As one of Australia’s representatives to the W20 (Women20) Engagement Group, Anne Fulwood was happy to see Ivanka Trump in Germany this week. Below she explains why, and shares her own speech from the event.
Whatever you think of Ivanka Trump and her headline appearance at a global women’s summit this week – let me give credit to Ivanka where credit is due!
She didn’t have to show up at the Women20 Summit in Berlin. She didn’t have to put herself in the spotlight in the open panel discussion at which she drew groans and hissing from the audience. She could have stayed home. But she chose to step up, for women – at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Who could resist the wonderful Ms Merkel? You’d be there in a heartbeat! She’s the great example of global leadership, mixing steely resolve and assurance with warmth and humour in the face of big geo-political challenges.
By making her own headlines, Ivanka Trump put the issue of women’s economic empowerment and workforce participation front and centre of global discourse again.
As Australia’s representative to the W20 (Women20) Engagement Group – along with Dr Susan Harris Rimmer of Griffith University – I could not be happier about the publicity she’s generated for this annual gathering of women from G20 Nations.
In the end, we want women to have the ear of our leaders. Who better to get into the ear of the most powerful man in the world, President Trump, than his daughter? She’ll march straight into the Oval Office and report back on the work we are doing for the economic empowerment of women. For example, a global fund for female entrepreneurship was announced by Angela Merkel – imagine the momentum that will gain if the USA gets behind it.
For the record, I’m happy to get the chance to highlight the work of the W20 and you can see my video presentation to the Summit here – from my position as a Co-Chair for Financial Inclusion.
Overall, our W20 ambitions are to:
- Close the gap between men and women in workforce participation
- Improve access to finance and the digital economy for women
- Deliver better vocational education and training for all