Opportunities Through Working Women – Interview with Simona Scarpaleggia

Simona Scarpaleggia

Seventy-nine percent of global companies have not prioritized gender equality – this is what IBM’s current research found out. IBM surveyed 2,300 executives and business professionals across several industries about their efforts to close gender leadership gaps. Only twenty-one percent admitted that they prioritize this theme on their agenda.

The research results are shocking, as we thought that most businesses understood the importance and chances of gender equality by now. But the survey proves that this is not the case. This is probably the reason why some leaders set themselves the mission to clarify why gender equality is key when it comes to business success.

Simona Scarpaleggia is one of the advocates of gender equality. The CEO of IKEA Switzerland focuses on strategy and operations of the retail business including e-commerce, distribution, and stores with a total yearly turnover of one billion EUR. As a former HR director at several companies, she knows exactly how important the right workforce is for a company’s success.

We are glad that Simona Scarpaleggia spoke at the Global Female Leaders summit this year. Of course, we took advantage of this opportunity for a short interview regarding the still existing gender leadership gap. This article gives a summary of that interview. If you are interested in deeper insights, do not miss the full video below!

Simona Scarpaleggia and “The Other Half”

The inequality of today’s society concerns half of the world population – which are women. This is why Simona Scarpaleggia called her newest book “The Other Half”. It deals with the question of how the revolution of education and training for women can create a stronger global economy.

It is a book about opportunities – giving other CEOs, managers and leaders insights about the chances that can be created thanks to the presence of women in a company. By supporting young women with their professional developments, we can create new talents. In times of global talent scarcity, involving women can be the solution.

To guarantee success, equal salaries and chances on all hierarchical positions are key. However, the most important factor is an integrative company culture. How did the female author come up with such claims? She interviewed economical and political experts, combined statistics with case studies and used her own treasure trove of experience.

If we balance the presence of women in the economy, we will lift the GDP of different nations – both the developed and the developing countries.

Simona Scarpaleggia, CEO / Country Manager, IKEA Switzerland

If companies have not understood the importance of working women by now, they should definitely read this book or start researching on their own. We all need progress in gender equality. It will not only benefit companies but also individuals and society as a whole.

This is a topic we certainly want to speak about at the next Global Female Leaders summit. This year we had the beautiful Simona Scarpaleggia as an expert on the spot – and we are sure to excite further women activists for the next event. If you have not done it yet and are interested in further discussions, book your seat now!

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Review 2019: Collaborating to Build a Better World

Once again, remarkable women and influential leaders from all over the world convened under one roof to share their expertise, perspective and acumen on how the world we live in is developing and what everyone can contribute to make a positive impact. Learn more and download the offical review 2019!


Martina Große Bley

At Management Circle, I lead the content marketing team. Amongst others, I manage and oversee the Global Female Leaders blog. I am also responsible for the topics soft skills, project management and trademarks on the Management Circle blog. I am delighted to inform you about current topics, trends and creative ideas. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Women´s voices are underrepresented in the public when it comes to business issues. Therefore, KPMG International and Global Female Leaders decided three years ago to change this by creating a business survey focusing on the views and issues of women business leaders around the world.

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