Last week Britain saw its second ever female Prime Minister, Theresa May, take office. Mrs May—the first party-elected female leader of either of Britain’s two main political parties since Margaret Thatcher was voted leader of the Conservative Party in 1975—then promptly named her new 24-person cabinet, which includes seven women.
This prompts the question, why, even though there are over 190 countries in the world, are there only seven female heads of government and 13 heads of state, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, and South-Korean President Park Geun-hye?
It may be argued, in some cases, that societal and cultural patriarchy discourage women from trying to gain positions of power, both politically and in other professional organizations. However, many Western countries that are considered forward-thinking, and models of 21st-century equality, such as France and the US, have never had female heads of state. Furthermore, as of October 2015, only 14 Fortune 500 companies had female CEOs, a 41.7% decrease from the previous year, when there were 24. Subsequently, questions remain as to which factors prevent female representation in both politics and the boardroom, and how they should be combated.
Below are some further articles on gender diversity within professional environments.
Mario Lackner explains in his article that men generally have a higher level of competitiveness than women, and that this, in addition to discrimination, can affect labor market outcomes. He also discusses possible solutions to counter this as he adds that: "One potential policy measure that would help is to undertake reforms of the educational system to encourage competitive attitudes."
British Prime Minister Theresa May, has called for reform of corporate governance, including worker representation on company boards and measures to address excessive boardroom salaries. Read more.
In its latest assessment of the American economy, the OECD concludes that the US is still making it difficult for women and African-Americans to contribute as much as they could to the economy. Learn more.
It is increasingly likely that the millennial generation in the US will never retire, as lifespans and the cost of the living continue to rise.Find out more.
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Using standard earning equations to estimate the return to schooling: The Mincer equation - arguably the most widely used in empirical work - can be used to explain a host of economic, and even non-economic, phenomena.
The relationship between recessions and health: While recessions are known to have negative effects on individuals' mental health and lead to an increase in suicides, it has been proven that recessions reduce mortality rates.
Public or private job placement services - which are more effective? None of the recent empirical evidence indicates that contracting-out is necessarily more effective or more efficient than public employment services.
Ethnic networks and location choice: As international migration into culturally diverse countries increases, ethnic networks will be important considerations in managing immigration selection, language proficiency requirements and regional economic policies.