On 18 June 2019 I participated in the “Session on Building Female-Friendly Entrepreneurial Ecosystems” at the 2019 Financial Alliance for Women Summit in Paris, France. Moderated by Paul Jenkins, Senior Partner, Head of Digital for McKinsey in Western Europe. Panelists: Ulrike Decoene, Chief Communications Officer, AXA; Laila Page, Chief of Staff, Commercial and Private Banking, NatWest/RBS.
Key highlights from my intervention:
In 2015, women were half as likely as men in the EU to be self-employed (9.9% vs. 17.8%).
The gender gap in entrepreneurial activities has changed very little in most countries since 2012.
Self-employed women earned two-thirds the income of self-employed men. In US the earnings gender gap in self-employment is 58%
Male entrepreneurs in OECD are more than twice as likely as women to have employees.
Recent estimates suggest that if the entrepreneurship gender gap were eliminated, global GDP could rise by as much as 2%, or USD 1.5 trillion.
Gender stereotypes see entrepreneurship as “masculine”, associated with male characteristics like courage, ambition & risk. OECD ABC of Gender Equality found that girls in same-sex schools took more risks in schoolwork.
Women lack confidence: only one-third of women indicate that they have sufficient skills to start a business, compared to half of men.
Stereotypes affect sector choice & earnings (health + beauty vs. construction + transport).
Gender gaps in STEM also relevant: In OECD countries fewer than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are girls.
To increase share of women entrepreneurs, role-modeling & mentorship is key.
Ireland’s Going for Growth provides peer-to-peer mentoring for business development. Participants hired an additional 146 employees.
Other examples of mentorship are France’s Plan Entreprenariat des femmes, Germany’s FRAUEN Unternehmen or regional initiatives like Canada’s Alberta Grow to Greatness Excelerator Program.
Canada’s Business Women in Intl. Trade (BWIT) helps women-led business access international markets through business-to-business meetings and matchmaking opportunities.
Government programmes help access finance.
In developing & emerging countries, government programmes in Morocco, India and Malaysia help with credit guarantees covering 70-80% of loan.
Some countries offer women-specific measures in procurement markets, e.g. US and Korea, but also South Africa & Indonesia started set-asides.
Some venture capital Funds are also investing in women-led companies. The BDC Capital Women in Technology Fund (Canada) has committed to investing $200 million over the next five years.
OECD is leading the way with better data and analysis: we have 2013 Recommendation on Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship & The Missing Entrepreneurs.
We recently launched Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) Initiative to strengthen evidence by collecting gender-disaggregated internationally comparable data on SME access to finance.
WE Initiative is also looking at specific issues (data and analysis) of women tech entrepreneurs.
OECD work (like PISA, early childhood, and work on masculinities) is tackling stereotypes around entrepreneurship & risk-taking.
Introductory remarks to the Workshop on Data Protection within International Organizations hosted by the OECD from 17-18 June 2019. The workshop was attended by experts from the UNHCRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European Commission, the European Securities and Markets Authority, the International Organization for Migration, Interpol, and the International Finance Corporation.
It is my pleasure to welcome this
distinguished group of data protection experts.
Let me first acknowledge the efforts of
the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), and particularly Giovanni
Buttarelli and Wojciech Wiewiórowski (“Voy-chi
Viviroski”), for their leadership in bringing together this community,
which the OECD is pleased to host this year.
The digital revolution is bringing
great opportunity to improve people’s lives and promote inclusion.
those who are connected (which is still only half of the world population), the
possibilities brought by digitalization are touching almost every aspect
of our lives, facilitating social and business connectivity. New
technologies are transforming how we engage with the labour
market, with society and with public services.
OECD research has found that around one-half of all people across the
OECD have accessed public services or health information online,
and one quarter of people use new technologies to work remotely.
But there are also challenges:
displaced and changing jobs, competition, tax policy, and, of course, data
governance and protection. If we do not manage these problems adequately we
risk exacerbating inequalities, eroding public trust, and endangering the
privacy of individuals around the world.
People need to know their rights, and
have a say on how their data is used. We cannot harness the digital economy to
improve people’s lives without ensuring the trust of citizens in digital
technologies. But we must move forward together.
Digitalisation is an inherently
cross-border challenge, which calls for deepened international co-operation and
engagement. This is why last month’s Ministerial Council Meeting, which
welcomed 135 ministers and heads of delegation, focused
on the challenges and opportunities of digitalization.
At the MCM we made important progress
towards multilateral solutions, including the adoption of a new Council
Recommendation on Artificial Intelligence to help ensure that AI is trustworthy
and human-centred. We initiated phase 2 of our horizontal Going Digital project
and we continue to advance in addressing the tax challenges raised by the
Despite the many divides and tensions currently affecting the multilateral community, thankfully one thing on which we all agree is that safeguarding personal data and privacy is fundamental to promoting trust in digital, and ensuring it is a motor for innovation, opportunity and inclusive growth.
research has shown that privacy is a top priority for citizens. For example, in
2016 more than 70% of Internet users in the EU provided personal information
online, with many also performing actions to control access to these data.
2017, 46% of all Internet users in Europe refused to allow the use of personal
information for advertising and 40% limited access to their profile or content
on social networking sites. More than one-third of Internet users read privacy
policy statements before providing personal information and restricted access
to their geographical location.
This caution is certainly warranted. In 2015, around 3% of all Internet users across OECD countries for which data are available reported having experienced a privacy violation in the three months prior to being surveyed. Keep in mind, this is the figure for reported violations.
countries such as Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey, there was a notable
increase in privacy violations as reported by individuals between 2010 and
2015. In 2016, 64% of individuals in the United States experienced or had been
notified of a significant data breach pertaining to their personal data or
caution with regard to online behavior is advisable, without institutions and
regulations to address these public worries, we risk eroding public trust. We
are already seeing evidence of this: in 2018, 18% of EU28 citizens chose not to
submit forms to public authorities, 20% of them citing concerns about the
protection of personal data as the reason.
Policymakers have to listen to these concerns and be mindful of these risks, which means constantly staying at the leading edge of a rapidly changing sector.
EU’s 2018 reform of data protection rules (General Data Protection Regulation –
GDPR) aims to provide people with more control over their personal data and to
create a more level playing field for business. Some felt these were too
stringent, but then crises like the Cambridge Analytica scandal showed how
cautious we have to be. And as a result of these changes, people understand
better their rights.
The OECD is also a leader in this field. We have been working on privacy for almost 40 years. In 2013 our Members agreed to update the cornerstone of that work: the OECD Privacy Guidelines. Digital security and privacy is a moving target, and there are also emerging threats to contend with.
This is why we are looking at online
protection of children and reviewing our 2012 Recommendation on the Protection
of Children Online. Since then, more children than ever are online, and their
usage has evolved to mobile devices and interacting on social media, making
them more vulnerable to privacy risks and to cyber bullying.
As part of this work, we have
identified a clear need for better measurement and indicators of risks, so that
we can base policies on sound evidence. This goes to the heart of our forward
looking roadmap on digital which we launched at the Going Digital Summit last
month, the Going Digital Integrated Policy Framework. Social prosperity,
inclusion, well-being and building trust in the digital age are key pillars of
This also means practicing what we
preach. Last month we launched an overhaul of our internal approach to
protecting personal data. It follows elements of the 2013 OECD Guidelines as
well as other international best practice.
The new regime includes updated rules
for processing, with broader rights for individuals. These rights apply not
just to staff but extend to any individual whose data we process.
We also put in place a robust
governance framework, with the introduction of the roles of Data Protection
Officer and Data Protection Commissioner, as well as a mechanism to settle
Billy Hawkes, our new Commissioner, is
here with you for this event, as well as our Data Protection Officer, Michael
Getting the new regime established was
the first step. Now we are busy rolling it out across the organization:
First, there is no privacy without good
security. Our digital security team works very closely with the new data
The second aspect relates to effecting
organisational change. We are developing an experimental, behaviorally-informed
approach to implement our new data protection rules.
For example, we are raising awareness
among staff about phishing emails and this included an experiment in which we
randomly sent different variations of the same message to staff and recorded
differences in response rates.
This is yielding interesting results,
which our security team in the Executive Directorate are analysing and will soon
share. We hope that this way of using behavioural science and experimentation
will help us improve digital security and data protection.
One dimension that we must keep at the
top of our minds is that that there are implementation challenges and legal
issues that are unique to international organisations. We are not like
corporations or even national administrations. Our independence and immunities
are part of our DNA.
We learn from domestic approaches, and
draw on best practices, but are ultimately subject to our own rules.
One issue of concern to many
international organisations relates to personal data transfers. We fully
appreciate that our Members and partners have to comply with domestic laws, so
we need mechanisms and approaches that embed data protection into these flows. However,
these mechanisms must also respect our international character.
We look forward to hearing how our
colleagues in other organisations are addressing these and other issues and to
sharing our best practices.
I’d like to finish by thanking you for
your engagement on this issue which protects us all. I look forward to hearing
about the outcomes of you discussions.
Keynote delivered at the Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom on the occasion of the Conference on the Future of Inclusive Economiesorganized by APPG Inclusive Growth.
Excellencies, Ladies and
am glad to be with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Inclusive Growth,
along with the Club de Madrid. I commend the work you are doing on inclusive
session is righly called “changing paradigms”. This is exactly what we need. Changing
a growth model that did not deliver for people, for the planet or for social
cohesion. Bad economics is bringing bad politics. Brexit is the perfect
of income and opportunity are fracturing communities, undermining prosperity and
eroding trust – little over 40% of people in OECD countries trust their
top 10% now earn almost ten times more than the bottom 10% across OECD
countries, up from seven times 25 years ago.
it comes to wealth, the top 10% hold more than half of the total net wealth
economic divides do not only have an impact on the lives of those “left behind”
today, they have a long-lasting effect on their children too. Educational
disadvantage typically means not only smaller salaries tomorrow, but, most alarming
of all, shorter lives.
25 year-old university-educated man can expect to live almost eight years
longer than his lower-educated peer on average across OECD countries; the
difference is around 5 years for women.
the more we dig into this, the more worrisome the picture looks. Let me highlight a few findings from recent OECD
reports on social mobility and on the squeezed middle class.
Currently, it would take a child born into a
low-income family about 5 generations – or up to 150 years – to reach the
average level of income across OECD countries.
Another trend that we are seeing is that on average
across OECD countries, the share of people in middle-income households is
falling. We have found that 70% of baby boomers were part of the middle class
in their twenties, compared with 60% of millennials.
While wages have stagnated, house prices have been
growing three times faster than household median income over the last two
decades, and the cost of healthcare and education has been rising above
inflation. This is happening in the context of rising job insecurity, and a radical
technological transformation, with it’s “Winner takes all” dynamics.
We estimate that around
14% of jobs are at high risk of automation and another 32% will change
significantly. The low skilled will be most affected, and yet these workers are
40 percentage points less likely than high-skilled adults to participate in
The way we work is already changing too: almost 1
in 3 workers has a non-standard job, with great variance in terms of pay, job
security, access to social protection, and collective bargaining coverage.
If the trend during globalization meant the
decrease in unionization, with the digital revolution, health, unemployment and
other risks are transferred to the digital workers, who are wrongly called
linked to these jobs are up to 50% less likely to get income support when out
of work, making their situation even more precarious. This is why we are
calling for a new way of developing social dialogue and collective bargaining
for the future of work
One important dynamic in digitalisation is the fact
that women are also being left behind. 250 million fewer women are connected to
internet; 10 percent of start ups are headed by a woman, and 80% of downloads
and software developments are done by male only teams. They are
underrepresented in the STEM fields, and in ITC. No wonder that the biases and
the content that is being produced and disseminated in social networks is
having a clear impact on the mental health of girls.
we have the facts and we should wonder how did we get here so that we can
correct the course.
we made choices and priviledged the efficiency
of markets over equity considerations. Our metrics failed us too, as we relied
on averages and material well-being as a proxy for success. GDP became an end in itself instead of a means
to an end.
mantra that we should grow first and distribute later (which is still present
nowadays), prevented us from imagining a
is why the OECD developed the Productivity-Inclusiveness Nexus, which shows
that more egalitarian societies have more solid and cohesive growth outcomes.
confirmed that inequality hinders growth. And this is straightforward as there
is a talent pool that is not tapped when we do not invest in quality education for
all; or when SMEs cannot access the technology or financial schemes to succeed. It also hinders growth because inequality in
terms of health, crime, or dependency has a high fiscal cost.
we also suggest to broaden the definition of economic success and look not only
at material income, but also at all other aspects that matter for people’s well
being. We launched a Framework for Policy action that calls to include equity
considerations in the economic policies.
we developed a dashboard of 24 indicators (including educational attainment of
the bottom of the income distribution; or the ratio between the top to the
bottom incomes, and the inclusiveness of the labor market). This
dashboard builds on a decade of OECD work on measuring well-being beyond GDP,
with extensive research on multidimensional indices such as the one that is
launched today and that we welcome.
Taking forward the
measurement agenda, our Framework for
Action provides a tangible roadmap for governments that focuses on three key
areas: investing in people and places left behind; making the labour market
more inclusive while supporting business dynamism; and improving the efficiency
and responsiveness of governments.
But to achieve this,
we should prioritize those policies that will improve the conditions of the
bottom of the income distribution.
We should create the
support systems to level the playing fields, including affordable and high
quality early childhood education, and quality jobs. At the OECD we also
developed a framework on quality jobs that looks at level of remuneration,
working conditions and job security.
To achieve this
agenda, we should ensure that governments have the means to re-balance the
outcomes. We should ensure progressive tax systems and this is also an agenda
that the OECD has developed, fighting tax evasion and erosion, ensuring that
multinational companies pay their fare share, and advancing a solution for the
taxing of the digital economy, that we just presented at the G20 Ministerial
Meeting in Fukuoka.
growth agendas need to be run through a broad
coalition of actors. The corporate sector
has a key role.
TheOECD Business for Inclusive
Growth Initiative (B4IG), launched just a few months ago, is catalyzing
the efforts of governments and companies to promote equality of opportunities (such as training and upskilling
programmes for disadvantaged groups); provide
“good work” opportunities; eliminate gender
inequality, promoting diversity and inclusion;
and finally, reducing territorial
inequalities through generating economic
opportunities in remote areas. This initiative may deliver in Biarritz a strong
business pledge for action on inclusive growth.
G7 has remained a strong promoter of Inclusive Growth: from the Italian
Presidency two years ago with the Bari Agenda to the Canadian Presidency last
year that focused on Growth that Works for all.
As for the G20, the most important
contribution to inclusive growth is the tax and the gender agenda. The figth
against tax evasion and erosion has delivered 93 billion euros in additional
revenues. This is money that can be invested in people and places left behind.
On gender, in 2014, at the
Australian G20 Summit in Brisbane, the OECD brought the economic case to tackle
gender inequality to G20 leaders. This was how we got leaders to agree to
reduce the gender gap in labour market participation rates by 25% by 2025,
through the integration of 100 million women into the labour force. Since
then all G20 countries have experienced an increase in labour force
participation, with particularly large reductions in the gap in Japan,
Argentina, Brazil and Korea.
Building on this, inclusive growth
goals have been advanced in all the Presidencies. In Argentina, the focus was
to support those more affected, or less prepared in the future of work.
This year, to support the objectives
of the Japanese G20 Presidency, the OECD is contributing to a number of
relevant workstreams particularly on ageing. Turkey has put an emphasis on refugees and the
challenge of migration.
But the approach has been peacemeal,
and what is required is to launch the multilateral discussion about the new
growth paradigm. And yet, just when we need it most, multilateralism is being
questioned, and the willingness to co-operate is low for many countries.
The last time we had a major social
and systemic crisis the welfare state was created. This time, we have not been
able to advance a coherent response. But we need to thrive to develop an
empowering state, that invests in people and regions, particularly those left
And definitely, we need to change
the metrics and the mindset, to develop a more compassionate growth model.
Kailash Satyarty, the nobel prize winner that is rescuing children from slavery
has said that the international economy has globalized everything, capital
flows, technology, digitalization. It is time to globalize compassion. For this
to happen, please count on the OECD. With our evidence, but also with our
commitment, we will be proud to contribute.
am delighted to close this year’s Youth 7 Summit and would like to congratulate
the Y7 team for their leadership and hard work in co-creating the “Call to
Action on G7 Leaders for a Fair Future”.
OECD is committed to building a fair future with and for you. As young leaders,
you have the opportunity to help set the terms.
Young people have the least
influence on policies that affect them the most, such as climate change and
inequality. Yet, we’ve seen extraordinary forms of
people-power movements emerge around the world in recent years, often led by
young people. We need to leverage this desire and ability to shape our shared
future, and join forces to address the very complex challenges we face.
has brought a number of benefits – lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty,
spreading knowledge, ideas, people and goods across the world.
But not everyone
do we start?
second and third: we need to address inequalities. This is why we warmly support your recommendation for G7 leaders to better
protect the most vulnerable and achieve equality of opportunities.
profits are at historic highs in many countries with profits rising from 7.6%
of global GDP in 1980 to 9.8% in 2013 and shareholder payouts hit a new record
in 2018 as global dividend payments neared the $500bn mark.
whole swathes of our populations are excluded from contributing to, or at least
benefiting from, this economic prosperity.
many countries, the income gap between the top and the bottom deciles keeps
growing: in the OECD it is now almost 10 times, up from 7 times in the 1980s.[i]
social mobility is stalling. The OECD’s recent ‘Broken Social Elevator’ report
found that in an average OECD country it would take around four to five
generations for children from the bottom earnings decile to attain the level of
That’s 155 years!
whole range of policies can be taken by countries. The G7 Social last week and
the upcoming education ministerial can give important policy directions to help
build this change from and the OECD stands ready to support them.
is also an important role for businesses to play to fight inequalities.
OECD has been working with the Presidency to bring governments, business and
investors around a common agenda for inclusive growth by building a coalition
of companies, through the Business for Inclusive Growth Platform, to pledge
concrete actions against inequalities at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Biarritz.
also have to act responsibly and pay their fair share in tax. The OECD/G20 BEPS
Project and common reporting standard for the automatic exchange of tax
information, has already led to 93 billion euros in revenues. This is an area
where multilateral co-operation is essential and delivers results.
also made clear that we cannot tackle inequality and vulnerability without
guaranteeing gender equality and fair social protection for women.
could not agree more.
example among a thousand: on average, only 1 in 4 board members of the largest
publicly listed companies in G7 countries are women.
research shows that already at the age of 15, girls are twice less likely to
aspire to a career as an engineer, as a scientist, or as an architect.
know what we need to tackle: in addition to eliminating lingering legal
discrimination and barriers to gender participation, we need to look at paid parental leave for
mothers and fathers; affordable and good-quality childcare or pay transparency
we need to be smarter and more effective in the ways we execute gender equality
policies: starting with eliminating stereotypes in school, promoting the
adoption of “whole-of-society” approaches and gender mainstreaming in public
policy-making through budgeting frameworks and mobilising the private sector to
do more and better.
are working with the French G7 Presidency, in the G20, but also many other
actors from business and joining hands with other IOs for instance through the Equal
Pay International Coalition initiative.
linked to the inequality agenda is addressing the impact of the digital
will be the leaders of this digital transformation and you will need to ensure
it builds a society that drives diversity, inclusion and empowerment.
Starting with your future jobs.
We know automation could displace many jobs over the
• 14% of
jobs today are at high risk of being automated. A further 32% could face
substantial changes in content.
• 65% of
children today will do jobs that have not yet been invented.
We need to make sure our education
and training systems are adapted to
equip our youngsters but also workers already in the labour market to address
Second, digital technologies should
be developed and used in a “human-centric” way, making sure people, starting
with young girls and boys, are safe.
With AI at the center of the G7
presidency this year: its future will
depend on our common and coordinated ability to create a predictable, stable
policy environment that fosters innovation in trustworthy AI, developed around
values of human determination and inclusiveness, accountability, security and
A major step in this direction has recently
been taken at the OECD a few weeks ago, as forty-two countries have just
adopted the first intergovernmental instrument on Artificial Intelligence to
guide the responsible adoption of AI.
The OECD AI Principles describe a
common approach from all countries around the table and beyond, to an AI that
promotes inclusive growth and sustainable development, that generates outcomes
to improve people’s well-being.
Besides the many benefits that
digital transformation has brought, it has also enabled the faster
dissemination of negative social interactions, including cyberbullying, hate
speech and discrimination against specific groups.
The recent events including the
Christchurch attacks have been a tragic reminder of the challenge we face.
We need to forcefully combat these
misuses of the Internet, while preserving freedom of expression and innovation.
All stakeholders can do more to
deter and reduce these harms and make the Internet a safer environment by
designing and implementing an integrated policy framework to tackle online
harms as we do in the analog world.
Last but not least, all these
efforts will be vain if we fail to protect our planet. You recognise this critical juncture by advocating for a fair
adaptation to climate change for all.
accelerate action, we need to rethink our economic and business models and must
take stronger action now. The G7 can and must lead the way.
me commend the efforts of the French Presidency and Madame Brune Poirson, for
putting biodiversity as a core priority for the global agenda. Protecting our
biodiversity is one of the most critical challenges of our era, as the planet
is facing its sixth mass extinction. And the outlook is bleak: coral reefs, for
example, are projected to decline by 99% if global warming reaches 2 degrees
OECD is supporting the efforts made by G7 countries to scale up action on
protecting biodiversity. We have helped build the economic and business case
for preserving biodiversity and identified concrete policy priorities for
action on this crucial issue.
what brings us together is the belief that international fora like the G7 can
advance ambitious agendas for the long-term that influence positively people’s
lives for generations.
firmly believe that the multilateral way is the right way, is the effective
you for your own commitment to realising a fair future.
American educator and civil rights activist, Mary Mcleod Bethune once said: “We
have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change
old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”
gender equality in paid and unpaid contributions to health care and care
Panel remarks delivered at the Merck Group Session entitled “Healthy Women Healthy Economies: new insights into womenomics” at the WomenDeliver Conference in Vancouver, Canada on 6 June 2019. Moderated by Felicia Knaul, Professor, Miller School of Medicine and Director, Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas; President, Tomatela Pecho A.C. Mexico. Panelists: Christine Bugos, Vice President Global Policy and External Affairs, EMD Serono; Roopa Dhatt, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Women in Global Healht; Flavia Bustreo, Board Member, Fondation Botnar, Chair, Governance and Nomination Committee, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health.
In what ways are you – through your work
or organization – engaged in reducing gaps and barriers to gender
transformative programs or policy making in health care and care giving?
all regions of the world, women often face the highest levels of discrimination
in their own households, especially when caring and domestic responsibilities
within the family are concerned.
reduce gaps and barriers, first we have to measure and understand them. The
OECD makes a crucial contribution in this area.
me share with you a few results from just one of our tools: the OECD’s latest
Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Results, which was released earlier
this year. SIGI measures discriminatory laws, norms and practices.
Women undertake a disproportionate share of unpaid work…
2019 shows that globally, women undertake 75% of unpaid care and domestic work.
the global level, one person in two has negative attitudes towards “working
mothers”, by thinking that children will suffer if the mother is gainfully
working outside the home.
person in six denies women the right to work, declaring that it is not
acceptable for a female family member to have paid work outside the home
because her role is to take care of both the children and the household.
disproportionately carry the burden of unpaid care for children, relatives and
maintenance of the household.
women devote an average of five hours per day to unpaid care and domestic work,
compared to fewer than two hours for men.
all regions, women continue to spend substantially more time in unpaid care
work than men, ranging from twice as much in Europe to four times more in
sub-Saharan Africa, to seven times men’s contribution in North Africa.
severely limits the ability of women to participate in the labour force. In
countries where women do not have access to reproductive rights and family
planning, balancing caring with a career becomes even harder.
yet we have so much to gain from empowering women in the labour force.
know from our work with the G20 that boosting female labour market
participation and reducing the gender gap in labour force participation by 25%
by 2025 could add 1 percentage point to GDP growth across the OECD over the
period 2013-25, and almost 2.5 percentage points if gender participation gaps
were halved by 2025.
Ageing societies can increase informal,
unpaid, caregiving by women
well as the unpaid care provided to children, we also, increasingly, have to
look at the other end of the age spectrum, at caring for elderly relatives.
This is especially relevant in many OECD countries, where the population is
rapidly ageing societies, long-term care needs are set to increase in the
share of the population aged 80 years and over was nearly 8% in 2015 and it is
expected to double by 2050 across OECD countries.
bulk of care for the elderly in most countries is still provided by unpaid
family carers and by women in particular. On average, across the OECD more than
60% of unpaid family carers are women.
care is critical
for the well-being of individuals and society as a whole, and many carers
report that it is rewarding to undertake. However, even when caring for loved
ones, it can put an extra burden on the persons who provide it.
is an opportunity cost to the time that they spend providing care, as they
could devote that time to paid work or leisure. Informal carers, especially
those who give more than 20 hours of care per week, are more likely to work
part-time or not at all. And they are 20% more likely than other people to have
mental health problems.
is not just about unpaid, or informal work. Women provide most of care to the
elderly also in the formal system. Across the OECD, 90% of elderly-care
workers are women.
conditions in this sector are often poor. Temporary work is twice as likely as
in other parts of health care. Pay is low, and contracts often precarious for a
job that is physically and mentally demanding: one in six elderly-care workers
report that they suffer from a health problem caused by their work.
governments regulate and properly fund elderly care services, these problems will
persist for communities, families and especially women.
Share some examples of effective and innovative policies and programs to promote the equitable participation of women and men in labor markets, health care and care giving? What has made them successful?
Change is unfortunately
very slow, and it is low because the first thing that has to change is our
mindset. The gender stereotyping and cultural norms about what is good for a
girl and what is good for a boy, and the expectations societies put on girls
are a major obstacle for change.
Engaging men in care
giving is vital to close gender gaps, and it is also really good for men!
Men who spend more time
with their families are more satisfied with their lives than men who spend less
time. Fathers’ involvement also has a positive effect on children’s academic
performance as well as on their behavioural, social, and emotional wellbeing.
For decades, the OECD
has been applying the gender lens across policy areas, designing, developing
and delivering the best policies to advance equality. This includes
non-discrimination laws; dual parental leave; policies related to taxes,
infrastructure, environment; and promoting gender representation in the high
ranks of the public and the private sectors, including through quotas and
We have child policies
with excellent impact in terms of supporting women to work, and we have led the
charge with gender neutral text books. We have brought this to the G20 with the
25×25 gender target in 2014, to help bring 100 million women into the
workforce, and more recently with the findings on Bridging the Digital Gender
Divide in 2018. And we are constantly tracking progress on all these issues.
Policies to increase male participation in
In an effort to get
parents to share caregiving more equally, many countries now reserve part
of parental leave for the exclusive use of fathers.
This also requires
financial incentives and rules for men not to be discriminated against!
Access to early
childhood education and care is also crucial for gender
equality, empowering both parents to work when children are
young. Several countries, including Canada, Japan, Korea and Poland,
have increased subsidies or benefits for childcare and others, including Norway
and the UK, have introduced or expanded free childcare.
Since 2007 in
Germany, if both parents use at least two months of paid leave
each, the household is granted an additional two months of paid leave,
which has seen an increase of 14% in the proportion of
children with a father that took parental leave.
Not only does this help
in the early stages of raising a child, but it also breaks many stereotypes
around women taking maternity leave and therefore
being discriminated against in the world of work.
Policies to ensure population ageing does not deepen
At the other end of the
age spectrum, governments need to invest more in adequate funding for elderly
care services; they need to improve working conditions and the status of
workers, providing career opportunities.
With these actions, governments
can make the sector more attractive, they can reduce the burden of unpaid care,
and they can help close gender gaps, while improving the well-being of older
Countries also need to
improve benefits and services to those providing care duties and tasks for
older persons. A recent study of 27 EU countries found that financial benefits
were the most common form of support to caregivers, followed by respite care
Financial benefits (paid
directly to the caregiver or via the care recipient) are important and
relatively common. However, they rarely compensate carers in full for the costs
they incur. Moreover, take-up of informal care benefits may be low, especially
where significant paperwork is involved.
For example, carers in
France, can be paid via the main long-term care benefit, the APA, but it
requires them to have an employment contract and, in practice, few people use
of this provision.
As a result, carers seldom
receive enough financial compensation to offset the opportunity cost of
caregiving. So making benefits easier to claim is key, especially for people
who may be already juggling paid and unpaid work as well as caring for others.
The evidence also shows
that countries with strong social protection have greater gender equality in
care giving. In fact, inadequate social protection effectively doubles the
burden on women.
In 2013, a study found
that women aged 50 and over in countries with low-level social protection (i.e.
those where public spending on long-term care is less than 1% of GDP) were 41%
more likely to provide daily informal care than their male counterparts.
The figure for their
peers in countries with high levels of social protection (where public spending
on long-term care exceeds 2% of GDP) was only 23%.
Recommendations in laws, norms and customs
OECD also makes many recommendations to tackle the underlying cultural and
legal discriminations that drive gender gaps in care giving.
example, SIGI 2019 recommends including legal provisions recognising women with
equal right to be a head of household and guarantee equal parental authority
during marriage and informal unions. In Rwanda, the legal provision granting
the status of heads of household only to men was removed in 2016. Under the
revised Law Governing Persons and Family, spouses are expected to manage the
household jointly and have equal rights and obligations.
also critical to provide better access to basic infrastructures and public
services, especially in developing countries: better access to water and
energy, childcare and care for the elderly reduces the time women spend on
Expanding school hours also enables women to replace time
spent on childcare with more productive activities.
For example, in Cuba, children’s circles administered by the
Federation of Cuban Women provide daily care to children from forty-five days
of age until school entry. This system has substantially contributed to
reducing women’s unpaid care work and enhanced women’s participation in the
Guaranteeing family-friendly working conditions that enable
parents to balance their working hours and caring responsibilities also helps.
A flexible work schedule or teleworking allows women and men
to choose working hours that better accommodate their caring responsibilities.
In Croatia and Uzbekistan, for example, the law establishes that parents are
entitled to flexible/part-time schedules.
Last but not least, the OECD also recommends tackling
entrenched social norms and traditional views of masculinity through training
and awareness-raising campaigns targeting men in order to “de-feminise” care
giving and reshape existing gender norms that prevent men from assuming equal caring
responsibilities. In this effort, gender neutral textbooks are particularly
Panel remarks delivered on a WomenDeliver Plenary Panel: The Power of Data and Accountability: Girls and women count, must be counted, and counted it. The panel was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Mary of Denmark. Other panelists: Alison Holder, Director, Equal Measures 2030; Julia Fillard, Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, Former Prime Minister of Australia; Ephraim Kisangala, Youth Leader; Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Envoy on Youth; Joy Phumaphi, Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent, Osvaldo Rudloff Pulgar, Executive Director, OLACEFS; Asparajita Gogoi, Co-Chair, Global What Women Want, Executive Director, Centre for Catalyzing Change.
You have been making a strong case, pushing for gender perspectives across all aspects of data, why is this important and how can other stakeholders incorporate this into their operational DNA?
I came to the gender equality debate
quite late, largely through my work as the OECD’s Sherpa to the G20.
I remember so clearly it was like a
blindfold had been taken off my eyes.
I started seeing these huge gaps and
inequalities in every area. Not just gaps in employment and income, but also in
opportunities, in skills, in representation in public life, in the way we raise
girls and boys differently, encourage them to pursue different (mostly lower
paid, less ambitious) careers, and how women are affected by policies designed
mostly by and for men.
Once you start looking for gender gaps,
you find them everywhere, because our societies remain in the grip of deeply
held gender stereotypes that pervade every dimension of life, public and private,
economic and social.
The reason I think that we are not seeing
enough progress in closing these gaps, is because we are not doing enough to
tackle gender stereotypes.
OECD data gathered through the SIGI Index
shows that half of the world’s population still thinks that children will
suffer when their mother is in paid employment outside the home, in North
Africa two thirds of people feel this way. One in six people think that it’s totally
unacceptable for women to undertake paid work outside the home, in southern
Asia, it’s one in three.
In this climate, data has an important
role to play in showing the public and also policymakers how these stereotypes
manifest themselves in concrete terms, showing the damage that they cause to
our societies, both men and women. Like our SIGI 2019, which shows that the
current level of gender discrimination costs 6 trillion US Dollars, or 7.5% of
Data also shows the benefits that equality
brings, and that is a powerful motor for change. For example, we got gender
equality on the G20 agenda, because we made the case using disaggregated data.
In Brisbane in 2014, we showed that
reducing the gender gap in labour force participation by 25% by 2025 could bring
100 million women into the labour force and add 1 percentage point to GDP
growth across the OECD over the period 2013-25, and almost 2.5 percentage
points if gender participation gaps were halved by 2025.
What has been achieved as a result of access to gender disaggregated data? Take us through some examples.
OECD has led the way in calling for gender disaggregated data. This was at the
heart of our 2013 OECD Recommendation on Gender Equality in Education,
Employment and Entrepreneurship.
disaggregated data has the power to accurately map issues like the “motherhood
average in the OECD, the gender gap in median hourly earnings among
full-time-employed men and women with at least one child was 21.2%, almost
double the gap for full-time employed men and women without children (11%). We
are seeing in the OECD that younger women are catching up with men, and then
falling behind as soon as children enter the equation, whereas men’s careers
continue to be unaffected.
disaggregated data is also making women’s contribution to the economy fully
visible, helping bring to light gender discrimination and gaps which are not
picked up by conventional economic statistics:
best example is measuring unpaid work in the home, which is essential to the
functioning of the economy. The OECD estimates that unpaid work represents
between 12% and 24% of GDP and women contribute two thirds of it, which is why
in April 2017 the leaders of the G7 gave the OECD mandate to “update and
disseminate its existing national accounts estimates of unpaid household
a gender lens can also help understand the impact of policies on women, even in
areas where we are not used to considering gender dimensions, for example
For instance, compared to men, women tend
to rely more on public transport, travel shorter distances, and travel more
during off-peak hours.
Unsafe and low security transports also
put women at a disadvantage as they are more affected by violence and this
vulnerability affects their well-being and their labour force participation.
Women’s exposure to pollution is also
different and pollution has different impacts on them, especially when
The gender-environment nexus is particularly
dramatic in developing countries. In the developing world women and girls are
responsible for over 70% of water and fuelwood collection. The time spent on
water collection adds up to 200 million hours every day!
Inadequate access to sanitation and
hygiene facilities also disproportionally affect poor women and girls the most.
UNICEF has estimated that roughly 1 in 10 girls in Africa miss school because
of their periods each year, and in India it is estimated 1 in 5 girls stop
school when they menstruate.
data to understand the impacts of policies on women is essential to every
policy area and to resource allocation, and yet less than half of OECD
countries have introduced or plan to introduce gender budgeting, often due to a
lack of data.
As well as better seizing the impacts of
policies, gender disaggregated data can also help understand emerging
challenges like the digital gender divide.
While more women than men complete
tertiary education, only 25% of those graduating in ICT subjects are women and
in G20 economies only 7% of ICT patents were filed by women. Shockingly, evidence
also shows over the period 2012-17, around three-quarters of big data software
packages were created by men-only teams. This results in health tracker apps
that don’t track periods or voice activated devices that perpetuate gender
stereotypes and struggle to understand female voices.
disaggregated evidence from the OECD PISA survey of 15 years olds shows that gender-related
differences are more related to disparities in what boys and girls think they
are good at and is good for them, than to differences in what they actually can
For example, girls and boys perform
similarly in science, but the share of boys aspiring to a career in engineering
and computing is around four times higher than that of girls. At age 15
far fewer girls (4.7%) than boys (18%)—even among the top performers— reported
that they expect to have a career in engineering or computing. But when you
look at health services (a more ‘caring’ but often less lucrative career),
girls are twice as likely as boys to aspire to that career.
What are the greatest challenges we face in accessing this data; are there policy recommendations you would propose to address this?
is no so much a challenge of access than a failure of political will. The data
is not there, because too often it is not being measured.
our Chief Statistician Martine Durand likes to say, we should measure what we
treasure, not just treasure what we already measure.
need to raise the level of ambition. Look at the SDGs, the defining development
challenge of our age.
SDGs address gender issues twice:
Firstly in a dedicated SDG on gender
equality: Target 5 recognises gender equality as a universal
driver of sustainable development and asserts the need to accelerate efforts to
end gender inequality.
through the ambition to ‘leave no-one behind’:
the UN Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs) recommends that
all indicators to be disaggregated by (among other criteria) gender, when
Yet, considerable data
Not all OECD countries
comply to the Recommendation regarding disaggregated gender data, with the
largest gaps in the area of entrepreneurship. As for the SDGs, out of the
53 gender-related SDG indicators, only 32 can draw on available data.
For SDG 5 (gender
equality), the largest data gaps are found for:
Target 5.2 on
eliminating all forms of violence against women: 8 out of 35 OECD
countries lack data! This is despite it being the top priority for OECD
countries according to the 2016 OECD Gender Equality Questionnaires. The OECD
is organising a global event to address violence against women on 5-6 February
2020, including the data gap issue;
There is also a large
data gap on Target 5.4 on recognising and valuing unpaid work: 9 out of
35 OECD countries lack data;
In some cases data do exist but they are neither fully
comparable nor timely.
address these challenges we have to work to improve statistical capacity,
putting an emphasis on gender disaggregated data, this applies to developed and
developing countries alike.
OECD has launched a Toolkit for Mainstreaming and Implementing Gender Equality,
which provides a compendium of best practices, as well as practical guidance to
all countries on data gathering, access, effective consultation, including with
civil society, as well as statistical capacity and awareness raising.
OECD is also working with UN Women through a Memorandum of Understanding to
improve measurement tools, methodologies and statistical capacity related to
gender equality and women’s empowerment.
it is also important to remember that just as the overall average hides women’s
outcomes, women’s outcomes can also hide other inequalities.
inequalities may interact with other inequalities, e.g. those based on
geographical location, income, age and family status. It’s therefore important
to have granular data that can guide the development and implementation of
example, in OECD countries, women aged 25 who did not attain upper secondary
education live nearly five years less on average than university educated
employment rates for tertiary educated women are also 33 percentage points
higher than for primary-educated women.
Keynote address delivered to open the joint OECD-Sida Event on Shaping an Empowering Narrative on Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the WomenDeliver Conference in Vancouver, Canada on 6 June 2019. Opening remarks delivered by Annika Strandhäll, Swedish Minister of Social Security.
Elizabeth Sugg, Baroness, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom Sarah Hendricks, Director, Gender Equality at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Alix Peterson Zwane, Chief Executive Officer at the Global Innovation Fund Alexandra Garita, Deputy Director of Prospera International Network of Women’s Funds Christina Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer of Women’s World Banking Asset Management Raquel Lagunas, Deputy Director, Gender Team, UNDP
Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for joining us for this event devoted to shaping an empowering
narrative on financing for gender equality. This is jointly organized by the
OECD and the Swedish International Development Agency, a leading champion for
gender equality initiatives across the world.
We know that no country in the world has yet achieved full gender
equality, even the Nordics. In fact the OECD recently launched a report on
supporting Nordic countries to close the gaps once and for all, which was
called “Is the Last Mile the Longest?”
Unfortunately, across the world, almost all countries are struggling to
provide equally outcomes and opportunities to half of their populations.
This is not only a human tragedy, but also brings great economic and developmental costs.
The OECD’s recently published Social Institutions and Gender Index examines
discriminatory social institutions, gender norms, and legal barriers that hold
women back and estimates that the income loss associated with discrimination
amounts to 6 trillion US dollars.
SIGI also shows that these institutional, legal, and social barriers
that hold women back also mean that development projects impact them
differently, which has implications for financing.
Let’s take a simple example: we can invest all we want into improving
education systems around the world. But without adequate gender considerations,
the fact that in 112 countries parents or courts are allowed to consent to
juvenile marriages or that 75% of unpaid carework globally is undertaken by
women will ensure that girls ad boys of the same ages and social backgrounds
will not benefit equally from these investments.
Infrastructure provides another example. We have to take the policy
impacts into account. It is often assumed that women will automatically benefit
from new infrastructure projects in the same way as men do, without
acknowledging possible distinct impacts on women and men according to their
needs and social roles.
For example, urban design plays a major role in people’s life, but the risks of uncontrolled urbanisation, urban sprawl and slums are often greater for women as they are more likely to be targets of assaults and harassment. Improved urban infrastructure with a gender perspective would demand public lighting, safe public spaces, and safe public transport to help mitigate safety-related risks that women have to face in their everyday life.
The impacts of hard infrastructure like energy and sanitation are also
linked to gender. For example, in many
parts of the developing world women and girls are responsible for over 70% of
water and fuelwood collection. The time spent on water collection adds up to
200 million hours every day!
Infrastructure decisions can also determine access to schooling, since
sanitation facilities affects teenage girls school attendance because of
stigmas associated to menstruation.
This is just a few examples of why we have to apply a gender lens to
everything we do and everything we finance. The OECD is working with its member
and partner countries to do this.
With regard to ODA, the OECD tracks aid
that focuses on gender equality and women’s empowerment using the DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker.
This is the most established tool for monitoring development finance at
the global level, and it is a very powerful stocktaking tool.
The good news is that, over the past decade, both the share and amounts
of ODA mainstreaming gender equality and women’s empowerment have increased
steadily. In 2016-2017, the 30 DAC members committed an average of USD 44.8
billion per year, corresponding to 38%
of bilateral aid integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment.
However, funding for dedicated programmes with the principal goal of achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment remains consistently below 4% of bilateral aid over the years. This is not good enough. In 2016-2017, this corresponded to less than 5 billion US dollars of aid.
Moreover, our data also shows that a very small share of ODA is
allocated directly to women’s rights
organisations based in developing countries.
In 2017, only 31 million US
dollars of ODA was allocated directly by DAC members, even though we know
that these organisations are essential to drive change towards gender equality
at the local level. We can do better.
But at the OECD we are also aware that the investment landscape is
changing and expanding beyond ODA, and for the better! A wider array of actors is getting involved and pushing for more
equitable development. Private and public, domestic and international,
bilateral and multilateral financing, are all contributing to a new, more
diverse team of investors.
We must ensure
that we mobilise these new forces of investment in the most equitable,
inclusive, rights-based way.
Unfortunately, recent OECD analysis of development financing indicates that
SDG5 is in fact the third least
financially supported goal of all SDGs. Thus, the key question remains: how do we ensure that all of these actors and financing types take gender
equality into account and, as a minimum requirement, do not undermine gender
equality in developing countries?
At the OECD, we are all about evidence, policy, and partnerships: We are using our existing data, further expanding available data, and facilitating knowledge exchange and partnerships on financing flows for SDG5, in order to increase both the quality and the quantity of financing for gender equality.
For example, official development flows from OECD countries expands beyond ODA. These other official flows include for example loans that do not
qualify as ODA, and export credits in support of trade. We have found that some
OECD DAC countries already analyse some of these flows against the DAC gender
equality policy marker. Out of this, a
third of the “other” financing flows beyond traditional aid integrate gender
In addition to this, multilateral organisations have a major role to play in supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment in developing countries. Some multilateral organisations report their gender-focused ODA to the OECD using the DAC marker. In 2017, approximately 35% of multilateral organisations’ financing reported to the DAC integrated gender equality.
Also, philanthropy is a key player. Private
foundations form an increasingly important part of overall development
financing, and are becoming prominent in sectors such as reproductive health
and health. Out of the 26 foundations that report their financial flows to the
OECD, approximately 16% of this
financing focusses on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Lastly, commercial finance, including blended finance is supporting women’s economic empowerment. There is today an encouragingly large range of financial instruments that seek development return from commercial financial resources, including blended finance. Many of these approaches come together under broad definitions of “social impact investing” and “gender lens investing”.
Encouragingly, According to OECD surveys, out of the blended finance funds and facilities
surveyed in 2019, 55% said that their investment strategy contributes to
While we welcome the fact that the focus on gender equality for these
different development funders is increasing, it is not enough.
The uncomfortable truth remains that the majority of financial
flows to and in developing countries currently do not consider gender equality
As a first step, we need to ensure that none of these flows undermine gender equality. This is why we have to be very concerned about any step back on access to reproductive rights and family planning, for example.
And, in the future, we have to ensure that flows actually
support gender equality directly.
With greater resources for development comes greater
responsibility to ensure it is mobilized efficiently and equitably. We must
keep pushing for gender lenses in all development work. Because when you put
the gender gap glasses on, you see the gaps everywhere, in virtually every
policy area, and at every stage of development.
Sadly, analysing and measuring the gender gaps is not
enough. SDG 5 will not achieve itself, and to accelerate action we need to
increase the financial flows which are directed specifically at this
I very much look forward to hearing your contributions on how to achieve this, and I invite you all to work in partnership with the OECD in this effort. Thank you.
 Information based on not yet
published analysis by the DCD on Official Development Assistance (ODA) and
Other Official Flows (OOF) mapped against the SDGs.
Keynote address delivered at the panel session “Rewriting the narrative of HIStory and HERstory together: A call to the G20 and G7” in Mexico City at the Women’s Forum of the Americas.
I would like to begin by telling you how the OECD, and myself working in the Sherpa track, managed to include gender equality in the G20 agenda. It was not easy, as this is a mostly male group focussed on “serious” issues linked with the global economy. Many Sherpas even said that gender is not an agenda for leaders!
But as the world economy continued to underperform, and we were looking for new sources of growth, for example, by enabling economies to benefit from the talent of women. At the OECD and with the ILO we made the calculations and showed that if we reduced 25% of the gender gap in labour force participation by 2025 (from different levels, Canada with 7, Tukey with 35, Saudi Arabia with 55 point difference), 100 million women would be brought into the labour force. I worked closely with two wonderful Sherpas, Heather Smith of Australia (in the Presidency), and Caroline Atkinson from the US. We also had the Japanese Sherpa, as PM Abe had developed its ‘Womenomics”as part of the Abenomics economic programme. Chapeau also to PM Trudeau and Obama, who have led the way on gender equality. We are proud also that President Macron and all the previous Presidencies have advanced this agenda.
But there are so many areas where we need to keep advancing.
Worst of all, women are still facing unacceptably high levels of violence, and in fact when we surveyed OECD countries on their priorities for gender policy, addressing violence came out top.
Women also continue to earn substantially less than men in most G20 countries. There has been a small reduction in the gender pay gap over the past decade in nearly all G20 countries, but the average is still 17%, higher than the OECD average of around 14%.
This average hides large variations. In terms of median fulltime earnings, women earn between 30-35% less than men in Korea, India and Japan, down to a gap of 10% or less in France, Turkey and Italy. However, the pace at which the gap is closing remains weak in most countries and has even stalled in some countries in recent years.
Moreover, women are over-represented in low-paying sectors, such as the care sectors, while men are found in larger numbers in more highly-paid jobs, like in the digital sector. In G20 countries, the share of ICT specialists that are female ranges from 13 to 32%.
And motherhood – despite all its upsides! – translates into a financial penalty for many women, contributing to the unequal share of unpaid work and preventing women from engaging fully in the labour market. Even when women do work, they are likely to seek less competitive career paths and more flexibility than men with similar qualifications.
On average in the OECD, women spend over 4 hours a day doing unpaid work; double the rate of men.
In some G20 countries like India, women spend almost 6 hours a day in unpaid work, whereas men spend less than an hour. These gaps are present to varying degrees in all G20 and OECD countries.
Why has progress been so slow, whether it’s in representation, earnings or employment? – Because gender stereotypes and norms are embedded in our cultures. As the OECD’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) shows, gender inequalities often stem from deep-rooted and normative gender beliefs (i.e. women as primary caregivers).
They are also deeply embedded in political, economic and social structures. From a very early age, boys and girls are placed into the blue or the pink ‘box’ with its associated behaviours and expectations, girls are fragile and beautiful, and boys are courageous and risk-takers.
This reinforcement of gender stereotyping leads to the perpetuation of discrimination against women in employment opportunities. For example, OECD research from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that already at the age of 15, girls are two times less likely to aspire to a career as an engineer, as a scientist, or as an architect.
And despite gains in girls’ and women’s education, girls continue to be underrepresented in the STEM fields. In OECD countries, fewer than 1 in 3 engineering graduates and fewer than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are girls. These stereotypes often translate later on into a leadership gap. We already mentioned high political office, but such gaps are present across the public and private sectors.
It is striking that, on average, only 1 in 5 board members of the largest publicly listed companies in G20 countries are women. Likewise, in G7 countries, men are still almost twice as likely to occupy managerial positions than women.
Meanwhile, across all OECD countries, women are also around half as likely as men to be entrepreneurs. Even in the public service, where women are employed in up to 58% of jobs, they account for less than a third of senior positions. This highlights a recurring trend: the higher the position, the lower the proportion of women.
Nevertheless we are making progress. Some countries have been quite successful in narrowing gender gaps. All G20 countries have experienced an increase in labour force participation of women, with particularly large reductions in the gender gap in Japan, Argentina, Brazil and Korea. In around half of G20 members, the decline in the gender gap is in line with, or better than, the expected decline to meet the target. The actual decline was noticeably greater than the expected decline in Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Of course, this is just the beginning, there is so much still left to be done.
Working on these topics has helped us socialize effective tools. Quotas as we know, are one important example. Best performing countries have relied on them, and we should not disqualify them. I am sure that nobody questioned whether President Obama benefited from Affirmative Action in Harvard. What counts is his legacy. The same for women as it will take forever if we do not rely on it.
Dual parental leave is also a key tool, and I remember that the UK had interesting frameworks (my friend the former UK Ambassador took one year to take care of twins, to be later recompensated be being first in the line for good postings. I remember also a Director General for global affairs, who was DG for Monday and Tuesday, as there was another recent mother who was for the rest of the week.
The OECD is also leading initiatives to break down stereotypes, including here in the Mexico through STEMNinaspueden, which is inspiring girls with positive role models of women building successful careers in STEM fields. We must have our minds open to a different set of options.
We also need transparency and legislation against unequal pay, lack of women on boards and underrepresentation amongst CEOs. Companies are really lagging behind.
We are an economic organization and were focusing on economic issues, but as I mentioned when we asked our Members about their priorities we confirmed that there is a major problem in violence against women. This has to stop, which is also why we are working on toxic masculinities, which underpin violence a stereotypes. The most effective tool to rebalance the gender gaps and treat women with dignity, is to educate women and men for respect and inclusion, and to change the way we educate boys. It is about family friendly policies, it is about more caring and humane societies, it is about more sustainable economies.
We need to build a better world for women and men. There is so much to be done when we see the way in which women are treated and how much they have to endure even raising children alone, as my sister did (she had all the power and strength, and succeeded, but so many through no fault of their own do not). So many are left behind and alone, and at the bottom of the bottom, the porest of the poor are often women. I recently met Michael Kaufman during OECD Week and heard about how many more men are speaking out in favour of gender equality, and everything men have to gain from a gender equal world. The outcomes we are getting in all fields in the social and world economy, with deepening divides, exclusion, violence, rejection of multilateral approaches and increased populism, tell us that this has to change.
This is why we also supported the creation of the W20, and continue strengthening the gender chapter in the G7, G20.
The most pressing danger going forward is that the good outcomes we have achieved are at risk, as are all the multilateral agendas when major countries in the world have chosen confrontation and exclusion above international co-operation. Not only on gender, but including on gender. We cannot even mention reproductive rights now! So in the fight to promote women’s empowerment, we should continue to build a more friendly, co-operative world. These two agendas go hand in hand and reinforce each other, so I call on you to keep the fight, and as UN women say, push back against the push back!