Gender Champion Antonio Hodgers makes the case for gender parity at the Geneva International Motor Show

Antonio Hodgers, the President of the Canton of Geneva, made a bold move towards gender parity by refusing to speak at the opening of the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) on 7 March 2019. When he was invited to deliver a speech, Antonio Hodgers realized that he would have to sit among a lineup of men. He thus decided to let Michèle Righetti, the State Chancellor, take the floor on behalf of the Canton.

“We first suggested that the organizers invite a woman to speak but came to the realization that there was none in the Motor Show Council!”, he said. In a largely male-dominated environment, his gesture comes as a much-needed call for more gender balance. “This is the strength of the IGC initiative: it highlights situations where women are largely under-represented or even absent”.

The Panel Parity Pledge is indeed at the core of the initiative: it requires all Champions to no longer take part in single-sex panels. Antonio Hodgers, who joined the network in November 2018, has thoroughly applied this commitment. As he explains, the Pledge has had a transformative impact on the gender ratio of the events to which he has been invited.

Moreover, the 2018 Annual Report shows that when Champions ask for a change in the panel composition, their requests are met in 75% of the cases, highlighting the importance of active leadership.

Congratulations and thank you for your true dedication, Mr. Hodgers!