Workplace gender gap fuels Switzerland's plunge in global index

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Pay inequality between men and women caused the country's ranking in the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report to slip this year, an official of the Geneva-based group said Thursday.

Lower salaries of women and worsening health condition had cost the Philippines its top ranking in the Asia and the Pacific World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Gender Index (GGI). The parity gap across health, education, politics and the workplace widened for the first time since 2006.

"At the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take 100 years to close, compared to 83 last year".

Women will have to wait 217 years before they earn as much as men and have equal representation in the workplace, research said, revealing the widest gap in nearly a decade. Reykjavik was able to ensure the equality of men and women of 87.7%.

So American women may want to cross the border into Canada, which ranked 16th this year, up drastically from 35th place in 2016.

For instance, while Western European countries could close their gender gaps within 61 years, countries in the Middle East and North Africa would take 157 years, the report estimated.

Among the industries surveyed globally, large gaps were found in the availability of women talent for entry-level positions and the demand for hiring in industries, like manufacturing, and energy and mining, the talent pool of women graduates was found to be much larger than the demand for hires, it said.

China has fallen in a global ranking for gender equality for a ninth year in a row, coming in at 100 among 144 countries despite decades of economic advances, according to an worldwide study.

In 2017 women earned $6,290 on average, while men earned an average of $9,302.

Among the G-20 countries, France is ranked highest on gender parity at 11th place in the global ranking, followed by Germany (12), the United Kingdom (15), Canada (16), South Africa (19) and Argentina (34). "That's a message the world needs to absorb", Zahidi said.

Swiss voters and politicians regularly debate policies for more after-school care options, longer paternity leave and ways to address its expensive child care.

The Republic was ranked 50th for economic participation and opportunity, down a place since past year. Until the 1990s, there were more boys gaining this qualification.

However, this dominance does not translate into the workplace. Women are also more likely to work part-time or take breaks from work for family reasons. More women opt for studies in the humanities or social sciences (half of those at university, for example) which tend to offer fewer advancement opportunities.

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