There are also large inequalities in almost all of the fastest-growing job clusters of the future, with fewer women represented in cloud computing, engineering, data and AI, and product development.
“To get to parity in the next decade instead of the next two centuries, we will need to mobilize resources, focus leadership attention and commit to targets,” said Saadia Zahidi, head of the WEF Centre for the New Economy and Society.
For its part, the forum has committed to at least double the current percentage of women participants at its annual meeting in Davos by 2030.
The report did contain some positive developments: the global gender gap — which accounts for health, education and politics alongside economics — has improved, thanks largely to a greater number of women in politics. Still, the current trajectory for closing it is almost 100 years.
The WEF does offer some reason for hope for faster progress. In many countries, increased political empowerment corresponds with higher numbers of women in senior roles, indicating there could be a “role model effect” that would help close economic disparities.