Toward a Solution: What’s Being Done to Achieve Parity at Home and Abroad
Despite projections that the world will not reach gender equity for 217 years, organizations and businesses around the globe are striving to lessen that number. From politics and public pay gaps, to gender budgeting and hashtags, here is just a snapshot of what’s being done to achieve parity at home and abroad.
Empowerment by 2030
In 2015, the 193 members of the UN General Assembly set its Sustainable Development Goals. One of their 17 goals is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. It’s an ambitious goal, and the United Nations breaks it down into smaller sub-goals that are potentially more attainable. Several of these sub-goals directly impact gender parity and equity.
For example, Target 5.2 is to “recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate.” Target 5.2 acknowledges that women and girls perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work. Combined with paid work, it leaves women less time for education, self-care and political participation.
Similarly, Target 5.5 is to “ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.”
An analysis of LinkedIn members from more than 100 countries across a range of organizations and companies shows female hiring has increased across all measured industries. The tendency to hire women into senior leadership positions has also increased, and the gap between men and women in executive roles has narrowed. From March to September 2018, the U.S. senior executive gender gap fell from 7.87 percent to 1.96 percent.
This is a great step in the right direction, and we can still go further. According to the LinkedIn study above, female leadership representation is still below 50 percent in all industries and female talent is sorely missed in certain industries such as manufacturing, energy and mining. Additionally, while the senior executive gender gap is closing, the overall pay gap still has a long way to go.
The United States is taking a step in the right direction by following policies enacted by our European allies.
In the United Kingdom, gender pay gaps are publicly aired. This allows female talent to choose where they take their skills, sending a clear message to those organizations who do not pay equitably: Provide fair wages or face a labor shortage and economic consequences. A similar recent German law requires businesses with more than 500 employees to publish their pay gap information.
Iceland vowed to completely close its gender pay gap nationwide by 2022. Prior to Iceland’s vow to close its gender gap, the responsibility for ensuring equal pay rested with employees. Under the new policy, the burden of equal pay shifts from employees to employers.
Gender budgeting analyzes fiscal policy to quantify the impacts on citizens based on gender. It ensures new policy is economically fair to all genders and promotes economic growth for everyone.
Want to see how gender budgeting works in action? In Canada’s 2018 budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau implemented a gender-based analysis and gender results framework. His objective: to ensure spending and tax policies that promote gender equity. This measure moves Canada closer to tapping into its female economic potential of $150B in GDP growth.
Nordic countries use gender budgeting to spur economic growth as well. These countries have used gender budgeting to see as much as 20 percent growth per capita.
Education is a huge component of achieving parity. Easily available and widespread, social media is a medium to get messages out. Hashtag culture has already created a dialog surrounding a host of gender-related issues, from #MeToo to #TimesUp.
There are hashtags related to parity and business as well. #MentorHer asks men in leadership roles to be a part of the equity solution. #PressForProgress asks the world to stop talking and start doing. #PayMeToo brings to light the gender pay gap that exists all across the world.
Discussing these issues on a global scale encourages organizations, leaders and decision-makers to not just listen, but to take action.
Politics on the Homefront
At home, we’re making significant progress in female participation in politics. During the most recent midterms, the American public elected a record number of women, with at least 117 female representatives taking their places in the Capitol this year. Additionally, for the first time ever two women head up the House Appropriations Committee and Nevada recently became the state with the first-ever female-majority legislature.
This signals the enormous potential for legislation to come, as congresswomen pass twice as many laws as their male colleagues and are 10 percent more effective legislators when it comes to “build[ing] coalitions, and broker[ing] deals necessary to create laws.” Additionally, female political leadership strengthens the democratic process and outcomes.
This impacts parity, as female legislators are more likely to focus on policy that affects women, health and children.
In light of this progress, there is still room for growth. The gender equity gap in Congress is now closed by 4 points; there are 27 points to go. At this pace, gender parity in Congress could be accomplished in 14 years. Additionally, several states just last year elected their first female senators or governors. Five states still have never had a female senator or governor (18 states have never had a female senator and 20 states have never had a female governor) .
Are You Doing Your Part?
Change occurs when individuals do their part to increase parity in their own realm of influence. Pipeline’s platform makes that easier for business leaders and organizations. The AI-powered software platform shows how to achieve gender parity within your own sphere through equitable hiring, promotion and pay decisions. Organizations realize not only economic benefits, but a company culture that puts us that much closer to achieving parity in this generation. See how with a free demo.
Continue to part five, Equity in Our Lifetime: A 5 Point Action Plan, where Pipeline reveals the crucial steps to accelerating the path to gender equity.