Davos, Switzerland

Reykjavík Global Forum
Women Leaders



image description
  • Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen

    CEO, Plan International

  • Christy Tanner

    Executive Vice President and General Manager, CBS News Digital

  • Gita Gopinath

    Chief Economist, the IMF

  • H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

    President of the Republic of Croatia, Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders

  • 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
image description
  • Afke Schaart

    VP and Head of Europe, Russia and Eurasia at GSMA

  • Amanda Ellis

    Executive Director Hawaii & Asia Pacific, Senior Sustainability Scholar

  • Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

    President of Mauritius (2015-2018), Member of the Council of Women World Leaders

  • Amy Weaver

    President, Legal & Corporate Affairs of Salesforce

  • Angela Todisco

    Head of Human Resources, EMEA North

  • Anita Bhatia

    Deputy Executive Director of UN Women

  • Ann Cairns

    Vice Chairman, Mastercard

  • Anthony Onesto

    Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Ella Adventures

  • Atifete Jahjaga

    President of the Republic of Kosovo (2011-2016), Member of the Council of Women World Leaders

  • Bana al-Abed


  • Barbara Boxer

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

  • Barri Rafferty

    Chief Executive Officer, Ketchum

  • Beatriz Merino

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

  • Chioma Agwuegbo

    Founder, TechHerNG

  • Christine Heenan

    Founder and President of Clarendon Group

  • Christy Tanner

    Executive Vice President and General Manager, CBS News Digital

  • Dagur B. Eggertsson

    Mayor of Reykjavík, City of Reykjavik

  • Dalia Grybauskaitè

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

  • Dina Kaplan

    Founder, The Path

  • Dirk Luyten

    Managing Director, INSEAD

  • Donna Dasko

    Senator, Senate of Canada

  • Donna Leinwand Leger

    Digital Media Leader & Former Managing Editor of USA Today

  • Elaine Quijano

    Anchor, CBSN

  • Eliza Jean Reid

    First Lady, President of Iceland

  • Emma Codd

    Managing Partner for Talent, Deloitte

  • Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah

    Campus Sexual Assault Coordinator at State of Michigan Division of Victim Services, Running Start Fellow, Girl2Leader Delegate

  • Felicia Knaul

    Director, Americas Institute, University of Miami President, Tomatelo a Pecho, A.C.

  • Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

    President of Iceland

  • Gwen Young

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

  • Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir

    Chair of the Executive Board of WPL

  • Henrike von Platen

    CEO & Founder of FPI Fair Pay Innovation Lab gGmbH

  • 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

  • Joanna Santinon

    Partner sponsor for EY Women’s Network, EY

  • Julia Gillard

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

  • Katrín Jakobsdóttir

    Prime Minister of Iceland, Member of the Council of Women World Leaders

  • Lana Popovic

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

  • Laura Liswood

    Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders

  • Loren Mayor

    President, Operations, National Public Radio (NPR)

  • Mabel Van Oranje

    Chair, Girls Not Brides

  • Maggie MacDonnell

    Global Teacher Prize Winner

  • Mama Cax

    Haitian-American Blogger & Disability Advocate

  • Maria Ressa

    Co-founder and CEO of Rappler

  • Mariana Frenk Knaul

    Student Advocate

  • Michele Parmelee

    Global Chief People and Purpose Officer, Deloitte

  • Michelle Harrison

    Global CEO, Public Division, Kantar

  • Naina Subberwal

    Chairperson and CEO, AVPN

  • NYIRASAFARI Esperance

    Rwandan lawyer and politician, Senate Vice President 3rd Parliament (2019-2024)

  • Oby Ezekwesili

    Presidential Candidate (2019), Minister of Education (2006-2007), and Minister of Solid Minerals (2005-2006), Nigeria; Vice-President for Africa at the World Bank (2007-2012)

  • Patricia Daley

    Canada Diversity & Inclusion Leader, Deloitte

  • Patricia Milligan

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

  • Paula Ann Cox

    Premier of Bermuda (2010-2012), Member of the Council of Women World Leaders

  • Rangita de Silva de Alwis

    Associate Dean of International Affairs at University of Pennsylvania Law School and Special Adviser to the President of Wellesley College on Women’s Leadership

  • Renee Lahti

    SVP, Chief Information Officer, Hitachi Vantara

  • Rosie Campbell

    Director of GIWL, King’s College London

  • Sandie Okoro

    Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the World Bank Group

  • Sarah Adowa Safo

    Deputy Majority Leader & Minister for Procurement, Parliament of Ghana

  • Sawyer Garrity

    Student, Frost School of Music, University of Miami, Co-founder, ShineMSD

  • Silvana Koch-Mehrin

    President of WPL

  • Sonja Schenkel

    Artist – Enterpreneur, Paititi Lab

  • Steingrímur J. Sigfússon

    Speaker of the Althingi, Parliament of Iceland

  • Tuula Haatainen

    First Deputy Speaker, Parliament of Finland

  • Uzra Zeya

    President and CEO, The Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP)

  • Valerie Keller

    Co-Founder & CEO of IMAGINE, Host of the WPL Trailblazer Awards & Power, Together Awards 2019

  • Victoria Budson

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

  • Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir

    Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation


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:
image description
Women gain national suffrage and the right to hold office
image description
The first woman elected to the Icelandic Parliament
image description
Equal Pay Act approved by the Parliament
image description
Women nationwide take a day off on October 24
image description
Equality Act approved and the Equaliry Council is founded
image description
The first nationally elected female president in the world
image description
The Women’s Alliance runs for Parliament
image description
Equal rights of women and men stated in the constitution
image description
Equal rights of women and men of parental leave
image description
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). A combination of guaranteed daycare and parental leave allows women to continue working post-children. Over several years, men taking parental leave is up to 90%.

Equal Pay Law

On 1 June 2017, Iceland passed an instrumental law requiring proof from all Icelandic companies that they are paying men and women equally for doing the same job.

Strong Female Role Models and Women in Power

47% of MP’s are women, over 65% of members in local governments are women; over 65% 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: