Christine Lagarde, MD, International Monetary Fund

The true significance of Christine Lagarde's appointment as the first ever female Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) comes to the future generations of women who will find the world their work place. Lagarde, the 11th European to head IMF, is an elegant Frenchwoman who has been hailed as a skilful and pragmatic negotiator with 'excellent' connections on both sides of the Atlantic. She has also been known to be straightforward when it comes to serious work. A vegetarian who does not drink, Lagarde has built a solid career since qualifying as a lawyer.

Before her appointment to IMF, Lagarde made history as the first ever female minister of economic affairs of a G8 country, France. Does it matter to the women who work at IMF? In its annual diversity report for 2010, the IMF said that a mere 20%of their managers were women, placing the IMF well behind the World Bank which employs 36% women in management positions.

What significance does Lagarde¹s leadership hold for career women as a whole? For many women, the novelty of a woman heading the most powerful financial organization in the world is likely to fade away when confronted with issues at work. Gender based issues women face daily in their work places are likely to stay on until meaningful changes come.

Source: The Daily Mirror (Colombo, Sri Lanka)