Executive Education Finance

Meet Nemat Shafik – new president of Columbia University3 min read

March 8, 2023 2 min read


Meet Nemat Shafik – new president of Columbia University3 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutesReading Time: 2 minutes

Nemat Shafik, an economist who is the current president of the London School of Economics and Political Science, has been named the new president of Columbia University, making her the first woman to lead this prestigious university. Dr. Shafik has previously served as deputy governor of the Bank of England and a vice president at the World Bank. She will take over from Lee C. Bollinger in July 2023 and address issues such as diversity, free speech, and the high cost of education. Shafik, also known as Minouche, studied economics at the London School of Economics and Oxford University after completing her undergraduate studies in the US. Shafik previously served as the World Bank’s youngest-ever vice president at 36 and was later appointed deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. In 2016, she called for a significant overhaul of the UK’s electronic payment system, the RTGS, which settles about 500 billion pounds per day and had briefly collapsed in 2015.

Jonathan Lavine, the Columbia University Board of Trustees Chair, described Shafik as “the ideal candidate.” He explained that she is a proficient global leader, a community builder, and an exceptional economist with a grasp of academia and beyond. Lavine added that what made Shafik stand out among the other candidates was her firm belief in the critical role of higher education institutions in tackling the world’s most challenging issues. Columbia described Dr. Shafik as a “tireless proponent of diversity and inclusion”. Her book “What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract for a Better Society” explores the concept of the social contract, the mutual obligations among family, community, workplace, and fellow citizens. The book highlights how the social contract has been disrupted by technology, climate change, changing gender roles, and new models of work, and it provides practical solutions to current challenges. Shafik draws on evidence and examples from around the world to propose a new, more generous, and inclusive social contract that recognizes interdependencies, supports and invests more in each other, and expects more of individuals in return. The book is a thought-provoking call to action for building a better society together. Women’s participation in leadership positions brings unique perspectives, and their presence can inspire more women to pursue such roles, leading to gender balance in decision-making positions. Furthermore, it can help combat gender-based discrimination in the workplace and contribute to the development of inclusive policies.

Women’s representation in leadership positions is still disproportionately low. You can take a look at our article “Women’s representation in business world”, which sheds light on the importance of increasing the representation of women in leadership positions in today’s corporate landscape. Therefore, promoting gender balance in decision-making is crucial in creating an environment that fosters equity, diversity, and inclusivity. Organizations need to create an environment that supports gender diversity to increase the representation of women in leadership positions. This includes creating a culture of mentorship and support, promoting work-life balance policies, and addressing the challenges women face in the workplace. Adopting women in leadership positions can also help tackle issues such as the pay gap, harassment, and discrimination, as women are more likely to advocate for equality and fairness. Finally, it is crucial for organizations to recognize and promote the value of diversity and inclusion, as it can positively impact the organization’s performance and reputation.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *