Gender Gap Grows Wider Globally

Gender Gap Grows Wider Globally

November 3, 20172 min read

The World Economic Forum (WEF) began calculating the global gender gap in 2006. Yesterday, it released the results of the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report and the news is bad – for the first time in more than a decade, the gender gap is widening.

This year's report revealed that the divide between men and women stood at 32 percent, up from 31.7 percent last year.

The Global Gender Gap Index ranks 144 countries and compares them across four ‘pillars’: economic participation and opportunity, education, political empowerment, and health and survival.

The best scores overall belonged to three Scandinavian countries. Iceland had the smallest gender gap at 22 percent. How about the United States? While the U.S. has improved its overall gender gap, this year's report showed it moved down the rankings to 49th place. The score was 0.72 or a gender gap of 28 percent.

The pillar featuring economic participation, which includes salaries, workforce participation and leadership, has one of the fastest-growing gaps. Globally, women are earning less than men. The WEF believes the economic gender gap will now not be closed for 217 years.

When considering a woman's income as a percent of a man’s, the U.S. came in at 13th place, where a woman can expect to make on average only 64.8 percent of that of what a male earns.

Why is this the case even though more women than men are graduating from universities? Can this worrying trend be changed? What steps must be taken to make the playing field equal for all in America?

Dr. Shannon Wooden, gender studies expert and professor of English at Missouri State University, can provide insight on this topic. She can address the gender pay gap and why companies need more female representation in senior and board levels. Contact her for an interview.


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