Until recently, there has been very little analysis of women’s role in the economy. Two centuries ago, Mary Wollstonecraft published her proto-feminist A Vindication of the Rights of Women, and in 1869 John Stuart Mill, inspired by his wife Harriet, wrote The Subjection of Women in support of female suffrage. But new evidence is emerging of the cultural barriers to women’s economic advancement, which must be addressed if the world is ever to attain its goal of gender equality.
The Gender Parity Programme
Capital is no longer the only decisive factor of production in the global economy: a business’s or an economy’s competitive advantage is increasingly determined by innovative ideas or non-material services, and is less dependent on tangible assets. We are rapidly moving from capitalism to “talentism”. In such a world, gender parity can no longer be treated as superfluous. Women make up half of the potential human capital available in any economy, and the efficient use of this talent pool is a key driver of competitiveness.
The Gender Parity Programme is committed to promoting women’s leadership and gender parity across the globe through four interconnected workstreams:
The Programme monitors the progress of countries through benchmarking tools that measure global and regional gender gaps. The annual Global Gender Gap Report provides a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender disparities around the world and aims to serve as a tool for benchmarking and tracking gender inequality based on economic, political, education and health criteria; the 2013 edition of the report covers 136 economies.
In addition, the Programme has conducted research with 87 governments to pool information on policies that promote women’s economic integration. This research was presented in the Global Gender Gap Report 2013 and will be expanded in the next edition.
The Programme also develops special topical and regional studies. As a follow-up to the Corporate Gender Gap Report 2010, the upcoming Industry Gender Gap Report will provide industry-level analysis on the gender gap in the world's largest economies. The report will take an in-depth look into the current size of industry gender gaps, the prognosis for these gaps and the practices that may address them.
The Repository of Successful Practices is an online platform that offers practical information on practices adopted by leading companies to close the gender gap at the corporate level, along supply chains or in the broader ecosystem. It provides a six-point framework through which to focus organizational gender parity efforts: measurement and target-setting; mentorship and training; awareness, incentives and accountability; work environment and work-life balance; leadership and company commitment; and responsibility beyond the office.
Collaboration to Close Gender Gaps: Gender Parity Task Forces
The Programme aims to provide its neutral convening platform, benchmarking tools and best practice analysis to promote a solutions-oriented, systemic approach for closing gender gaps. The Programme has launched four Gender Parity Task Forces – three-year, country-level multistakeholder collaboration committed to identifying and implementing concrete measures for closing the economic gender gap by 10% at the local level. Mexico, Turkey, Japan and the Republic of Korea have been selected as pilot countries to demonstrate country-level success on closing economic gender gaps.
- The Mexico Gender Parity Task Force
- The Equality at Work Platform (Turkey)
- Insight Report: Closing the Gender Gap in Japan
- Task Force on Gender Parity and Empowerment of Women (Republic of Korea)
The Programme engages leaders from business, government, civil society, academia and media to combine existing knowledge on best practices to generate innovative approaches to closing the global gender gap.
The Programme has two types of associated communities:
- The Programme’s Global Advisory Board sets the strategic direction of the Programme and comprises community partners and non-business constituents.
- The Global Gender Parity Group is a multistakeholder community of highly influential and committed leaders – 50% women and 50% men – who have pledged personal and organizational commitments towards gender parity.
- The Women Leaders Community consists of high-level women leaders from various stakeholder groups participating in World Economic Forum events. It serves as a platform for networking and establishing meaningful dialogue on contemporary issues of relevance.
- The Global Agenda Council on Gender Parity (previously Women’s Empowerment) is composed of globally recognized experts and brings together cutting-edge research from business, government, civil society and leading universities on closing gender gaps. The 2012-2014 Council served as a key pillar of the Gender Parity Programme, providing new insights and synthesizing knowledge to develop a solutions-oriented, country-level replicable systemic model to close the economic gender gap globally. The 2014-2016 Council will provide thought leadership and conceptual support for the Programme’s industry-focused work.
- As part of the effort to understand industry gender gaps, the Programme will consult with heads of diversity and human resources.
The World Economic Forum seeks to maximize women’s participation in all its activities, including annual meetings, regional events, Global Agenda Councils and initiatives, drawing from a pool of the highest-level women leaders in business, politics, academia, media and civil society. The Forum has established a strong record of increasing gender diversity in its activities.
World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Unlocking Resources for Regional Development
28-29 September, Istanbul, Turkey 2014
Launch of the Global Gender Gap Report 2014
28 October, New York, USA 2014
India Economic Summit
4-6 November, New Delhi, India 2014
Summit on the Global Agenda 2014
9-11 November, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2014
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015
21-25 January, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland 2015
World Economic Forum on Latin America
6-8 May, Cancun, Mexico 2015
World Economic Forum on Africa
3-5 June, Cape Town, South Africa 2015
World Economic Forum on East Asia
9-11 June, Indonesia 2015
The World Economic Forum is not responsible for external websites' content.
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