Hogan Lovells' Ulaanbaatar office hosted a panel discussion and networking event entitled "Advancing women through quotas: Right or Wrong?". The event was attended by our clients, young professionals across a wide spectrum of sectors, and representatives of academia and civil society.
Associates Ariungoo Khurelbaatar and Bolormaa Gulguu started the event with a presentation on Hogan Lovells' Citizenship program and a short introduction to the discussion topic, then handed the floor to the distinguished panel:
Mr. J. Byambadorj, Head of the Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, former Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia;
Ms. J. Bayartsetseg, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice;
Ms. M. Bolormaa, General Secretary of the National Gender Committee; and
Ms. N. Bolormaa, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Golomt Bank.
The panelists noted many positive sides of promoting women representatives to key decision-making positions, such as equal representation, risk-reduction and potentially a decrease in corruption, while highlighting problems that women face in advancing their careers, such as general prejudice, sometimes harsh judgments, the double workload of combining a professional career with family care, and a cultural gap in levels of ambition. The panel concluded that quotas would be an important tool to help women overcome these challenges. The panel was skillfully moderated by Unurjargal Lkhanaa, National Coordinator at UNDP's Women's Political Empowerment Project.
The audience, of around 60 attendees, actively participated in a lively Q&A session. Opinion polls taken before and after the panel displayed an almost two-fold increase in support of quotas, demonstrating the effectiveness of an open dialogue in garnering public support for diversity initiatives.
The event highlighted Hogan Lovells' commitment to good citizenship and gender equality. It also further strengthened Hogan Lovells' ties with high-profile national and international organizations as well as individuals working to foster diversity in Mongolia.