The latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s global index of gender equality, which measures progress towards gender quality in four key areas, has ranked the UK 21st in the world – down from 16th place the year previously.
Looking at the four key measurements individually, the UK ranked 58th for economic participation and opportunity (with a score of 0.707) and 20th for political empowerment (scoring 0.396). For health and survival and educational attainment, the UK scored 0.970 and 0.999 respectively.
According to the World Economic Forum’s report, the economic gender gap in the UK can be attributed to a number of factors, predominantly low levels of women in managerial or leadership positions, wage stagnation, labour force participation, and income.
On the opposite end of the scale, however, Iceland remains top of the ranking, closely followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. The US ranked 58th globally with a score of 0.724, down from 56th the previous year.
Commenting on the findings of the 2019 report, Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum’s executive chairman, said: “Supporting gender parity is critical to ensuring strong, cohesive and resilient societies around the world.
“For business, too, diversity will be an essential element to demonstrate that stakeholder capitalism is the guiding principle. This is why the World Economic Forum is working with business and government stakeholders to accelerate efforts to close the gender gap.”
Globally, the World Economic Forum has said the gap between men and women has narrowed since 2018, but that it will still take another century for the gap to be eradicated, based on the speed of change.
You can read the World Economic Forum’s full 2020 Global Gender Gap Report, here.