Anna Diamantopoulou, the first Greek female on the shortlist to lead the the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), announced on Monday she is withdrawing from the race.
The Greek politician and academic was shortlisted along with two other candidates for the position of Secretary General of one of the world’s most powerful international organizations.
However, in a message on social media she said she is withdrawing “in an effort to facilitate consensus in the selection process.”
She also expressed her gratitude to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis “for his constant trust and endorsement.”
I decided to withdraw my bid to be SG of the #OECD, in an effort to facilitate consensus in the selection process. Grateful to @PrimeministerGR for his constant trust & endorsement. Grateful, also, to member-countries, whose support placed my candidacy at the third top place.
— Anna Diamantopoulou (@adiamantopoulou) March 1, 2021
Born in Kozani, northern Greece, Diamantopoulou became one of the youngest regional governors in her country when she rose to the top of the leadership of Kastoria at the age of 26.
The race was tough
Since then, she has been elected a deputy, a minister — twice — and a European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs. Since 2013 she has presided over Diktio, a think tank that was founded by herself.
“I think it’s very important for girls and women across the world to see that a woman who comes from a small country, from a poor family, from a region at the end of the country, can be a candidate or a winner in this race, because I think it helps women and girls have inspiration,” she told Greek Reporter recently.
In the interview she acknowledged that the race was tough. “We have to keep in mind that 38 countries across the world will make a decision,” she told Greek Reporter.
“We must be realistic. And realistic means that we know that we’re a small country, and it’s the first time ever that we’ve entered this kind of fight, we’ve never in the past tried to win such a position — the leadership of such a big international organization.”
OECD is a “macho organization”
With Kristalina Georgieva at the helm of the IMF, Christine Lagarde at the ECB and Ursula von der Leyen at the European Commission, some of the world’s greatest levers of power are now in the hands of a handful of women.
Diamantopoulou pulled out of the race to join this powerful group of female leaders.
“The OECD is a very macho organization, there is one general secretary, and there are four deputies, and they are all men,” she had earlier criticized.
“So, if there is a woman there, it is a signal that we can break one more glass ceiling,” she told Greek Reporter.