Apply for an invitation to the 2019 Reykjavík Global Forum


Reykjavík Global Forum
Women Leaders



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  • Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen

    CEO, Plan International

  • Christy Tanner

    Executive Vice-President and General Manager of CBS News Digital

  • Gita Gopinath

    Chief Economist, the IMF

  • H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

    President of the Republic of Croatia

  • Katrín Jakobsdóttir

    Prime Minister of Iceland

  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

    Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)

the forum

The Reykjavík Global Forum is where women leaders discuss and share ideas and solutions on how to further advance society.

The Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders was launched in November, 2018, in Reykjavík, Iceland, as the Women Leaders Global Forum. The Forum is annually co-hosted by Women Political Leaders (WPL), and the Government and Parliament of Iceland, under the heading Power, Together.

Each year the Forum invites 450 leaders from around the globe, including Presidents and Prime Ministers and other public figures, as well as leaders from business, academia, civil society, arts, media and more who are playing a vital role in their respective fields sharing ideas, insights and experiences.

Consistently ranked as the leading country on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, Iceland is the perfect location for the most relevant Forum for women leaders. It’s the single destination that transcends both geographic and sector boundaries, creating a platform that fosters conversation between outstanding leaders.

OUR Story

Imagine Women Leaders from all continents creating significance and impact, like for example the World Economic Forum (WEF) does, but with a difference in style. When Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Founder and President of the Women Political Leaders (WPL), and Hanna Birna Kristjansdottir, Chair of the Board, experienced the WEF in January 2017, they were determined to turn “imagine?” into “we can do it!”.

They were convinced that Iceland, as the best country for women (according to the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report) would be the perfect location for a Reykjavík Global Forum. A conference, bringing together women leaders from all sectors: politics, business, tech, science, media etc. Having convened Women Political Leaders in Iceland in November 2017, the next step was obvious: make it a tradition. WPL with the Government and the Parliament of Iceland are since annually co-hosting a multi-stakeholder Reykjavík Global Forum. The Forum had its inaugural event in November 2018 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Featured Conversationists

Featured Conversationists
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  • Amanda Ellis

    Exec Director Hawaii & Asia Pacific, Senior Sustainability Scholar

  • Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

    President of Mauritius (2015-2018)

  • Angela Todisco

    Head of Human Resources, EMEA North

  • Ann Cairns

    Vice Chairman, Mastercard

  • Atifete Jahjaga

    President of the Republic of Kosovo (2011-2016)

  • Barbara Boxer

    Former Member of the Senate, Senate of the United States of America

  • Beatriz Merino

    Executive President of the Cesar Vallejo University of Peru, Prime Minister of Peru (2003), National Ombudsman for Peru (2005 – 2011), Member of CWWL

  • Chioma Agwuegbo

    Founder, TechHerNG

  • Christine Heenan

    Founder and President, Clarendon Group

  • Dagur B. Eggertsson

    Mayor of Reykjavík, Government of Iceland

  • Dalia Grybauskaitè

    President of Lithuania (2009-2019), Chair Emerita of the Council of Women World Leaders (2014-2019)

  • Dina Kaplan

    Founder, The Path

  • Dirk Luyten

    Managing Director, INSEAD

  • Donna Leinwand Leger

    Digital Media Leader & Former Managing Editor of USA Today

  • Felicia Knaul

    First Lady & Director of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, University of Miami

  • Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

    President of Iceland

  • Gwen Young

    Managing Director of the Global Emergency Response Coalition and Distinguished Fellow, The Wilson Center

  • Hiltrud D. Werner

    Member of the Board of Management, Integrity and Legal affairs, Volkswagen AG

  • Jacqueline Hunt

    Member of the Board of Management, Asset Management, US Life Insurance at Allianz SE

  • Jane Geraghty

    Chief Executive Officer, Landor

  • Jewel Taylor

    Vice-President of the Republic of Liberia, President of the Senate of Liberia and Member of the WPL Executive Board

  • Julia Gillard

    Prime Minister of Australia (2010-2013), Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership

  • Lana Popovic

    President Central and Eastern Europe Business Unit, The Coca-Cola Company

  • Laura Liswood

    Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders

  • Louise Pentland

    EVP Chief Business Affairs and Legal Officer, PayPal

  • Mabel Van Oranje

    Chair, Girls Not Brides

  • Maggie MacDonnell

    Global Teacher Prize Winner

  • Michele Parmelee

    Global Chief People and Purpose Officer, Deloitte

  • Michelle Harrison

    Global CEO Public Division, Kantar & Global CEO, WPP Government Practice

  • Naina Subberwal

    Chairperson and CEO, AVPN

  • Patricia Milligan

    Senior Partner and Global Leader of When Women Thrive and Multinational Client Group, Mercer

  • Paula Ann Cox

    Premier of Bermuda (2010-2012)

  • Renee Lahti

    SVP, Chief Information Officer, Hitachi Vantara

  • Sawyer Garrity

    Student, University of Miami

  • Steingrímur J. Sigfússon

    Speaker of the Althingi, Parliament of Iceland

  • Tuula Haatainen

    Vice Speaker of the Finnish Parliament

  • Uzra Zeya

    President and CEO, The Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP)

  • Victoria Budson

    Founding Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School of Government


The Reykjavík Global Forum takes place in Iceland. For many years Iceland has been the global champion in the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report which examines disparities between men and women in terms of political empowerment, economic opportunity, education and health.

milestones that matter:
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Women gain national suffrage and the right to hold office
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The first woman elected to the Icelandic Parliament
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Equal Pay Act approved by the Parliament
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Women nationwide take a day off on October 24
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Equality Act approved and the Equaliry Council is founded
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The first nationally elected female president in the world
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The Women’s Alliance runs for Parliament
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Equal rights of women and men stated in the constitution
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Equal rights of women and men of parental leave
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Companies are obliged to have 40% women or men on board

4 things that made the difference

Equal Parental Leave

9 Months (3 for women, 3 for men and 3 to share). 90% of men use their right, consequently, the gender pay gap has decreased.

Equal Pay Law

On 1 January, 2018, Iceland became the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women for doing the same job.

Strong Female Role Models

40% of MP’s are women, over 30% of members in local governments are women; over 60% of university students of women; 80% of women participate in the labour market.

Consensus From Left to Right

Icelandic women have, in most cases, agreed upon the greatest gender equality steps taken, across party lines

Sustainability policy

Reykjavík Global Forum is committed to a sustainable future and has the ultimate ambition of being carbon-neutral. Following expert advice the Forum will focus on the environmental impact of the event itself.

This is a first step on an extremely important road towards the sustainability goals that are being developed.

We value the importance of minimising the environmental impact of the event by adopting best practices wherever possible. We encourage our Conversationists, partners and suppliers to do the same and focus on environmentally friendly solutions and respectful treatment of the environment. Based on our mission and insights from our partners, we are aware that a large international event can put a strain on resources and have a negative environmental impact. But, in order to address our responsibility, the Forum, using the principles of Reduce – Remove – Recycle, has identified the following areas as focus points: