Isn’t the topic of women’s advancement and equality featured everywhere ad nauseam? Doesn’t it seem like there’s always another women’s conference, a summit, new book or article where a high-profile woman proclaims life’s not fair? What else could women possibly want? We are already getting ALL this attention. When will women stop being so demanding?
Do you feel the same?
When it comes to equality I’ve noticed many of us have become numb and disengaged.
The people making the statements above would have a point if the numbers had actually moved in the right direction over the past years. Truth is, you need to stop feeling good about the progress of equality because the numbers are doing the opposite of what we hoped. Globally, the numbers are reversing.
The latest news on the progress of equality
The latest numbers are out and they show that women globally WON’T see economic gender equality for 217 years, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum.
In all fairness, there are some countries making progress. But many are falling backward.
Let me give you some reference points so you can judge these numbers for yourself.
According to the study, “The Global Gender Gap Index examines the gap between men and women in four fundamental categories (subindexes): Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.” Each country is evaluated based on these four categories through a variety of sources that are detailed in the report.
Of the 142 countries that were included in the report both in 2016 and 2017, 82 countries have increased their overall gender gap scores compared to last year. Disturbingly, 60 countries scored lower than they did in 2016.
I’ve reviewed some of the most interesting portions of the study so that you can see how the numbers mesh together. To review the study, please go here and download the document.
Is there any good news?
Well, kinda. We know there has been progress in education, but it has NOT resulted in equivalent gains for women in earning opportunity, economic independence, or leadership. The Forum’s Closing the Gender Gap Project aims to accelerate the pace of change on gender parity through global dialogue and a national public-private cooperation model that is currently practiced in several future-ready countries.
While all world regions record a narrower gender gap than they did 11 years ago, more efforts will continue to be needed to accelerate progress. At the current rate of progress, the overall global gender gap can be closed in:
- 61 years in Western Europe
- 62 years in South Asia
- 79 years in Latin America and the Caribbean
- 102 years in Sub-Saharan Africa
- 128 years in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
- 157 years in the Middle East and North Africa
- 161 years in East Asia and the Pacific
- 168 years in North America
You tell me… Is it good news that we’ll be able to conquer this here in the United States 168 years from now?
Economic Gender Gap
The economic gender gap considers women’s labor force participation, wage equality, and professional leadership. Here, the gaps between women and men on economic participation and political empowerment remain wide: only 58% of the economic participation gap has been closed—a second consecutive year of reversed progress and the lowest value measured by the Index since 2008—and about 23% of the political gap unchanged since last year against a long-term trend of slow-but-steady improvement.
Now, it is important to look at this with the end goal in mind. And that goal is 100% equality. You can look 58% and think, well, that’s not so bad. But what 58% also represents is that in 2017 42% of women all over the world are not achieving equality in economic participation. That means funding for our businesses, equal pay, promotions, and advancing to leadership positions. That’s a HUGE number. It’s almost 1 out of 2 women. So, let’s hold off on the shoulder slapping for the 58% please.
Back to 2008
The report shows global advancements women have made in our economic participation are now back to 2008 levels. This is the average value including countries that advanced and countries that are falling back.
How is this even possible?
“The gender gaps at the industry level highlights that even though qualified women are coming out of the education system, many industries are failing to hire, retain and promote them, losing out on a wealth of capacity,” states The Global Gender Gap Report 2017. “As the world moves from capitalism into the era of talentism, competitiveness on a national and on a business level will be decided more than ever before by the innovative capacity of a country or a company. In this new context, the integration of women into the talent pool becomes a must.”
The numbers tell a compelling story
The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 says notable recent estimates suggest economic gender parity could add an additional $250 billion to the GDP of the United Kingdom, $1,750 billion to that of the United States, $550 billion to Japan’s GDP, $320 billion to France’s and $310 billion to the GDP of Germany. Other recent estimates suggest that China could see a $2.5 trillion GDP increase from gender parity and that the world as a whole could increase global GDP by $5.3 trillion by 2025 by closing the gender gap in economic participation by 25% over the same period. (All monetary figures in US dollars.)
What does this mean for you and your business? It means it’s go-time unless you can afford to lose out on the ideas and the extra revenue women can and will bring to your business. Supporting women is definitely one way to put your business growth on the fast track.
Call me, it’s time we talk. Here’s my cell number: 310 678 1343. I am serious. Are you?
At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”
Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.
If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.