May 28, 2021 06:25 PM

SPIEF 2021 Session to Discuss Gender Equality in Corporate Governance

The session ‘Promoting Gender Parity in Corporate Management as a Means to Advance Sustainable Development and Increase Profitability’ will be held as part of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) business programme. The session is part of the thematic track ‘Joining Forces to Advance Development’.


Experts invited to take part in the session include Alexander Ivlev, CIS Managing Partner and Deputy Regional Accounts Leader for Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and Central Asia at EY; Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); Svetlana Balanova, CEO of National Media Group; Maria Borras, Executive Vice President for Oilfield Services at Baker Hughes Company; and Igor Shekhterman, CEO, Chairman, and Member of the Board at X5 Retail Group NV. The session will be moderated by writer Alexander Tsypkin.

The year 2020 saw all-male boards disappear from the FTSE 350 for the first time ever. The crisis and pandemic have resulted in the introduction of increasingly strict equality and sustainable development requirements. For businesses to adapt to these new norms, they need to apply innovative approaches and adopt new ways of thinking and methods to running operations.

“Having an equal gender presence in a management team improves the efficiency of an entire organization. A business’s success is largely determined by its ability to find innovative and creative solutions and use non-conventional approaches to conflict and crisis situations. The diverse composition of managers is a powerful competitive advantage for a company,” Ivlev said.

Global modern corporate practices suggest that women’s presence on a board of directors adds legitimacy to a company. According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, 31.9% of business owners in Russia are women – the 6th highest figure in the world.

Experts will discuss whether gender equality can be effectively addressed through legislative measures, whether women’s presence in management can really help improve business performance as well as the role of competitions and associations in addressing gender equality within company management.


The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 133 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 70 countries worldwide.


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