Yellow Arrow

World Bank Report Reveals Global Gender Disparity in Workforce Opportunities

A headline that never ceases to disappoint.

It’s natural to feel outraged at the injustice of being denied equal rights and opportunities simply because of one’s gender. The slow pace of reforms, despite the clear economic benefits of gender equality, exacerbate these feelings of disappointment. It highlights a failure of leadership and a lack of urgency in addressing a fundamental issue that impacts the lives of half the global population.

Recent findings from the World Bank highlight a stark reality – no country in the world currently provides women with equal opportunities in the workforce compared to men. This revelation, far exceeding previous estimations, underscores the urgent need for action to bridge the global gender gap.

According to the report, closing this gap could potentially elevate the global gross domestic product by over 20%, presenting a significant economic opportunity for nations worldwide.

For the first time, the report delves into the impact of childcare and safety policies on women’s labour force participation across 190 countries. Shockingly, it reveals that women only enjoy 64% of the legal protections granted to men, a decrease from the previously assumed 77%. Issues such as childcare costs and safety concerns emerge as major barriers hindering women’s full engagement in the workforce.

The report’s 10th edition also sheds light on the disparity between enacted laws and their implementation in bridging gender gaps. Despite laws on equal pay being enacted in 95 countries, only 35 have measures in place to address the pay gap, with women globally earning just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.

While some sub-Saharan African nations have shown commendable legislative progress, a significant gap persists between legal reforms and their effective implementation.

Countries like Togo exhibit high numbers of enacted laws but lack sufficient frameworks for execution.

Addressing childcare gaps emerges as a pivotal solution, with the report suggesting that improving childcare accessibility could immediately increase women’s labour force participation by 1%. Yet less than half of the countries offer financial support or tax relief for parents, and even fewer have quality standards for childcare services, leaving parents concerned about their children’s safety.

Moreover, disparities extend to pension benefits, with 81 countries failing to account for childcare-related work absences in women’s pension calculations. Additionally, while 151 countries have laws against workplace sexual harassment, only 40 cover abuse in public spaces or during commutes, leaving women unprotected on their way to work.

Indermit Gill, the World Bank Group’s Chief Economist, emphasises that discriminatory laws and practices globally hinder women’s equal participation in the workforce, potentially doubling global growth if the gender gap were bridged. However, reforms have been slow to materialise, underscoring the urgent need for action.

In the face of such staggering revelations from the World Bank’s latest report, it’s evident that the fight for gender equality in the workforce is far from over. The disparity between enacted laws and their implementation, coupled with persistent barriers such as childcare accessibility and safety concerns, underscores the urgent need for decisive action. It’s imperative that leaders and policymakers across the globe prioritise meaningful reforms to bridge the gender gap. The economic benefits are clear, the moral imperative undeniable. Let’s go beyond merely acknowledge these findings, and heed them as a call to action, ensuring that every individual, regardless of gender, has the opportunity to thrive in the workforce and contribute fully to our collective prosperity. The time for change is now.

 

Written by Lesley Armstrong.


You May Also Like...

Unveiling the Northern Star: Attracting Top Marketing Talent in Northern Ireland

Unveiling the Northern Star: Attracting Top Marketing Talent in Northern Ireland

May 21, 2024 | Business Advice, Business News

In the ever-changing world of marketing, it’s not just about spotting skilled people, but about nurturing a culture of innovation and growth

read more
The Role of Data in Modern Recruiting: Using Behavioural Testing for Improved Hiring

The Role of Data in Modern Recruiting: Using Behavioural Testing for Improved Hiring

May 21, 2024 | Business News

In today’s digital age, data isn’t just a buzzword—it’s the backbone of smart decision-making across industries. In the world of recruiting, it’s a game-changer.

read more
Why you need HR in the Boardroom and how a fractional HR Director could help

Why you need HR in the Boardroom and how a fractional HR Director could help

Apr 13, 2024 | Business Advice, Employers, HR Consulting

Forward-thinking companies understand the value of having HR at the top table, acknowledging the pivotal benefits they bring. However, some may struggle to justify…

read more
The top traits of successful salespeople

The top traits of successful salespeople

Apr 13, 2024 | Candidates, Career Advice, Recruitment

When it comes to sales, success isn’t just about hitting targets; it’s about having the traits that drive results and foster growth. But what exactly distinguishes a successful salesperson from the rest…

read more
How to harness your inner drive

How to harness your inner drive

Apr 13, 2024 | Candidates, Career Advice

Your inner drive is that feeling of determination deep inside that encourages you to carry on even when you’ve lost your motivation. It’ll help you to persevere even if the odds…

read more
World Bank Report Reveals Global Gender Disparity in Workforce Opportunities

World Bank Report Reveals Global Gender Disparity in Workforce Opportunities

Mar 26, 2024 | Business News, Diversity & Inclusion, Employers

A headline that never ceases to disappoint. It’s natural to feel outraged at the injustice of being denied equal rights and opportunities simply because…

read more

Sign up to our mailing list

Let’s stay in touch

Keep up to date with the latest insights from Corvus with our newsletter. We'll never spam you and will only send you the good stuff. We'll never share your email address.