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Dr. Sasha Galbraith

Dr. Sasha Galbraith

The New Reality -- How The Davos Man Is Being Dragged Into The 21st Century

Posted: 01/27/11 04:25 PM ET

The World Economic Forum (WEF) kicked off this week in Davos, Switzerland. And while the world's biggest "schmooze-fest" usually grabs headlines for its powerful sessions or high-profile participants, this year, the press is enamored with something else: the new quota system, whereby companies are being asked to include a woman among every five delegates.

While there's certainly been a lot of chatter around the new quota system, the reality is that there has been little action. In fact, Zoe Williams of The Guardian reported that women represent only 20 percent of Davos participants -- a mere 500 out of the 2500 who attend. And I have to say I'm not all that surprised. After all, sighting a female senior executive in Switzerland is about as rare as seeing a cuckoo, and the changes at Davos seem to be moving about as fast as boardroom reforms in the U.S.

But let's look on the bright side; female participation at WEF is up and big names in business are making this happen -- Kraft, Pepsi and DuPont among them. While this is only a drop in the bucket, female participation at this elite event has doubled, which is a great sign.

Now for the big questions: Will this trend continue? And will this have an impact beyond WEF? Only time will tell.