Addressing inequalities for workers around the world was high on the agenda on the third day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in the Swiss mountains. The gender divide in particular stood out for the Adecco Group’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Valerie Beaulieu.
Since 2020, numbers of women in the workplace have plummeted and experts have predicted it could take a generation to restore the female workforce to pre-pandemic levels. The employment loss for women in 2020 equates to a loss of roughly US$800 billion in earnings for women globally. Rather than losing ageneration of women in the workplace, “in the context of talent scarcity, we have an imperative to address this issue and get women back to work,” Beaulieu said.
To do this, flexibility can help, “but it cannot, alone, tackle deep-rooted issues such as the gender pay gap, workplace discrimination and women’s lack of representation in higher-level positions,” said Beaulieu. Other key parts of the puzzle include upskilling, addressing bias, and technology, specifically the Metaverse – more on this later.
Here are the five biggest work-related stories from today’s discussions.
1. The positives of globalisation, and the rise of 'friend-shoring'
In the midst of ongoing shocks to the global economy, what hope is there for global growth in the future? Experts discussed possible solutions in a sessionon Wednesday morning with globalisation emerging as an unlikely force for change.
Improvements to supply chain resilience and domestic policies to support those “left behind” by globalisation are desperately needed. But there is also a strong argument for more of the international collaboration that has helped bring more than a billion people out of extreme poverty in the last three decades. “If you do want to build resilience to the kinds of shocks we're seeing around the world, you need greater diversification,” said deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Gita Gopinath. “That greater diversification actually comes with more global trade, not less.”
US Secretary of State Gina Raimondo made a similar point when she said that we couldn’t "throw the baby out with the partner” and give up on global trade. Days after the US announced the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework to bolster trade and cooperation, she acknowledged the concept of “friend-shoring,” saying “we have to work with our like-minded allies who share our values.”