Global gender inequality growing
Publish date: 08 January 2020
Issue Number: 317
Diary: Legalbrief Workplace
Women may have to wait more than two centuries for equality at work, according to a report showing gender inequality growing in workplaces worldwide despite increasing demands for equal treatment. News24 reports that while women appear to be gradually closing the gender gap in areas such as politics, health and education, workplace inequality is not expected to be erased until the year 2276, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The organisation said the worldwide gender gap in the workplace had widened further since last year, when parity appeared to be only 202 years off. The overall gender gap across these categories has shrunk, with WEF now forecasting it will take 99.5 years for women to achieve parity on average, down from the 108 years forecast in last year's report. But while some sectors have shown improvements, others lag far behind. The US continued its decline, slipping two places to 53rd, with the report pointing out that ‘American women still struggle to enter the very top business positions’, and are also ‘under-represented in political leadership roles’.
The UK has slipped down a global ranking of gender equality, largely because of inequality in the workplace and a persistent gender pay gap. People Management reports that the ranking has led to calls from employment experts for tougher rules tackling discrimination in the workplace, and for businesses to offer more flexible working opportunities and be more proactive in addressing gender inequality. It its latest Global Gender Gap report, which ranked 153 countries on measures of gender equality, the WEF demoted the UK from 15th to 21st place. This put it behind a number of rich countries including Germany, New Zealand and Canada, but also behind less developed countries, including the Philippines, Nicaragua and Namibia. The ranking was topped by Iceland, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden and Nicaragua.