The gender gap is getting wider, and it remains a chasm in the STEM disciplines. Here’s how we can start to shrink that gap

The latest World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap report has found that it will take an unacceptable 217 years to achieve economic parity between women and men. This should serve as a wake-up call for leaders in business and government that we need to step up our efforts to combat gender inequality in all its forms, and across every industry – none more so than in the industries that are heavily reliant on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) talent. And at the current pace of digital disruption and transformation, that will soon be every industry.  

Rather that democratize our global economy as hoped, it’s possible that the ever more rapid proliferation of digital platforms and the digitization of economies could actually exacerbate gender disparity in the workplace. Right now, there just aren’t enough women working in the STEM disciplines. Of those women that do work in STEM, relatively few are in leadership positions, and on average they earn less than their male counterparts. Consider these concerning stats:

  • Globally women accounted for less than a third (28.8%) of those employed in scientific research and development (R&D) across the world in 2014
  • Globally, women made up just 12.2% of boards in the information technology industry in 2015.
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