Opportunities for women in different cultures: why do we give away top positions to men?

The LIDERE (LEADER) Forum is a Latvian forum dedicated to inspiring women to reach greater heights of achievement. LIDERE has successfully organised five major annual events since 2018, providing a platform for renowned public servants, businesswomen, academia, cultural ambassadors, sports stars, among many others, to speak up, share, encourage, and propel women’s issues to large regional and global audiences.

Evita Lune, Partner and Global Head of the FinTech Practice Group at Pedersen & Partners, addressed the 2020 LIDERE forum, where she shared the floor with Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, the first female president of Latvia, Ilze Viņķele, Latvian Minister of Health, Laura Keršule, Vice-President of LMT, Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere, founder of Madara Cosmetics, and Gunta Jēkabsone, Chairperson of the Board at Augstsprieguma tīkls AS. The event was attended by 1,000 live participants and 10,000 streaming.

In a recent publication of selected highlights from LIDERE forum speeches, Evita’s contribution draws on her observations from her extensive background in Executive Search, specifically in FinTech, and the blatant absence of women candidates for top level positions. She reflects on the lack of opportunities for women around the world who are bound by legal restraints, stereotypes, traditions, and unfair treatment in the workplace. On the other hand, women in other developing or developed countries hold themselves back from seizing opportunities and rising above their comfort zone.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the first female president of Latvia; Laura Ikauniece, Latvian athlete; Elina Garanca, Latvian mezzo-soprano; Mara Zalite, Latvian writer and cultural worker, and the Līdere forum speakers are just a few of the successful Latvian women Evita mentions as inspiring role models.

Evita’s speech concludes with an invitation and a challenge to women to put aside their fears, timidity, indecision, reluctance to take responsibility – and instead, live a fulfilling life in which they set and achieve ambitious goals.

The upcoming sixth edition of the forum, the growing interest towards the issues addressed, and the loyal audiences who attend year after year are a continuous testament to the important work done by Solvita Kabakova, the founder of LIDERE, and her team in advancing these issues both regionally and globally.