January 23, 2017
The issue of gender is more than prevalent in today’s society. Whether you participated in one of the many Women’s Marches across the world this weekend or snidely commented on Facebook posts behind your computer screen, the reality of the economic gender gap is too obvious to ignore. Particularly when the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report for 2016 comes out with enough data to squash any debate on the matter.
According to the report, there are a lot of things to be excited about when it comes to the gender gap. For one, Western Europe is expected to close the gender gap within the next fifty years. Likewise, regions like the Middle East and Latin America are experiencing some of the fastest advancements in years, despite their initial terrible ranking. Similarly, education numbers across the world have improved for women, with the gap in tertiary education being closed completely for 95 countries.
However, when it comes to North America, progress isn’t on the menu. While this region is considered one of the most impressive when it comes to economic gender equality, the progress for North America has been negative since 2016, with a steady decline in recent years. The lowered ranking for the US in particular was “due to a revised estimate of the size of the gender gap in estimated earned income; however, the country’s female labour force participation has also been stagnating for a number of years, including among legislators, senior officials and managers.”
Perhaps the numbers are down because people have forgotten about the importance of gender equality in the world. While many see it has an attack on men, the report goes on to explain that gender parity isn’t just good for women, it’s good for everyone. And, according to the report, there is a clear values-based case for promoting gender parity.
“Ensuring the healthy development and appropriate use of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future readiness of economies and businesses worldwide,” said the authors of the report.
Much like the necessity for diversity in tech, the need for gender parity isn’t a pet project that might work out. It has been proven time and time again that equality is good for business. So if you really want your startup to succeed, grow, and flourish, it’s time to start closing the gender gap.
H / T World Economic Forum
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