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Pandemic Is Slowing Efforts to Close the Gender Gap


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women wearing medical masks, illustration

The pandemic added 36 years to the time needed to close the gender gap, WEF says.

Credit: Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic is hurting efforts to close the gender gap, partly because women are more frequently employed in sectors hardest hit by lockdowns and face additional pressures of providing care at home, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021.

As the job market recovers, representation of women is low in fast-growing "jobs of tomorrow," the report says. In cloud computing, for example, women make up 14% of the workforce; in engineering, 20%; and in data and artificial intelligence, 32%. They are also less likely to be hired for leadership roles. The report offers new metrics for tracking progress on closing gender gaps in the jobs of tomorrow.

"The pandemic has fundamentally impacted gender equality in both the workplace and the home, rolling back years of progress. If we want a dynamic future economy, it is vital for women to be represented in the jobs of tomorrow," says Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.

From World Economic Forum
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