2095: The Year of Workplace Gender Equality
5 November 2014 at 9:27 am
Gender parity in the workplace will not be achieved for 81 years at the current rate of progress, according to new figures from the World Economic Forum.
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60 per cent worldwide, up 4 per cent from 2006 when the Forum first started measuring it.
Based on this trajectory, with all else remaining equal, it will take 81 years for the world to close this gap completely.
“Much of the progress on gender equality over the last 10 years has come from more women entering politics and the workforce. While more women and more men have joined the workforce over the last decade, more women than men entered the labour force in 49 countries,” Saadia Zahidi, Head of the Gender Parity Programme at the World Economic Forum and lead author of the report, said.
“And in the case of politics, globally, there are now 26 per cent more female parliamentarians and 50 per cent more female ministers than nine years ago. These are far-reaching changes – for economies and national cultures, however it is clear that much work still remains to be done, and that the pace of change must in some areas be accelerated.”
According to the WEF, when the number of women involved in political decision-making reaches a critical mass, their decisions – which take into account the needs of a wider segment of society – lead to more inclusive results. Companies that recruit and retain women, and ensure that they attain leadership positions, outperform those that do not.
“Achieving gender equality is obviously necessary for economic reasons. Only those economies who have full access to all their talent will remain competitive and will prosper. But even more important, gender equality is a matter of justice. As a humanity, we also have the obligation to ensure a balanced set of values,” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said.
The global gender gap for economic participation and opportunity was wider than that for health and education (96 per cent and 94 per cent respectively) but narrower than political empowerment (21 per cent).
With rankings worsening in every category relative to the first index in 2006, Australia was ranked at number 24 overall, beaten in Asia and the Pacific by the Philippines and New Zealand.
Australia was ranked globally at number 14 for economic participation and opportunity, with a score of 80 per cent, and at number 53 for political empowerment, with a score of only 19 per cent.
The Global Gender Gap Index ranks 142 countries on the gap between women and men on health, education, economic and political indicators. It aims to understand whether countries are distributing their resources and opportunities equitably between women and men, irrespective of their overall income levels.
The report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas:
Economic participation and opportunity – salaries, participation and leadership
Education – access to basic and higher levels of education
Political empowerment – representation in decision-making structures
Health and survival – life expectancy and sex ratio
Download the full report here