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Removing Gender Gap Barriers to Employment Is Key to Building Dynamic Talent Pools, ManpowerGroup

Removing Gender Gap Barriers to Employment Is Key to Building Dynamic Talent Pools, ManpowerGroup Says

Countries with Strong Economies Top Seventh Annual WEF World Economic Gender Gap Report Ranking

ManpowerGroup the world leader in innovative workforce solutions and strategic World Economic Forum (WEF) partner, advocates that businesses, governments and academic leaders more cohesively strategize how to enable women to build sustainable careers, as the WEF reported this week that the world economic gender gap now stands at 60%, up 1 percentage point from 2011.

Nordic countries rank the highest in the seventh annual WEF Global Economic Gender Gap Report.  Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden have closed over 80% of their economic gender gaps since 2011. More than half of the 135 economies surveyed, however, have failed to close this gap by more than 5% in the past seven years.

The index assesses how countries divide their resources and opportunities among males and females, regardless of levels of resources and opportunities. Countries that have successfully worked at closing their economic gender gaps typically represent strong regional economies.  Gap ratings are based on four indicators: access to healthcare, access to education, political participation and economic equality. As women account for half of a country's talent pipeline, a nation's long-term competitiveness depends significantly on if and how it educates and positions women for career success.

"Only extensive public-private collaboration can help remove the barriers to creating a diverse, sustainable, flexible and highly-skilled workforce," said Jeff Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO. "The dynamic workforces that countries need to accelerate their economic and social growth tracts across decades must represent all individuals in a country who want to work."

In the Human Age, companies are struggling to identify skilled talent. If qualified women are unable to apply for jobs because of gender-specific barriers, companies will unlikely be able to sustain their talent pipeline and fulfill their business objectives. Public and private stakeholders in a regional workforce must collaborate in providing women with skills training that companies demand and the long-term career planning that will anchor women in the workforce. 

As part of the WEF Women's Leaders and Gender Parity Programme, several new task forces were created to drive initiatives that expose women to better economic opportunities and sustain their careers across various life phases.  Taskforces in Mexico, Turkey and Japan are fostering public-private collaboration on closing the economic participation gender gap by up to 10% in each country. Monica Flores, ManpowerGroup Mexico and Central America Managing Director, serves on the WEF Mexico taskforce.

Francoise Gri, ManpowerGroup's President of Southern Europe, is a member of the WEF Women Leaders' Advisory Board and Global Gender Parity Group. Gri was recently named to Fortune Magazine's prestigious list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in International Business (the ninth consecutive year she's earned a Fortune ranking). Last month Gri's new book on her career path as a woman, and women in the workplace, was published. In 2012 her book titled "Pleading for Responsible Employment" was published. 

Mara Swan, ManpowerGroup Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, participated in the "Gender Dynamics, a Systemic Approach to Gender Parity" session at the 2012 WEF Annual Summit. She was recently named a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Leadership and also honored as HR Executive of the Year for 2012 by Human Resource Executive&reg magazine.

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