2154: the year, as of today, in which gender equality is expected to be achieved according to the Global Gender Gap Report presented at the World Economic Forum 2023.
146 countries are indexed in the report and on average only 68.4 % of the gender gap has been closed, with at the top of the chart Iceland having achieved 91% of gender equality and, raking last, Afghanistan having closed just over 40% of the gap. Taking a closer look to Italy, data shows a worsening of our country, which has fallen 13 positions since last year, ranking 79th now.
In its 17th edition, the report analyses gender-based gaps in four main areas: educational attainment, health and survival, political empowerment, and economic participation and opportunity, and Italy is particularly lacking in the latter two areas.
Looking at data of gender gap in leadership positions (encompassing senior management and executive positions within the scope), women are still underrepresented in all industries: in the first quarter of 2023 the presence of women in such roles is equal to 32.2% on a global level, a percentage similar to 2020 during the peak of the pandemic.
This dreary decline is further emphasized by the phenomenon of “Drop to the Top,” in which women’s representation decreases as one moves up the corporate ladder. Globally, women account for nearly half of all entry-level positions, but only a quarter for management roles. In STEM field particularly only 12 % of C-Level positions are held by women.
It now seems well-established that labor market disruptions due to the pandemic, slower economic growth, and technological changes have had a huge impact on women.
The retrogression in the recruitment of women in leadership roles is clearly a wake-up call, reminding us that progress can be fragile and easily reversed if it is not actively supported. Choices are needed to be made to build a more inclusive and resilient future, one that is capable of valuing the innovation and growth brought about by a diverse leadership.
Therefore, it is crucial that organizations foster a culture of equality, starting with adopting a language that eliminates bias in job descriptions on job advertisements and ensuring gender parity during interview panels, to ensuring the visibility of women in key organizational roles and the professional development and upgrading’s opportunities especially for high potential and middle management profiles. These are the main practical solutions that governments and businesses can adopt to promote a culture of inclusion by supporting women in reaching their full potential, particularly in management positions.
On a broader perspective, the change of mindset cannot be separated from each of us and the initiatives we put in place: that is precisely why through Consea4Women we wish to give our contribution to reduce the gender gap and shorten the time needed to achieve gender equality in our country and worldwide. .
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Sara Ruffinatti – Senior Consultant Consea Human Capital Consulting, Italy