Gender Equality as Competitive Advantage

A seminar on Norwegian and American experiences related to gender equality in business, society and policy with Norwegian Minister of Children and Equality Anniken Huitfeldt, will take place on March 4 at Scandinavia House in New York City.

Norwegian Minister of Children and Equality Anniken Huitfeldt. Photo: Wikipedia.

Research shows a strong correlation between gender equality and a nation’s competitiveness. Companies with women leaders have proven more successful than those where women are underrepresented. This makes gender equality even more relevant in times of economic recession. Which political tools has Norway used to achieve a number one ranking on gender issues? What is the US experience and what can we expect from the new US Administration when it comes to gender equality?

Program: 2 p.m. –  4:30 p.m. in Victor Borge Hall

 • Welcome, Ambassador Sissel Breie, Consul General of Norway in New York

 • Introductory remarks, Norwegian Minister of Children and Equality Anniken Huitfeldt

 • Keynote “Gender Equality: The Advantages for Men”, Michael Kimmel, Stony Brook University              

 • Panel discussion 


Michael Kimmel is among the leading researchers on men and masculinity, and the author or editor of more than twenty books. He was the first man to deliver the International Women’s Day address at the European Parliament, and consults regularly with corporations and governments in Europe and the U.S. He is Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.



Arni Hole is Director General of the Department of Family Affairs and Equality at the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Equality. 


Deborah M. Soon is Vice President at Catalyst, where she is responsible for marketing and executive leadership initiatives. She is also in charge of Catalyst’s Corporate Board Services, which focuses on the advancement of women into the corporate boardroom through candidate assessment and preparation.

Mary Frances Pearson is partner at Ernst and Young, Office of Public Policy. She is a former Tax Counsel with the Senate Finance Committee and prior to that an international Tax Specialist with the Internal Revenue Service. 


Ragnhild Wiborg is the president and main owner of Wiborg Kapitalförvaltning AB, a privately owned hedge fund, and portfolio manager of Consepio. She also sits on several nominating committees for company boards in Norway.

Hege Skjeie is Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo. She is an expert within gender research, including equality policies, and has published numerous books and articles. She is also a member of the Norwegian Equality Tribunal, the governmental appointed board which monitors the Norwegian anti-discrimination legislation. 


Kristin Dahle is the Regional Director of Innovation Norway in the Americas. Women are a prioritized target group for Innovation Norway’s programs and services. In 2007, Innovation Norway contributed more than 130 million USD to women related initiatives. 

To join an afternoon of fruitful discussion and exchange of views on March 4th at Scandinavia House. Norwegian Minister of Children and Equality, Anniken Huitfeldt, will give an introduction, followed by a keynote address and a panel discussion. Limited seats. Please RSVP to or 212 310-1565 by Friday February 27.

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