Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out


The Global Private Sector Leaders Forum

May 25, 2011

The Global Private Sector Leaders Forum (PSLF) sprung out of a commitment to engage with the private sector in advancing women's economic opportunity made by World Bank president Robert B. Zoellick, one of six he made in 2008. The Forum is comprised of a group of influential global business leaders who have made commitments to creating opportunities for women as a part of their core business, corporate social responsibility agendas or diversity and inclusion initiatives. Forum members act as “ambassadors” for the Bank’s Gender Action Plan, which houses the PSLF, and work to launch new initiatives and to share best practices and lessons learned. They provide research and project-based evidence to support the business case for increasing women’s opportunity in the private sector, often challenging existing paradigms. Some of the initiatives and achievements to date have been listed below.


Eduardo Belmont, Chairman & CEO, Belcorp, Peru
Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., USA
Henryka Bochniarz, President, Boeing Central and Eastern Europe, Poland
Frank J. Brown, Dean, INSEAD, France
Kevin M. Campbell, Group Chief Executive—Technology, Accenture, USA
John T. Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cisco Systems, Inc., USA
Kristin Clemet, Chair, Norfund, Norway
Rick Goings, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Tupperware Brands Corp., USA
Kevin L. Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Heidrick & Struggles, USA
Sung-Joo Kim, Chairperson & Chief Executive Officer, Sungjoo Group/MCM Group, Korea/Germany
Wendy Luhabe, Founding Member, Women Private Equity Fund, South Africa
Dennis Nally, Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers, USA
Marylin Carlson Nelson, Chair, Carlson, USA
Hüsnü Özyegin, Chairman, Finansbank, Turkey
Nitin Paranjpe, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL), India
Mark Parker, President & Chief Executive Officer, Nike Inc., USA
Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered PLC, UK
James Turley, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ernst & Young, USA
Elena Viyella de Paliza, President, Grupo Inter-Quimica S.A., Dominican Republic
Yang Lan, Chair, Sun Media Investment Holdings, China
Mona Zulficar, Chair, Executive Committee, Shalakany Law Office, Egypt

" Gender equality in business is smart economics.Enlightened private sector companies recognize that. "

Robert B. Zoellick

President, The World Bank

PSLF Member Initiatives to Support Women in Business

In the two years since the Private Sector Leaders Forum (PSLF) was launched, it has already achieved more than most initially imagined. The peer-to-peer exchange evolved from a knowledge sharing exercise to a cross-industry and geographic pollinating incubator and is resulting insome innovative collaboration that will help drive women’s economic empowerment.

In some cases PSLF members simply broadened and extended existing initiatives, while in other cases members connected multiple initiatives for greater impact.

Belcorp: Partnered with McKinsey to provide financial literacy training for 50,000 women in Latin America.

Carlson: Supported HAGAR International to restore abused, exploited and abandoned women to a productive life through literacy, education and work readiness. It launched AARP’s Women’s Scholarship Program to assist women over 40 with limited incomes remain in or re-enter the workforce.

Ernst & Young: Expanded its Winning Women program to female entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Goldman Sachs: Partnered with the World Bank Group (WBG) for a Fortune Magazine Mentoring program and a financial literacy training program for its 10,000 Women initiative. Together with the Hüsnü Özyegin Foundation it extended its 10,000 Women Program in Turkey to enhance women’s entrepreneurial and management skills.

Heidrick & Struggles: Committed to including at least one woman on every corporate board search shortlist.

Hindustan Unilever: Committed to enhancing the livelihoods of 75,000 women in India.

Hüsnü Özyegin Foundation: Extended education to 50,000 mothers and children in Turkey. It improved access to secondary education of 5,000 adolescent girls by building and providing safe student housing, scholarships, literacy training and women’s support courses to 5,000 girls and women.It invested in women’s entrepreneurship training for 100 women and gender training for 3,000 men.INSEAD: Continued commitment to knowledge-sharing and preparation.

Nike Foundation: Partnered with the Gates Foundation and the Center for Global Development to release “Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health.” With the Grameen Healthcare Trust, it launched the Nursing Institute, a social business-based health care model in Bangladesh that places adolescent girls at the center of a new strategy for healthcare.

Standard Chartered Bank: With the IFC, the WBG GAP hosted the Global Banking Alliance for Women Summit in Singapore. It expanded its GOAL program to 100,000 young women through sport (netball) by 2013 in five markets: India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and the Middle East (Jordan and Egypt).

Sung-Joo Kim Group: Established an endowment for the Women’s Foundation in Korea which sends 40 young female college students to Europe for the Global Women’s Cultural Leadership program each summer. It launched a Global Young Women’s Leadership Program with the Global Summit of Women.
Examples of innovative collaboration that has emerged from the PSLF include:

Boeing: Partnered with Accenture, Ernst & Young, WBG and other PSLF members to increase the number of women-owned businesses in their collective supply chains. It committed to tracking and spending US $2 billion on products and services from women-owned businesses over the next three years.

McKinsey: Provided value chain research entitled, “The Business of Empowering Women” and with PSLF members helped develop a framework of how the private sector can invest in women across their life cycle.

Norfund: Conducted a gender study to assist investee companies to promote positive gender outcomes, providing a comprehensive set of qualitative measures to achieve gender-neutral meritocratic workplaces.

PricewaterhouseCoopers: Leveraged its position as Chair of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development and engaged World Bank expertise in ensuring women’s economic empowerment was a key component of the WBCSD’s Vision 2,050 which involved more than 200 leading global companies.