Just numbers: gender equality statistics in business 2021

An exclusive compilation from Moonshot News articles
Just numbers: gender equality statistics in business 2021

You cannot improve what you do not measure: this is why in Moonshot News we are so fascinated with surveys, studies, research; numbers create a solid basis that can be used to mark the current status, the improvement or lack of it, the necessity to act against inequality and discrimination.

We often hear remarks like ‘oh, I have never experienced discrimination’, or ‘there are plenty of women in my company’, or ‘we do not find enough women with a STEM degree’, or ‘women are less ambitious entrepreneurs…’ – and the only real counterreaction is data.

So, we made a small selection of statistics based on the surveys and studies Moonshot News reported on, within just 8 months. The picture they paint is more eloquent than any opinion.

Let’s take a look at how things are looking at the top:

  • Female CEOs globally account for just 5.5% of the total CEOs and 24% of the corporate boardrooms
  • Still in 2019, only 24.6% of the world’s parliamentarians were women, according to figures published by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. But even in the highest positions, like Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, women are subject to obvious forms of sexism, by counterparts and peers, like the sofagate.
  • Regardless of the pandemic, according to the YPO Global Chief Executive Gender Equality Survey, on average it takes women two years longer to enter the C-Suite than their male peers. Men who responded became chief executives at an average age of 33.6, while women respondents took on the role at an average age of 35.4.
  • Based on a sample of 801 executives in the US, 72% of men would prefer not to have a female manager, according to a 2021 study by ResumeLab.
  • Women account for 46% of public administrators on average, but hold just 31% of top leadership positions globally, according to the Gender Equality in Public Administration (GEPA) report.

And that is despite the fact that:

  • A new data analysis compiled by non-profit BoardReady showed that in the pandemic-era there is a strong correlation between board diversity and revenue growth. Companies where women held more than 30% of board seats outperformed their peers in 11 of 15 sectors.
  • According to a study conducted by BoardReady in 159 global companies from 6 regions, companies with more gender-diverse boards are 25% more likely to have medium and long-term GHG reduction targets and drive corporate action on climate change.

OK, then, maybe women should try to start their own company:

  • In 2020, women-founded startups raised just 1% of investment in Central and Eastern Europe, 5% went to mixed-gender founding teams, while all-men teams raised 94%.
  • Women running startups took a 30% pay cut during the peak of the pandemic (earned $101,000 in 2020 compared to $138,000 in 2019) in the U.S., while their male counterparts received a 2% pay increase (earned $146,000 compared to $143,000 in 2019). An analysis by accounting firm Kruze Consulting found of 250 seed- and venture-funded startups by the accounting firm found that female executives took a harder hit on their finances.

But there are already so many women in tech:

  • There is still a substantial gender gap in specialist digital skills in the EU. Only 19% of ICT specialists and about one-third of science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates are women, the EU Commission says.
  • In CEE countries, women account for more than 60% of college graduates but just 8% of CEOs and 19% of corporate executives. Some 44% of companies don’t have even one woman on their board. Closing the gender gap could unlock Euro 146 billion in annual GDP by 2030, or roughly the size of the economies of Slovakia and Croatia combined.

At least the big companies are doing something. Everyone talks about Diversity and Inclusion, right?

  • Well… just 3% of HR professionals say they have expertise in diversity, equality and inclusion, while 80% of HR professionals labelled themselves as ‘beginners’, according to a study by San Francisco-based Josh Bersin analysts.
  • According to Businessolver’s sixth annual State of Workplace Empathy study, 68% of CEOs admitted they fear they will be less respected if they show empathy in the workplace – a 31 point increase over 2020.
  • Gender equity is still not a top priority for 70% of global businesses, according to an IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study.

Can women at least have it better in recreation activities?

  • Girls are held back by deep-rooted societal gender stereotypes when it comes to recreation and their future careers, even though they feel more confident than boys to engage in all types of creative activities and are less restrained by typical gender biases, when ‘74% of boys believe that “some activities are just meant for girls to do, while others are meant for boys to do‘, according to a Lego survey.
  • In video games, male characters outnumber females by four-to-one (79.9% compared with 20.1%), while among leading characters, girls/women make up 27.6%.
    Female characters are almost five times more likely to be shown with some level of nudity compared with male characters (12.4% compared with 2.5%).

And, the bottom line is that women work more and earn less:

  • The European Commission reports that, even though the right to equal pay for equal work between men and women has been introduced in Europe since 1957, the average pay gap across countries is 14% (and has only changed minimally over the last decade), while the average pension gap is 30%!
  • Data from 64 countries representing two-thirds of the world’s working-age population show that 16.4 billion hours per day are spent in unpaid care work – the equivalent to 2 billion people working eight hours per day with no remuneration. Before the pandemic, 1 out of 4 women spent 9+ hours in childcare; now it is 1 out of 3.
  • According to ILO, 13 million fewer women will be in employment in 2021 compared to 2019, while men will have fully recovered to 2019 levels. Only 43.2 percent of the world’s working-age women will be employed in 2021, compared to 68.6 percent of working-age men.

Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

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