Worldwide there are ongoing conversations and initiatives to close the gender equality gap.
Progress has been made by the Sub-Saharan Africa for the past six years in addressing this issue, but a report published by the World Economic Forum (PDF) earlier this week shows that the gap has widened once again in 2018.
The data shows that the global gender gap remains slightly reduced in 2018, and that the world closed 68 percent of the gender gap when measuring across four pillars – economic opportunity, political empowerment, educational attainment and health and survival.
“Industries must proactively hardwire gender parity in the future of work through effective training, reskilling and upskilling interventions and tangible job transition pathways. This will be the key to narrowing these emerging gender gaps and reversing the trends we are seeing today,” said Saadia Zahidi, head of the centre for the new economy and society and member of the managing board of the WEF, to IOL.
Internationally Iceland took the first place having closed 85.8 percent of its overall gender gap, with Norway taking second place on the list. In Africa Rwanda took up one of the Top 10 spots at number six with 80.4 percent in the list, while South Africa took the 19th place with 75.5 percent.
A new analysis conducted in collaboration with LinkedIn (PDF) notes that the gender gap is increasing among Artificial Intelligence (AI) professionals, as women represent only 22 percent of the world’s AI workforce, and their male counterparts account for 78 percent. The gap is three times larger than in other industries.
The LinkedIn data suggests that women with AI skills are more likely to be employed as data analysts, researchers, information managers and teachers, whereas men are more likely to be employed as software engineers, heads of engineering, heads of IT and chief executives.
“Shedding light on the persistent gender gaps in fast growing fields like AI is a crucial first step in creating policies and practices that can close those gaps and create new pathways to economic opportunity,” concluded Allen Blue, co-founder and VP for Product Strategy at LinkedIn.