Is the gender equality gap once again widening in the labor market?

Can it be possible that women lost 30 years of progress toward equal economic and political participation with men in just 12 months?

Unfortunately, according to the World Economic Forum, that is precisely what happened in 2015.

In 2014, the WEF predicted that it would be 80 years before gender parity could be achieved, according to the economic, educational, health-based and political indicators at the time. Just a year later, in 2015, that forecast changed to 117 years.

So how can we achieve gender parity when “business as usual” is failing to close the gap both within individual organizations and across nations? At EY, we decided to drive change at the local level by bringing together committed leaders from corporates, entrepreneurship and government.

In 2015, EY established the Women³. The Power of Three, a forum for female and male leaders from corporate, entrepreneurial and government organizations across major markets in EMEIA. After examining a number of different challenges to women in professional roles, the forum focused the last 12 months on how we could better leverage the skills of women throughout the three stages of their career (entrants, express and experienced) to close the global skills gap and support economic growth.

Through 10 regional roundtables with over 150 leaders, plus surveys of more than 1,000 organizations, Women³. The Power of Three developed a set of recommended actions calling on governments, corporates and entrepreneurs to work collectively to address five recommended actions for better harnessing female talent.

Out of these, the group prioritized five specific actions that we believe will hasten change.

Following are highlights from those findings. For more details, download the PDF.

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