1. The global gender gap has widened for the first time since the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report was first published in 2006, bringing to an end a decade of slow but steady progress towards improving gender parity. This year the average gender gap stands at 32%, compared with 31.7% last year. This reversal has been driven by declining gender parity in both the workplace and in political representation.

The gender gap is widening for the first time in a decade
The gender gap is widening for the first time in a decade
Image: World Economic Forum

2. Globally, few gender gaps in education remain. Women make up an equal or larger share of those attending university in 93 countries, for example. Nevertheless, economic outcomes are significantly less favourable for women than for men, much more so than could be explained by the remaining gaps in education.

 In education, the gap is now almost closed - but this does not extend to the workplace
In education, the gap is now almost closed - but this does not extend to the workplace
Image: World Economic Forum

3. While income levels are rising globally for both women and men, women do not share equally in the benefits of this rising prosperity. High gender gaps in income persist in many countries, including the most affluent.

Incomes are rising globally, but it's men who are taking the biggest share
Incomes are rising globally, but it's men who are taking the biggest share
Image: World Economic Forum

4. Despite roughly equal university education overall, there is a difference in what male and female students are studying. Women are more likely to specialise in fields such as health and welfare or education, while men make up more of those specialising in engineering, manufacturing and information technology degrees. These choices are not based on aptitude, but are made due to perceived opportunities and societal attitudes.

  University education is broadly balanced - but what about areas of study?
University education is broadly balanced - but what about areas of study?
Image: World Economic Forum

5. In the workplace, across industries, there is a further imbalance especially when it comes to leadership roles. Not only must more effort be made to balance talent pipelines, but companies must also adopt better practices and policies when it comes to hiring, retention, promotion, mentorship, sponsorship, transparency and targets.

 Workplaces are still out of balance, especially in leadership roles
Workplaces are still out of balance, especially in leadership roles
Image: World Economic Forum, LinkedIn