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Striving for the summit of diversity

Striving for the summit of diversity




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Luxembourg is lagging behind when it comes to diversity in the workplace, but what can the country do about it and why should it have to?

A panel of experts attempted to answer these questions and more at a Diversity Summit organised by KPMG Luxembourg on Thursday.

Keynote speaker Viviane Reding kicked off discussions, outlining the work already done to improve gender diversity in senior positions.

Quarter of board roles occupied by women in Luxembourg

The former Justice Commissioner described the key steps taken to significantly boost female board participation, through non-intervention measures, such as the movement to make create more board-ready women through training.

To stress the importance of gender diversity, she also cited studies on the improved performance of companies with women on their boards.

According to recent figures, women accounted for a quarter of board members in Luxembourg companies. But, as summit chair Magnus Carter said, “There's a long long way to go” before the country hits its 40 percent target.

Compulsory paternity leave

Ms Reding suggested that work needed to be done to bring societal changes so that highly qualified women who start families are not discriminated against in the workplace.

Touching on the idea of making paternity leave compulsory, she said she wished for “fathers to become fathers so that the role of taking care of the family and having responsibility for the children is more equally shared by mothers and fathers and for this to be recognised by companies.”

Speaking at the start of the summit, KPMG managing partner Georges Bock urged attendees to be open to new ideas. “If you get cynical, you don't act. I urge men and women to act together,” he said.

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