Companies Commit to Hardwire Gender Parity into the Future of Work

23 Jan 2020

Oliver Cann, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +41 79 799 3405,

  • A founding group of companies commits to adopting the World Economic Forum business commitment framework for gender parity in the future of work
  • Companies will analyse the impact of the future of work in their organizations and identify new emerging job roles to hardwire gender parity. They commit to reach 50-50 gender parity in the hiring pipeline for these new roles by 2022 and developing inclusive internal rewards that support equal pay and opportunities
  • Ingka Group (IKEA) and Royal DSM join the initiative as founding members; McKinsey & Company serve as knowledge partner
  • The new World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 shows that women are, on average, heavily under-represented in most emerging professions with the largest gap in those requiring disruptive technical skills, like cloud computing, engineering and AI. It will take 257 years to close the economic gender gap.
  • Learn more here

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 23 January 2020 – The World Economic Forum today announces the public launch of the Hardwiring Gender Parity into the Future of Work initiative. It aims at accelerating the pathways for women to get the jobs of the future by 2022 with a target of reaching 50-50 in the fastest growth sectors of the new economy.

The Ingka Group (IKEA) Royal DSM are the founding members of the initiative. The World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the New Economy and Society is hosting the Hardwiring Gender Parity into the Future of Work initiative, where companies commit to achieving the following by 2022:

  • Identify five new or transformed job roles that significantly impact their organization
  • Recruit 50% female talent into these job roles
  • Develop a strong gender-equal reward system which addresses bias and ensures equal pay and equal opportunity to all staff

McKinsey & Company is serving as the initiative’s knowledge partner, helping to shape the research and knowledge base from which companies can draw valuable insights and solution-oriented actions.

“Gender gaps in economic opportunity have hardly narrowed over the past decade. As we enter the 2020s it’s time to future-proof gender parity efforts by creating more inclusive and diverse workplaces with a focus on the opportunities of tomorrow. Join us to build a 50-50 future of work,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, New Economy and Society at the World Economic Forum.”

Read more about the business commitment framework here.

Tracking and Solving Gender Parity in the Future of Work

Structural changes to labour markets are set to threaten the recent gains in gender parity. In 2018 the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report projected that leading up to 2022, 75 million jobs might be lost and 133 gained in some of the largest advanced and emerging markets as the nature of work changes across the global economy. In the context of significant “job churn” hardwiring gender parity into fast growing jobs – the jobs of tomorrow – will be a key imperative.

In 2019, McKinsey & Company identified job disruptions at a similar magnitude, finding that between 40 million and 160 million women globally could need to transition occupations by 2030, often into higher-skilled roles.

New analysis conducted in partnership with LinkedIn shows that women are, on average, heavily under-represented in most emerging professions. This gap is most pronounced across our “cloud computing” job cluster where only 12% of all professionals are women. The situation is hardly better in “engineering” (15%) and “Data and AI” (26%), however women do outnumber men in two fast-growing job clusters, “content production” and “people and culture”.

Three key strategies will be essential to hardwire gender equality into the future workplace: to ensure women are equipped in the first place – either through skilling or reskilling – with disruptive technical skills; to follow-up by enhancing diverse hiring; and to create inclusive work cultures.

What the leaders are saying

“For Royal DSM, the Hardwiring Gender Parity initiative is not only relevant for equality challenges we face today but also those in the future as it puts organizations on the right path. In this journey, mindset and behaviours – although important foundations – cannot deliver the paced changes we need to achieve gender parity. A redesign of the organizational structure and talent processes is needed. We look forward to working with the World Economic Forum and other signatories to deliver on this important pledge and contribute to further reducing the gender gap,” said Geraldine Matchett, Co-Chief Executive Officer designate and acting Chief Financial Officer, Royal DSM.

“Equality is critical to our success and the foundation of our humanistic values. As an employer, we are committed to fair and equal treatment, because it is the right thing to do and because equality in the workplace leads to high performing teams and a wider talent pool for us to recruit from. By co-founding the Hardwire Gender Parity in the Future of Work initiative we are contributing to a more gender equal world, laying the groundwork for equality in top careers of the future. Our commitment is to close the gender gap in every part of our business and ensure equal pay across 30 countries. With our actions, we hope to inspire and empower other companies and organizations to do the same. Let’s take it to the next level, together,” said Jesper Brodin, Chief Executive Officer of the Ingka Group (IKEA).

“With up to 160 million women’s jobs at risk from automation worldwide, it is critical that the private sector support women’s participation in the jobs that are on the frontier of the future workforce. McKinsey & Company is pleased to be the World Economic Forum’s knowledge partner, working to develop insights and solutions that can lead toward future gender parity. We hope that, through our collective efforts, the next decade can be about seeing companies’ stated diversity aspirations becoming reality,” said Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner McKinsey.

About the Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society

This initiative forms part of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society. The Platform is committed to building prosperous, inclusive and equitable economies and societies that create opportunity for all. It works on gender parity through research, setting up national public private collaborations to close workforce gender gaps and mobilizing change through business leadership.

Starting with a target of fifty pioneering companies over the course of 2020, the Hardwiring Gender Parity into the Future of Work initiative will tackle gender gaps in key professions and their respective skillset. It welcomes global and local companies to join and co-build this expanded initiative.

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 brings together about 3,000 global leaders from politics, government, civil society, academia, the arts and culture as well as the media. Convening under the theme, Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World, participants focus on defining new models for building sustainable and inclusive societies in a plurilateral world.

The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting brings together governments, international organizations, business, civil society, media, culture, foremost experts and the young generation from all over the world, at the highest level and in representative ways. It engages some 50 heads of state and government, more than 300 ministerial-level government participants, and business representation at the chief executive officer and chair level. For further information, please click here.

Notes to editors

Watch live webcasts

Guide to how to follow and embed sessions on your website at

View the best photos from the event at

Read the Forum Agenda at

Become a fan of the Forum on Facebook at

Watch Forum videos at

Follow the Forum on Twitter via @wef and @davos, and join the conversation using #wef20 and #FairerWorld

Follow the Forum on Instagram at

Follow the Forum on LinkedIn at

Learn about the Forum’s impact on

Subscribe to Forum news releases at
For searchable video content from the Annual Meeting click here

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (

All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum