It’s Going To Take 81 Years To Close The Global Gender Gap At Work

The World Economic Forum released its annual report on gender equality this week, and the results are — well, it depends on how you look at it. As in, there’s been progress in closing the gender gap globally, but it is glacially slow.

When the WEF started compiling data and releasing reports in 2006, women’s economic opportunities and participation were at 56 percent of men’s opportunities and participation. They’re now at 60 percent, globally. The US ranks 20th for gender equality overall, with women’s economic participation and opportunity at 86 percent of men’s, estimated earned income roughly equal to men’s, employment in government position at 75 percent of men’s, and wages at about 66percent of men’s for similar. It’s important to note that that figure is not the same as the 76-cents-to-a-dollar figure, which refers to full-time employment only; the WEF’s figure is based on their Executive Opinion Survey.

Some other interesting figures about American gender equality at work from the report:

  • Women spend 248 minutes a day doing unpaid work to men’s 161.

  • 84 percent percent of women have a bank account to men’s 92 percent.

  • Women are employed in part-time positions at more than twice the rate men are (15.8 percent to men’s 7.1 percent).

  • Executive boards consist only 10 percent of women, or, if you prefer, men take up nine times the number of board positions that women do.

  • Women participate in and graduate from STEM programs in higher education at less than half the rate men do (about 30% enrollment to men’s 70 percent).

This all being said, and really sadly given that information, we still rank fourth in the world for women’s economic empowerment and opportunities and have improved fairly steadily in ranking over the last several years. Then there’s the other categories: In the US, women are more likely than men to be enrolled in tertiary education programs (college and beyond) — men’s participation is about 71 percent of women’s participation in higher education, but we still rank 39th in the category. However, our political representation remains low at only 22 percent– it is far and away the area in which men and women are the least equal in the United States. We rank 54th in the world for equality in political representation out of 136 countries surveyed. Northern European countries, as usual, rank the highest, with Iceland taking the top spot.

Worldwide, however, if we continue to progress at the pace we have, the gender gap at work won’t be closed for another 81 years (“all else remaining equal”). So maybe, just maybe, by the time our great-granddaughters are in the workplace, if we haven’t otherwise obliterated the Earth by then, they’ll have a fair shot.

[World Economic Forum]

[WEF: USA]

[Business Insider]

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