Managing Director, World Economic Forum
Recent years have been marked by major setbacks for gender parity globally, with previous progress disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on women and girls in education and the workforce, followed by economic and geopolitical crises. Today, some parts of the world are seeing partial recoveries while others are experiencing deteriorations as new crises unfold. Global gender gaps in health and education have narrowed over the past year, yet progress on political empowerment is effectively at a standstill, and women’s economic participation has regressed rather than recovered.
The tepid progress on persistently large gaps documented in this seventeenth edition of the Global Gender Gap Report creates an urgent case for renewed and concerted action. Accelerating progress towards gender parity will not only improve outcomes for women and girls but benefit economies and societies more widely, reviving growth, boosting innovation and increasing resilience. The report provides a tool for consistent tracking of gender gaps across the economic, political, health and education spheres, and is designed for leaders to identify areas for individual and collective action.
At the World Economic Forum, the Centre for the New Economy and Society complements measurement of gender gaps with a set of initiatives and coalitions dedicated to advancing progress. The Gender Parity Accelerators are working towards gender parity in economic participation – scaling policies and strategies to improve women’s representation in the workforce and in leadership – as well as pay equity. Accelerators are currently present in 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Global Learning Network linked to the Accelerators surfaces successful policies and practices and promotes knowledge exchange between participating countries and a wider network of leaders. Focusing on corporate action, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Lighthouse Programme brings together a cross-industry group of organizations taking action to drive better and faster DEI outcomes through CEO leadership, and knowledge-sharing on initiatives that have achieved significant, quantifiable and sustained impact for underrepresented groups.
This year’s edition of the Global Gender Gap Report also analyses new data on labour market outcomes for women, at both the macro-economic and industry level. We are grateful to LinkedIn and Coursera for their continued collaboration in providing unique data and new measures to track gender gaps in workforce participation, senior leadership and online skilling. We also thank the members of the Centre for the New Economy and Society Advisory Board for their leadership, the over 150 partners of the Centre, and the Global Future Council on the Future of the Care Economy and Community of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers for expert guidance, as well as a network of national ministries of economy, education and labour for their commitment to advancing gender parity.
We would like to express our gratitude to Silja Baller, Kusum Kali Pal, Kim Piaget and Ricky Li for their leadership of this project. We would also like to thank our colleagues Attilio Di Battista, Eoin O’Cathasaigh, Gulipairi Maimaiti and Mark Rayner for their support.
We hope the data and analysis provided in this report can further accelerate the speed of travel towards parity by catalysing and informing action by public- and private-sector leaders in their efforts to close the global gender gap. With the myriad challenges the world faces, we need the full power of human creativity and collaboration to find pathways to shared prosperity.