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Gender gap: 68% closed

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” 
― Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

The 2018 Global Gender Gap Report was released a month ago and boy/girl, was I jubilant. The Philippines is once again in the top 10 of the most equal countries, the only one from Asia. Globally, gender gap stands at 68% but according to the World Economic Forum, the Philippines has closed 80% of the gender gap in the country. Surely that calls for some bubbly drinks?

The report, which has been published annually since 2006, measures disparities among men and women based on economic participation, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. In the table below, you will see that men and women are almost equal when it comes to education and health and survival.


We’ve made some progress in education and health and survival, but it looks like while men and women are almost equally educated around the world, we cannot say the same about leadership opportunities.

There are more male leaders in businesses and more male heads of states. While there’s some progress made there as well, political empowerment is still the biggest gap we have. That brings to mind that we’ve had two female presidents in the Philippines but more financially-stable countries haven’t had any.

Obviously, there is still work to do and this work requires time (some 108 years!), commitment and action.

What can we do?

I suddenly remember Nicolien van den Biggelaar’s presentation during the Women in Leadership Conference at the Erasmus University some months ago. “Be bold. Seek the fame and glory. Stop doing the housekeeping,” she said.

108 years is too long a wait but we can lay the foundation so that in the future, “There will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders”. #

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