employ the assistance of intelligent robots? To sum up, robots can augment productivity rates and potentially increase employment opportunities for us all.