The events of recent years have shown that progress on inclusion is easily reversible. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a generational loss on gender equality, increasing the projected time to reach global gender parity from 100 to 132 years. Economic vulnerabilities have been exacerbated and social and political polarization has grown. In addition, cost-of-living crises have affected those who were already disadvantaged, while crisis management has detracted from longer-term investments in human development.
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has fallen further down the agenda of many organizations as fresh crises arrive. At the same time, there is significant momentum in the corporate and policy space to accelerate equity and inclusion efforts. The scope of DEI action in the private sector is broadening from a focus on the workforce to whole-of-business approaches encompassing inclusive design, inclusive supply chains and community impact, among others. New pathways are also emerging in the public sector as policy-makers apply an equity and inclusion lens to economic policy-making. DEI is fundamental to the creativity needed for reviving growth and building resilience against future shocks.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Parity Consortium is a coalition of chief executives, chairpersons, ministers and other leaders who share the vision of a renewed growth and resilience agenda driven by equity and inclusion. The consortium will guide alignment and action in three key areas: