The World Economic Forum reports that companies with top quartile representation of women in executive committees tend to perform better than companies with no women. Women are an integral part of any economy, not just by virtue of the fact that they constitute half of the population but also that their roles are much more diverse vis-à-vis their male counterparts. Although we made up only 18 percent of the whole this year, let’s see what these limited number of women of power had to say:

ELIZABETH BLACKBURN ON AGEING:

“Living to 150 years is not totally ridiculous or overly-visionary. Many diseases that have been linked to ageing have been found to be avoidable.”

NANCY GIBBS, EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE ON AGEING:

“We can confidently say that marriage was not designed to last 125 years.”

MELINDA GATES, BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION (BMGF) ON SPENDING ON WOMEN’S EDUCATION:

“If you invest in a girl or a woman, you are investing in everybody else.”

ERNA SOLBERG, PM OF NORWAY ON GENDER ROLES FOR WOMEN:

“A critical issue for women is the possibility to be a mother and the ability to participate fully in the workforce.” 

LYNDA GRATTON ON CORPORATE FOCUS:

“Here’s three ideas that corporations should be thinking about now: 1) Ditch retirement; 2) Turn the conversation away from money towards intangible (training) assets; 3) See women balancing and switching out of work equally with men.” 

HIROKO KUNIYA ON HAPPINESS OF COMMUNITY AND HEALTH:

“Businesses could get into a vicious cycle of automation. Communities tend to be healthier if they are working.”

YAO CHEN, CRYSTAL AWARDEE ON THE REFUGEE CRISIS:

“When a country is invaded, education is the first to go. The eyes of all the refugee children I met were filled with hope, but their childhoods were ruined by war.”

MARGARET CUSHING WHITMAN OF HP ON TECH:

“We need to lean in to completely disruptive innovation. You do not get what you do not inspect.”

SHARAN BURROW ON INCOME INEQUALITY:

“The cash reserves of 25 companies would deliver $5000 in one year to 70m people. Imagine the impact on demand. Our current economic model is inequality by design.”

AMIRA YAHYAOUI ON THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION:

“Every revolution has been driven by youth, and the fourth industrial revolution will be too. It’s not by improving the candle that we created electricity; it’s time to create electricity.”