NEW YORK – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a day of events today in New York City, built around an annual women’s summit and laden with themes about increasing the female presence in business boardrooms.
He has meetings with the CEO of YouTube, the new secretary general of the United Nations and is doing three panel events before ending the day with a news conference.
“This is part of a habit – a good habit – I’ve developed, wherever I go, to sit down with extraordinary leaders, particularly in business, who happen to be women and talk about what more we can do,” Trudeau said at a morning roundtable with female business leaders.
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“We know that when women are successful – in workplaces, in communities, everyone does better. It’s not just about doing the right thing around equality and pay equity, it’s about understanding that that actually is the smart thing to do. . . . It leads to better outcomes.”
The backdrop of the visit is the annual Women In The World Summit. Trudeau began the day with YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki before meeting the UN’s Antonio Guterres and taking part in an armchair chat with media executive Tina Brown.
It’s the prime minister’s fourth U.S. visit of 2017. He’s recently visited the White House, attended an energy conference in Houston and took in a Canadian-themed Broadway play in the company of dignitaries including President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
At his meeting with Wojcicki, Trudeau said he was happy to chat with the head of YouTube about attracting innovative businesses to Canada and building a larger international market for Canadian content-creators.
“There’s an awful lot to talk about – but I’m here fundamentally and prioritarily today to talk about how we can get more successful women into the workforce, how we can make sure we’re reducing barriers so everyone can contribute,” Trudeau said as they sat down.
Wojcicki echoed the sentiment. She said she was happy to discuss content creation, but also wanted to discuss a longstanding concern of hers: “It’s been an issue for a long time – that we don’t have enough women in technology. I really see this as a societal issue.”