h digitalfootprint web 728x90

Index: Global gender parity still a century away


Last week, the World Economic Forum released its Global Gender Gap report for 2020, and there’s not much good news in it. But perhaps the grimmest outlook in its data? None of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and neither will most of our children.

According to the report, which looked at 153 countries and their progress, complete gender parity across the world will not be obtained for another 99.5 years. What’s even more sobering is the fact it will take women 257 years to have the same economic opportunities as men.

Nordic countries led the pack as those who’ve made the most progress toward gender equality — Iceland came in first for the 11th year in a row, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden.

In other bad news, the United States and other Western countries actually regressed in their rankings — the U.S. fell two spots to 53rd globally. Keeping the U.S. company is Australia, which fell six spots to 44th, and the U.K, which fell three spots to 21st.

So is there any good news? While the index is designed as a benchmark to create global awareness of the challenges posed by the gender gap, it also suggests opportunities companies and policymakers can seize to help countries toward gender parity.

Overall, the world is making progress, shaving nearly nine years off the predicted time to gender parity in the 2018 report. This is due largely to increased female representation in the political realm, though politics remains the place women have farthest to go.

The report offers other tidbits of optimism, including the fact that it is forecast to take just 12 years to attain gender parity in education. Also, gender parity has been fully achieved in 40 of the 153 countries ranked.

Looking forward, the report reveals the greatest challenge preventing the economic gender gap from closing is women’s underrepresentation in emerging industries such as cloud computing, data, AI and engineering.

To solve this, companies are encouraged to better equip women with the skills needed to take advantage of what the report calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Policymakers need to follow suit by equipping younger generations with the skills needed to succeed in future jobs.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!

brownwinick brd 030123 300x250