Latin America topped the world in the gender equality stakes while Asia took the wooden spoon, according to a recent report by Mercer.
The report entitled When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive
, found that in Latin America was the world’s top region for workplace gender equality. Even though women only accounted for 36 per cent of the total workforce in 2015, Mercer estimates this will increase to 49 per cent by 2025 – making it the only region to hit gender parity in that time.
The number of female executives in Latin America is also estimated to climb. From 17 per cent in 2015, 44 per cent of executives are predicted to be women by 2025.
The region is also the best globally when it comes to equal representation in middle management (51%) as well as profit & loss (P&L) and functional roles (48%).
Asia is the world’s worst performing region, according to the report. By 2025, female representation is projected to reach only 28 per cent at the professional level. This is a slight increase from the 25 per cent rate in 2015.
Organisations in Asia are also some of the least likely to focus on gender diversity strategies. Only 30 per cent took efforts to engage middle management on this matter while 25 per cent aimed for equality in pay.
When it comes to overall women labour participation by 2025, Mercer projected the other regions would reach the following levels:
- Thirty-seven per cent in Europe (stagnant from 37% in 2015)
- Forty per cent in Australia & New Zealand (up from 35% in 2015)
- Forty per cent in the US & Canada (up from 39% in 2015)
The report contained a number of practical solutions for HR about what to do to reach gender equality within the workforce over the next decade.
- Ensure leaders are actively involved in diversity and inclusion, driving for change through both communication and behaviour
- Focus on gender equality at all positions along the pipeline to help gradually bring more women up into executive roles
- Train managers in supporting staff through maternity/paternity leave, returning to work, and recognising unconscious bias
- Redesign and revaluate jobs to take advantage of the unique competencies that women bring to the role
- Implement proper pay equity analyses conducted by a dedicated team and include formal protocols to rectify any discrepancies found
- Identify gender-specific health needs and support women’s unique relationship with healthcare providers
- Offer retirement plans tailored to women’s behaviour, lifespans and other needs by monitoring savings and investment options