Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Anne-Kari Gul­lik­sen in Thai­land re­flects on women in lead­er­ship.

Start­ing afresh in 2018 it is time to re­flect on im­por­tant events and ex­pe­ri­ences from the year that has past, and to plan for the year ahead.

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents - Anne-Kari Gul­lik­sen Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Thai-Nor­we­gian Cham­ber of Com­merce

Plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties are open to all of us, but at the same time, we know we will be fac­ing many chal­lenges.

Change is of­ten a cat­a­lyst for im­proved per­for­mance. For Nor­way, the changes in gov­ern­ment fol­low­ing the Septem­ber elec­tions fi­nally gave us our first fe­male Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs. This is a his­tor­i­cal win for gen­der equal­ity in Nor­we­gian pol­i­tics. Ine Marie Erik­sen Søreide is only 41 years old, but she has al­ready served as Min­is­ter of De­fence and as a par­lia­men­tar­ian. With the ap­point­ment of Ms Søreide, three skilled women now hold the most pow­er­ful po­si­tions in the Nor­we­gian gov­ern­ment.

For those of us liv­ing abroad it is also good to see that Nor­way is con­sid­ered one of the most gen­der equal coun­tries in the world. Within the Nor­we­gian Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, we see an in­creas­ing num­ber of fe­male top diplo­mats. In the South­east Asian re­gion, more than 50% of the Nor­we­gian Heads of Mis­sion are women. Nor­we­gians should be proud of this fact, but not com­pla­cent. In this lat­est is­sue of Busi­ness Re­view, we have cho­sen to fo­cus on Women in Lead­er­ship, not least be­cause when look­ing at Nor­we­gian busi­nesses in Asia; the trend of fe­male lead­er­ship is very dif­fer­ent.

In Thai­land, 45% of CEOs are women ac­cord­ing to the Grant Thorn­ton Busi­ness Re­port. Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies in Thai­land have a very dif­fer­ent pro­file. While we have not been able to find sta­tis­tics on Nor­we­gian women CEO’s out­side of Nor­way, the num­ber of fe­male lead­ers in Nor­we­gian busi­nesses in Asia seems to be sig­nif­i­cantly lower than in Nor­way it­self. In this is­sue of Busi­ness Re­view, we have in­ter­viewed some of the women who up­hold lead­ing po­si­tions in Asia; Ms Vibeke Lys­sand Leirvåg, who has her own busi­ness in Thai­land, Ms Kris­tine An­vik Leach, who is head of Jo­tun in In­dia, and the Finnish Am­bas­sador to Thai­land, Ms Satu Suikkari-Kleven, who has strong ties to Nor­way. They serve as lead­ing ex­am­ples for the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

Also fea­tured in this vol­ume of Busi­ness Re­view is an­other im­por­tant chal­lenge: The mas­sive global prob­lem of marine garbage or marine plas­tic pol­lu­tion. An ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with the pi­o­neer­ing sci­en­tist in her field, Ms Jenna Jam­beck of the Uni­ver­sity of Ge­or­gia. Her ap­peal to the busi­ness com­mu­nity is clear: we need to look at our ac­tiv­i­ties in or­der to solve this global threat in the year(s) ahead.

Let us move into 2018 with op­ti­mism and by chal­leng­ing our­selves to do even bet­ter in the year ahead.

PHOTO: THAI- NOR­WE­GIAN CHAM­BER OF COM­MERCE

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