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Gender equality now – Will life be better for women in 2018?


Gender equality in the business industry has certainly come a long way over the years since women entered the workforce. However, even in 2018, the fight for gender equality is far from over.

In fact, the World Economic Forum estimates that at the current rate of progress, it will take another 170 years before gender equality is achieved globally and 158 years before it’s reached in North America. This is disappointing news to say the least, since this means it will take another five generations before humanity sees true gender equality.

With that in mind, you might be wondering where women stand today in terms of gender quality in the working world. Here are some eye-opening statistics in the U.S. and the UK.

The number of women CEOs in the U.S. is sorely lacking

According to Fortune Magazine’s 2017 Fortune 500 list, of the 500 major U.S. companies that made the list, only 32 of these companies were headed by female CEOs. That’s a shameful 6.4%. While this number is the highest it has ever been, it’s sad that it has taken 63 years since the list was first created to reach this still extremely low number.

That being said, at least the 32 women CEOs of the 2017 Fortune 500 list is higher than the only 21 female CEOs from 2016’s list. Although certainly not a huge victory, it’s still progress.

Women continue to earn less than men in America

The gender pay gap continues to be a huge issue around the world and in the United States it’s no different. According to a 2016 Joint Economic Committee Democratic Staff report, women are paid 79 cents on the dollar of their male counterparts in the U.S. In other words, they earn $0.79 to a man’s $1.00.

To make matters even worse, statistics have shown that this number varies significantly depending on a woman’s race or social status. While an Asian woman makes roughly 85 cents to a white man’s dollar, a Latina woman earns only approximately 54 cents. That’s nearly half of what he makes. Due to today’s very real pay gap, a Latina women can lose more than one million in wages throughout her career.

Women make up less than 20% of the seats in the U.S. Congress

Presently, women hold only 105 of the 535 seats between the Senate and the House of Representatives. As such, women make up one-fifth of congress, a mere 19.6%.

The good news is that on November 6, 2018, the United States House of Representatives Elections will be held. When this happens, all 435 House of Representative seats and 33 Senate seats will be up for election. Perhaps progress will be made and more women will hold seats before the end of this year.

Gender inequality in the UK is as bad now as it was 10 years ago

Gender equality progress in the UK hasn’t fared any better than the U.S. In fact, in some ways, it’s actually worse.  According to findings of the EU’s Gender Equality Index 2017, Britain has made absolutely no progress in dealing with inequality issues between the men and women in the past decade. The country is lagging in its efforts behind other European countries like Sweden, Finland, Denmark, France and the Netherlands.

Recent research conducted by PlayOJO also revealed that participants surveyed felt that the unequal treatment they had experienced was mostly due to their age (18%), social class (17%) and gender (17%).

Few women climb to top business positions in the UK

When it comes to being top business executives and being on the board, women are definitely in the minority in the UK. Only 28% of top business people are women, according to the Hampton-Alexander review. Even though this review does show that some progress has been made towards getting more women onto boards, the number is still depressingly small.

The gender pay gap stands at 9.1% in the UK

According to UK government data published in October 2017, the full-time gender pay gap, based on median hourly earnings, had dropped by 0.3 percentage points to 9.1% in 2017. This is down from 9.4% in 2016. It is the lowest since the figure was first recorded by the Office for National Statistics back in 1997.

Be that as it may, progress has been very slow. It’s been so sluggish, in fact, that the Trades Union Congress has stated that the figures indicate that it will be decades before the gender pay gap is closed.

Based on these statistics, it’s obvious that the average woman’s working opportunities and wages compared to a man’s in 2018 is far from equal. In the working world, gender equality still has a long way to go. Bit by bit, slow progress is being made. Let’s hope that this progress speeds up so it doesn’t take us 178 years to get there.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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