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INSEAD the business school for the world

'INSEAD Celebrates Women' is an annual INSEAD initiative to join the global celebration of women’s achievements during International Women’s Day. The series aims to draw attention to a variety of issues concerning women and to developing and advancing women in business.

Following the success of previous years, INSEAD is pleased to offer a series of events on all three campuses (Asia, Europe & Abu Dhabi) to increase awareness of the role of women in society.

We would like to thank our partners for their support for this cause.

International Women's Day

The first International Women's Day events were held on 19 March 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. More than one million men and women rallied to end discrimination against women on this day, campaigning for women's rights to work and vote.

Some interesting findings about women ...


  • Girls now outnumber boys in secondary school in 45 developing countries*
  • There are more young women than men in universities in 60 countries*
  • Two thirds of the 774 million illiterate adults worldwide are women – the same   proportion for the past 20 years and across most regions**
  • In tertiary enrolment, there are more women than men globally, except in sub-  Saharan Africa and Southern and Western Asia**
  • Women in tertiary education are significantly underrepresented in the fields of science and engineering; however, they remain predominant in education, health and welfare, social sciences, and humanities and arts**
  • Worldwide, women account for slightly more than a quarter of all scientific researchers – an increase compared to previous decades but still very far from parity**
  • Use of and access to the Internet grew exponentially in the past decade, narrowing the gender digital divide – however, women still do not have the same level of access as men in most countries, whether more or less developed**
  • 72million children – 54% of them girls – are out of school**


  • 552m women joined the global labour force between 1980 and 2008*
  • Women account for 58% of unpaid employment*
  • Globally 4 out of every 10 workers is a woman*
  • Women account for 50% of informal employment globally*
  • Globally, women’s participation in the labour market remained steady in the two decades from 1990 to 2010, whereas that for men declined steadily over the same period**
  • Women are predominantly and increasingly employed in the services sector**
  • Occupational segregation and gender wage gaps continue to persist in all regions**
  • Women spend at least twice as much time as men on domestic work, and when all work – paid and unpaid – is considered, women work longer hours than men do**
  • Becoming the Head of State or Head of Government remains elusive for women, with only 14 women in the world currently holding either position**
  • Of the 500 largest corporations in the world, only 13 have a female chief executive officer**


  • About 2/5 of girls are never born due to a preference for sons*
  • Globally, a sixth of girls die in early childhood*
  • Globally, a third of women die in their reproductive years*
  • Women live longer than men in all regions**
  • Breast cancer among women and lung cancer among men top the list of new cancer cases globally**
  • Women constitute the majority of HIV-positive adults in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East**


  • Nearly 4m poor women go “missing” each year in developing countries*
  • Globally, only 10 to 20 of every 100 land owners is a woman*
  • Women are responsible for 60 to 80% of all house and care work*
  • Women are subjected to different forms of violence – physical, sexual, psychological and economic – both within and outside their homes**
  • Fewer women than men participate in high-level decision-making related to the environment**
  • Women are majority among the older poor in the more developed regions**

* Source: World Bank. World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development
**Source: United Nations, 2010. The World's Women 2010: Trends and Statistics


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