Gender parity in education and employment is critical for economic growth and societal cohesion. The World Economic Forum estimates that at the current rate of progress, it will take 151 years to close the economic gender gap. While countries are well-placed to maximize women’s economic potential, it is imperative to instate well-targeted policies and interventions embed gender equality in COVID-19 response and recovery policies.
Through the latest edition of the Global Gender Gap Report, the Centre of New Economy and Society has identified four key focus areas to accelerate closing of the economic gender gap in times of COVID-19:
1. Hardwire gender parity in the post COVID-19 world of work: reskilling women to be ready for re-employment in high growth sectors
2. Close gender gaps in remuneration between and within sectors: enhancing work quality and pay standards across currently low paid essential work
3. Enable women's participation in the labour force: enhancing social safety nets, specifically on provision of childcare support
4. Advance more women into management and leadership positions: setting targets for women in leadership on a government and business level
The Gender Parity Accelerators aim to create global and national public-private collaboration platforms to address current gender gaps and reshape gender parity for the future. The accelerator model drives systems change, highlighting the need for collaborative action across different scales – not just institutional structures and policies but also norms, attitudes and through individual business commitments.
To catalyse closing the economic gender gap, Accelerators focus on:
National Level Action: The accelerator model brings together public and private sector leaders, generally Ministers and CEO's, to generate local insight, develop local needs-based action plans and drive their execution.
Global Learning Network: Each country accelerator along with knowledge countries are part of a global platform, to enable the acceleration of learning through the exchange of insights and experience.
Closing the Gender Gap Playbook: The Playbook looks to provide a guide for stakeholders with tools, resources and processes for action to achieve economic gender parity. It is a living document which is continuously updated with the learnings from the Global Accelerator Network and the work done by the rest of the Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society.
The Gender Parity Accelerators also call for quantifiable commitments from leading companies to increase workforce opportunities and accelerate gender parity in the future of work. In addition, we are asking global industry leaders to commit to this framework from a global perspective.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, accelerators have been convened in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Panama in partnership with the InterAmerican Development Bank. Egypt and Jordan host Accelerators in the Middle East and North Africa. Kazakhstan and Japan host Accelerators in Asia.
Annual Meeting 2022
This year two G20 countries, Mexico and Japan, have initiated Gender Parity Accelerators. In Mexico, the Accelerator is led by the Secretaries of Economy and Tourism in collaboration with the Forum and the Inter-American Development Bank. In Japan the Accelerator is led by the Cabinet Office with leading Japanese companies and will focus on advancing more women into management and leadership positions in Japan. Both Accelerators will be launched nationally in the following months.
At the Meeting, several Gender Parity Accelerators also provided updates on progress and impact achieved to date. Kazakhstan, and Egypt recently finalised and approved their action plans. The Kazakhstan Accelerator, implemented by Astana International Financial Centre, will focus particularly on closing gender gaps in skills and the financial sector. The Egypt Accelerator, led by the Ministry of International Cooperation and National Council for Women, will focus particularly on female representation on boards, pay equity and reskilling women for high-growth sectors .
In Latin America and the Caribbean, where the Accelerators are implemented in partnership with the Inter-American Development, Gender Parity Accelerators have already achieved substantial impact in closing national gender gaps and stand to support gender-inclusive economic recovery efforts.