Box 2: Closing the Gender Gap Country Accelerators
While there is growing knowledge of public policy and business actions that can help close aspects of the economic gender gap, there are no pre-existing change templates for how government and business can work together to accelerate change. As countries strive for gender parity, there must be greater public-private collaboration, access to the latest knowledge on effective interventions, and improved learning and exchange between countries on the new methods they are applying.
The World Economic Forum Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society’s Closing the Gender Gap Country Accelerators provide a solution. Each Accelerator is a national public-private collaboration platform to help governments and businesses identify, scale and accelerate initiatives to close gender gaps. The Accelerator model helps focus the different existing efforts by bringing together relevant stakeholders onto one platform.
The Accelerators’ local leadership structure consists of 2 Ministers and 2–4 CEOs as Co-Chairs, a Country Coordinator who runs the initiative locally and 50–100 of the countries’ largest employers who drive the in-country change. Countries sign up to the model for three years and drive impact through a locally adapted action plan based on the Forum’s global framework. In addition to in-country work, countries join the Global Accelerators Learning Network, which helps create informal exchange on successful local initiatives between countries. The World Economic Forum maintains the global framework while each country leads its Accelerator independently, driving action against objectives in the local context.
The Accelerators drive change by working on initiatives at three levels: changing institutional structures and policies, working on norms and attitudes and building public and private sector leaders’ collective commitment. Each country works towards the following four objectives across all countries through the country specific action plan:
- Increasing female labour force participation broadly and in selected sectors
- Increasing the number of women in leadership positions
- Closing gaps in wage and remuneration
- Building parity in emerging high-demand skills and jobs
Accelerators are currently active in nine countries, of which seven are in Latin America and in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank. We are inviting additional countries on board and aim to have 15 Accelerators by the end of 2020.