Reykjavik Global Forum Co-Founders Issue “Global Call to Action” to Accelerate Gender Equality Progress


Reykjavik Index for Leadership Results Show Lack of Progress – and Regression – on Gender Equality Perceptions Five Years After the Research was Launched 

Press Release – November 8, 2022 – Reykjavik Global Forum co-founders Hanna Birna Kristjansdottir and Silvana Koch-Mehrin today issued a global call to action to accelerate gender equality progress, as the annual Forum convened in Iceland with more than 400 conversationists. 

The annual Reykjavik Index for Leadership data released today during a Forum panel hosted by Kantar Public, Global CEO, Dr Michelle Harrison, shows a widespread lack of progress and in some areas regression, in G7 countries and others, on the perception of women and men being equally suitable for leadership. Some areas of the Index, the first measure of perceived suitability of women and men for leadership, have dropped to levels lower than were first measured when the Index was launched by Kantar Public and Women Political Leaders in 2018. 

“This year’s data is a call to action for our global community to accelerate progress in women’s rights,” said Kristjansdottir and Koch-Mehrin, co-founders of the Reykjavik Global Forum. “From introducing legislation to improving cultural portrayals, we are committed to a global, cross-platform, intersectional effort to achieve equal rights for all.” 

“When the Reykjavík Index for Leadership was launched five years ago at the Forum, we acknowledged that progress in equality for women was far from guaranteed,” Kantar Public CEO Harrison said. “What this year’s research tells us is that governments, employers, academic institutions and communities need to double down on collective action – not just for women living and working around the world today – but for future generations.” 

Across the G7 group of countries, and in multiple areas of economic activity, many of the 2022 Index scores continue to fall far short of the target score of 100, which indicates a consensus across society that women and men are equally suited for leadership. Over the coming months, Kantar Public and the Forum will follow up with more in-depth analysis by country, industry, age and on the specific question on women’s suitability for leadership. 

For more information or one-to-one interviews, please contact: 

Lucy Birch, Chief Marketing Officer, Kantar Public – A selected number of journalists are invited to attend the Forum.

Notes to editors 

About The Reykjavík Global Forum 

The Reykjavík Global Forum was launched in November 2018, in Reykjavík, Iceland. The Reykjavík Global Forum is where women leaders discuss and share ideas and solutions on how to further advance society. This year the Forum gathers leaders from around the globe, including Presidents, Prime Ministers, other public figures, as well as leaders from business, academia, civil society, arts, media and more. The Forum is annually co-hosted with Women Political Leaders (WPL) and the Government and Parliament of Iceland, under the heading Power, Together. 

About Women Political Leaders 

Women Political Leaders (WPL) is the global network of women politicians. The mission of WPL is to increase both the number and the influence of women in political leadership positions.WPL communities are women in political office – Presidents, Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliaments. WPL strives in all its activities to demonstrate the impact of more women in political leadership, for the global better. To accelerate, women need three things: communication, connection, community. At WPL, optimising the power of communication and connection builds new communities of knowledge for women political leaders everywhere. WPL believes that progress happens by convening women political leaders who have the drive and the influence to create positive change. WPL is an independent, international, post-partisan and not-for-profit foundation based in Reykjavik, Iceland (the world champion of gender equality). Silvana Koch-Mehrin is the Founder and President of the WPL Foundation. 

About Kantar Public 

Kantar Public is a world leading independent specialist research, evidence and advisory business providing services to government and the public realm, across all aspects of public policy. 

With permanent fully staffed offices in 21 countries, our specialist consultants and researchers are supported by our unique global data ecosystem providing gold standard data. We combine expertise in human understanding with advanced technologies and data science, to provide the evidence and advisory services for successful decision-making in government and organisations working for the public realm. We share global best practices through local expertise. For more information, please visit