WEF: Global Gender Gap Report 2018

WEF: Global Gender Gap Report 2018

Last month, the World Economic Forum released its 13th Global Gender Gap Report, providing comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analysis of the Global Gender Gap Index, a tool created by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to identify and track gender imbalance over time and across countries.

The report measures 169 countries across 4 thematic divisions in order to rank them in terms of gender parity, which is measured on a scale of 0 (disparity) to 1 (parity).

Key findings from 2018:

  • Globally, the average, population-weighted, distance completed to parity is at 68.0%, which is a marginal improvement over last year, and projecting current trends, the overall global gender gap will close in 108 years (across the 106 countries covered since the first edition of the report).
  • Across the 149 countries assessed, there are just 17 that currently have women as heads of state.
  • Based on collaboration with LinkedIn, we find that only 22% of AI professionals globally are female, compared to 78% who are male. This accounts for a gender gap of 72%, which has not shown any signs of improvement thus far.
  • The most challenging gender gaps to close are the economic and political empowerment dimensions, which will take 202 and 107 years to close respectively.
  • The most gender-equal country to date is Iceland. It has closed over 85% of its overall gender gap. Iceland is followed by Norway (83.5%), Sweden and Finland (82.2%). Denmark is currently ranked at 13th (78%).
  • The overall global gender gap will close in 61 years in Western Europe, 70 years in South Asia, 74 years in Latin America and the Caribbean, 135 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, 124 years in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 153 years in the Middle East and North Africa, 171 years in East Asia and the Pacific, and 165 years in North America.

In summary, the gender gap has reduced slightly in 2018, but the declining representation of women in politics and stagnation in the proportion of women in the workplace mean that any improvements are minimal. ‘Economic Opportunity’ was the only area that narrowed the gender gap, largely due to the reduction of the pay gap (51%) and increase in the number of women in leadership roles (34%).

The data suggests that women are participating less in the workforce, perhaps due to automation disproportionately replacing jobs traditionally carried out by women, while traditionally male STEM jobs are increasing. Another possible option is that the lack of infrastructure for childcare and eldercare prevents women re-entering the workforce.

This year, the WEF drew attention to the glaring disparity in the field of AI, where women represent only 22% of the workforce, a gap 3 x larger than other industry talent pipelines. Proactive measures are vital in these male-dominated industries that will dominate the future of work. Furthermore, slimming the gender gap will also have positive economic ramifications for businesses in the long term, given that diverse companies perform better.

The economies that will succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be those that are best able to harness all their available talent. Proactive measures that support gender parity and social inclusion and address historical imbalances are therefore essential for the health of the global economy as well as for the good of society as a whole

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Source: http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2018/

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