The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, who have lost their jobs and dropped out of the workforce to care for family members in far greater numbers than their male counterparts. Today only 56% of women in the US are working for pay, the lowest level since 1986. A 2021 World Economic Forum Report warns that the pandemic has set women’s gender parity back a generation, impacting the earning power and economic wellbeing of women, families, and children around the world. Pragmatic and collaborative actions by organizations, corporations, countries, and individual leaders are needed to make and sustain the complex changes required to achieve greater economic participation by women and gender parity in leadership and pay.
INCOME GAP AND EMERGING JOBS
Gender gaps in income remain and are reinforced by more men in high-paid jobs and more women in low-paid jobs. Gender gaps are especially evident in sectors that require disruptive technical skills. For example, in Cloud Computing, women make up 14% of the workforce; in Engineering, 20%; and in Data and AI, 32%. While these employment sectors typically experience a high influx of new talent, current rates of inflow will not re-balance occupational gender disparities and transitioning to fields where women are currently under-represented remains difficult.
WOMEN’S POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT
The gender gap in political leadership has widened further since 2020, according to the World Economic Forum. Across the 156 countries covered by its index, women represent only 26.1% of some 35,500 Parliament seats and just 22.6% of over 3,400 Minister-level positions in governments worldwide. In 81 countries, there has never been a woman head of state. At the current rate of progress, the World Economic Forum estimates that it will take 145.5 years to attain gender parity in politics.
WOMEN’S HIRING INTO SENIOR MANAGEMENT POSITIONS
Since 2020 there has been a marked decline of women’s hiring into leadership roles, reversing years of progress across multiple industries. The decline is even more pronounced in industries with traditionally higher numbers of women, such as media and communication, the consumer sector, and non-profits.
NOW IS THE TIME FOR CHANGE
The World Economic Forum report concludes that today “Leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to build more resilient and gender-equal economies by investing in inclusive workplaces, creating more equitable care systems, advancing women’s rise to leadership positions, applying a gender lens to reskilling and redeployment and embedding gender parity into the future of work.”
Please join us at TalentNomics to prepare women for leadership positions across sectors around the world. We believe that expanding the number of women in leadership will transform the workplace and the world.