Skip to main site content.
Leaders pose for a group photo during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou on September 4, 2016. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)


Global leaders photo speaks volumes about lack of women in power

By WITW Staff on September 6, 2016

The Wall Street Journal’s Beijing-based reporter Te-Ping Chen hit the nail on the head with a pithy tweet out of the G20 on Monday. “The lack of women in global leadership can feel pretty abstract,” she wrote. “This image really brings it home, though.”

Of the 36 world leaders on the platform, only four are women.

CNN’s James Griffiths responded, “extra depressingly this is probably a pretty woman-rich G20 photo too.”

Rather more optimistically, one respondent argued that it could be a case of quality over quantity, pointing out the photo included IMF chief Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “It’s like bringing The Hulk in a knife fight.”

The other two women leaders at the G20 Summit were the U.K.’s newly-elected prime minister, Theresa May, and South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

According to a report published by the World Economic Forum, women leaders hold only 21.9 percent of positions in national parliaments worldwide.

Watch Christine Lagarde interviewed at the 2016 Women in the World New York Summit:


No women seated around the table at Syria talks in Paris

What it looks like when men are Photoshopped out of politics

Women represent just 18% of Davos attendees, but gender parity is high on the agenda