On average, only 55% of adult women are in the labour market, compare to 78% of men. And women only earn 60% of what men do for the same work, with half as much non-wage income.
Business leadership on closing gender gaps in employment and value chains is therefore critical. It is important not just for building inclusive workplaces that appeal to the workers. The most diverse companies are also those with better long-term performance.
Unfairness of gender equality
Based on data from LinkedIn, women are under-represented in six of the eight fastest growing professions of the future.
while women make the majority in growing roles like people and culture, they form only 26% among those with data and AI, 15% among those with engineering skills and 12% among those with cloud computing skills. With the enormous demand for talent in these roles.
The new wave of HR technologies offers an opportunity to fix the biases of the past and embed greater gender equality as well as other forms of diversity.
Policy incentives and political role models
Today, 25% of the 35,127 global parliamentary seats are occupied by women and 21% of the 3,343 ministers globally are women. In addition, over the past 50 years, 68 of the 153 countries covered by the latest report have had a female head of state.
As more women reach visible positions of power, it creates a virtuous cycle, normalising the association of women and leadership for future generations.
There’s been a growing role for policy making and incentives when it comes to embedding equality. These can range from quotas and targets to wage equality legislation to parental leave policy to building a care economy infrastructure – but it has become clear policy incentives are among the most important tools available to address economic gender gaps.
Walking the talk at the World Economic Forum
None of this is possible without leadership from business and government. At the World Economic Forum, in addition to providing comprehensive data and a “yardstick” for measuring gender gaps, we are committed to three areas of action in 2020 and beyond:
These actions are not silver bullets. However, they are critical for accelerating progress to parity. Without the equal inclusion of half of the world’s talent, we will not be able to deliver on the promise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for all of society, grow our economies for greater shared prosperity or achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2020s, building fairer and more inclusive economies must be the goal of global, national and industry leaders.