The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle, a recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), highlights that little progress has been made since the 2012 OECD report Closing the Gender Gap Now.
Here’s a summary of the key findings from the report.
- Women in OECD countries leave school with better qualifications than young men, but they are less likely to study in the higher earning STEM-related fields
- In every OECD country women are still less likely than men to engage in paid work. When women do work, they are more likely to do it on a part-time basis
- Women continue to earn less than men. The median female worker earns almost 15% less than her male counterpart – a rate that has barely changed since 2010
- Gender gaps tend to increase with age, reflecting the crucial role that parenthood plays in gender equality. Much more than fatherhood, motherhood typically has sizable negative effects on workforce participation, pay and career advancement
- Women are underrepresented in political office, holding less than one-third of seats in lower houses of national legislatures, on average, in the OECD
- Countries need to invest in female leadership opportunities through for example mentoring opportunities and network supports
- Male role models in senior management need to drive the change in gender stereotypes and norms that continue to hamper women’s access to leadership
There is nothing at all surprising about the list above. These are the same issues that have been faced by women for decades. What the report does show us however, is that gender gaps persist in all areas of social and economic life across countries, and it highlights what little progress has been made in recent years.
The full report and individual country notes for Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States are available via http://oe.cd/gender2017