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For the 3rd consecutive year, the Netherlands is ranked 28th in the Global Gender Gap Index, continuing to lag behind neighboring countries. This is revealed in the Global Gender Gap Report 2024 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), published on Wednesday, 12 June.

The annual indicator of gender inequality covers 146 countries. The Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), led by professor of Strategic Management & Innovation Henk Volberda, is a partner institute of the World Economic Forum and gathered the data for the Netherlands.

The 18th edition of the report shows that globally, the gap between men and women has slowly decreased again: 68.5% of the gap has been closed, an increase of 0.1% compared to last year. At this slow pace, it will take at least 134 years to achieve full equality. The gap is relatively smallest in terms of access to education (94.91% of the gap has been closed) and healthcare and life expectancy (96% of the gap has been closed). In contrast, for economic participation and equal opportunities for women, the gap has been closed by 60.5%, a slight increase of 0.6% compared to last year. The largest disparity for women remains in political influence, where only 22.5% of the gap has been closed.

Key findings

Some of the key findings of the 2024 report are:

  • The gender gap has marginally decreased in 2024, and at this slow pace, it will not be fully closed until the year 2158.
  • Scandinavian countries dominate the top of the ranking, but Germany, Spain, and Ireland are also in the top 10.
  • The Netherlands remains stuck in 28th place in the Global Gender Gap Index for the 3rd consecutive year.
  • 56% of the economies in the 2024 Global Gender Gap Index have laws prescribing equal pay. However, only 1 in 5 of these economies enforce transparency among companies and ensure these laws are upheld.
  • Women represent 42% of the global workforce but only 31.7% of senior leadership positions.
  • Although women occupy nearly half of entry-level positions, they represent less than a quarter of C-suite roles (top management positions).
  • The recruitment of women for leadership positions has been declining since mid-2022.
  • Men have larger and stronger professional online networks and make new connections more quickly than women.
  • Women are underrepresented in STEM roles (positions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
  • Women perceive that digital, analytical, and green skills are less important for their current career trajectories over the next five years.

About the Global Gender Gap report

Gender inequality impedes economic growth and prevents countries from becoming more competitive. Due to the urgency of needing to close the gender gap, the WEF publishes an annual report comparing countries and providing insight into the extent of a country’s progress in eliminating gender inequalities. The WEF looks at 4 aspects: economic participation and opportunities, access to education, healthcare and life expectancy and political empowerment. The Global Gender Gap Index, with the overall score, is a key component of the report. Scores van vary from 0 (high degree of inequality) to 100% (full equality).