Gender equality in the workplace: going beyond women on the board
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 , it will take another 100 years to achieve gender equality based on the current rate of progress. This prediction has been widely used as a shock therapy to push governments, NGOs, associations, investors and companies into action. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis, efforts will have to be doubled if we are to avoid losing another 10 years to achieve gender equality2. Based on past experience, economic slowdowns not only disproportionately affect women, but also trigger gender equality topics to slip down governmental and corporate agendas. Women represent 39% of the global workforce but accounted for 54% of job losses as of May 20203. Furthermore, women are over-represented in sectors which are most heavily hit by the pandemic, such as hospitality or the food services industries, further exacerbating inequalities. These inequalities also disproportionately affect certain groups of women, depending on the intersections of gender with race, ethnicity, religion, class, ability, sexuality and other identity markers.
In 2020, the discourse has shifted significantly from a focus on gender diversity towards diversity and inclusion more generally. However, the lack of data on other diversity indicators and how they intersect with gender has made it difficult for companies and investors to measure their performance and consistently identify gaps in the domain. As a result, most large-scale corporate and financial initiatives tend to still focus on mainstream gender metrics.
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