The 17th annual Global Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum, benchmarking gender parity across 146 countries, sheds light on the global and regional efforts to close gender gaps.
The index takes into account various sectors such as health, education, economic participation and opportunity, and political empowerment.
Globally, the gender gap is 68.4% closed in 2023, a small increase from the previous year.
In 2023, no country has achieved complete gender parity by WEF standards. The top-ranking nations, including Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, and Germany have closed at least 80% of their gap, with Iceland leading the way at 91%.
The North American region, including Canada and the United States, currently ranks second globally in gender parity, having closed 75% of its gender gap. However, Canada’s gender parity is actually down from the last report.
According to the index, female representation in tech roles and in leadership positions is still below male representation. For example, women make up half of total employment across non-STEM occupations, but 29% of all STEM workers.
Despite the digital divide, online learning offers opportunities for closing the gender gap in future skills, the report posits.
“Online learning offers flexibility, accessibility and customization, enabling learners to acquire knowledge in a manner that suits their specific needs and circumstances,” the report reads.
Upskilling is designed around accessibility, which means there are no barriers to entry for outsiders—it’s a level playing field.
The overall landscape reveals progress, yet highlights ongoing challenges in economic participation, political empowerment, and leadership roles. The roadmap to gender parity is a long journey that requires ongoing commitment, action, and accountability, according to the WEF.