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Chile launches first “Gender Parity Initiative” with Inter-American Development Bank and World Economic Forum support

First country in the region to announce a public-private partnership with concrete steps to close the economic gender gap

President Michelle Bachelet today launched Chile’s first Gender Parity Initiative. Promoted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), this initiative will be the first in the world to include concrete actions for both the public and private sectors.

Its main goals include ensuring more and better participation of women in the labor force, reducing the wage gap between men and women performing similar jobs, and boosting the presence of women in leadership roles.

This will be first of a series of parity initiatives in which the IDB and the WEF join forces to create and uphold the consolidation of the so-called “Gender Parity Groups” in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Its launching takes place at a time when, despite significant progress in the incorporation of women in the labor force, the men-women participation gap remains one of the world’s widest—26.7 percentage points. In the Latin America and the Caribbean region, nearly 80 percent of women take up low-productivity-sector jobs, reinforcing the current situation where women make 84 percent of the income made by men performing the same job.

“We at the IDB view our support for this public-private partnership as a unique chance to generate the public policies and initiatives needed to accelerate change in women participation in the labor force and to promote gender pay equity and women leadership in corporations both in Chile and the entire region,” IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said.

Some of the steps that will be implemented in Chile include generating evidence on the benefits that companies can get from increasing women’s participation and the implementation of a standardized methodology to measure and analyze wage gaps. This first model with clear-cut action lines is expected to serve as a reference point and be replicated and adapted by other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Women and men should be equal partners in designing the future of their nations, particularly if we want to ensure that the Fourth Industrial Revolution delivers on its promise to society,” World Economic Forum Founder and Executive President Klaus Schwab said. “The Gender Parity Initiative will ensure that Chile’s economy leverage all its talent in order to generate a more prosperous future. We, as an International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, are proud to partner with the Inter-American Development Bank, the Government of Chile, and Chilean business leaders in this initiative.”

Several studies and financial indicators show that women’s economic empowering and participation in the labor force and in decision-making and leadership positions generate greater income for companies and have a positive impact on nations’ GDP, contributing to increase productivity and wellbeing in the region.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

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