Going into our 4th wave of feminism in the 21st century, you would think that the world has come to its senses. You would think the feminist’s efforts to diminishing the gender pay gap would slightly budge, but not quite. According to a recent study from the World Economic Forum, we are nowhere close to that.
The WEF’s recent report on The Global Gender Gap Report is an overview of the performance results in countries pertaining to economic participation, education attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
Based on last years’ report, there was a hypothesis that the gender pay gap around the world would close in 118 years. Unfortunately, instead of improvement in the numbers there was a lack of or a halt in progression.
New studies say “at the current rate of change, and given the widening economic gender gap since last year, it will not be closed for another 170 years.” That means we wont see a close in this gap until year 2186!
One of the issues on gender parity is the lack of females graduating from STEM subjects, 30% of male compared to 16% female.
This becomes an issue when the highest paid and most-desired careers are in the STEM industry (mathematics, engineering, computer science).
“These forecasts are not foregone conclusions. Instead, they reflect the current state of progress and serve as a call to action,” said Saadia Zahidi a member of the WEF executive committee.
Zahidi means when we see statistics like 30% male and 16% female, it shouldn’t discourage women. Instead women should be more aware of this and make improvements.
“Across all countries, making full use of women’s capabilities paves the way to optimizing a nation’s human capital potential,” studies show from the WEF’s report.
In other words, we must change the way we educate and use women in our companies because it is crucial for a company’s growth.
Out of 144 countries, the United States ranks 45th overall in the gender gap. As for economic participation it ranked at 26th, number one in education attainment, 63rd for health and survival and lastly, 73rd on the political empowerment ranking.
Iceland, Finland and Norway were ranked high on the overall gender gap as well as in other indexes.
Going from 118 years to 170 years should be a wake up call for women, businesses, and men who believe that women should get equal pay.
This should only motivate us to work harder for what we deserve.