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Removing Gender Gap Barriers to Employment Is Key to Building Dynamic Talent Pools, ManpowerGroup Says

Countries with Strong Economies Top Seventh Annual WEF World Economic Gender Gap Report Ranking

PR Newswire
Oct 25, 2012

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions and strategic World Economic Forum (WEF) partner, advocates that businesses, governments and academic leaders more cohesively strategize how to enable women to build sustainable careers, as the WEF reported this week that the world economic gender gap now stands at 60%, up 1 percentage point from 2011.


Nordic countries rank the highest in the seventh annual WEF Global Economic Gender Gap Report.  Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden have closed over 80% of their economic gender gaps since 2011. More than half of the 135 economies surveyed, however, have failed to close this gap by more than 5% in the past seven years.

The index assesses how countries divide their resources and opportunities among males and females, regardless of levels of resources and opportunities. Countries that have successfully worked at closing their economic gender gaps typically represent strong regional economies.  Gap ratings are based on four indicators: access to healthcare, access to education, political participation and economic equality. As women account for half of a country's talent pipeline, a nation's long-term competitiveness depends significantly on if and how it educates and positions women for career success.

"Only extensive public-private collaboration can help remove the barriers to creating a diverse, sustainable, flexible and highly-skilled workforce," said Jeff Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO. "The dynamic workforces that countries need to accelerate their economic and social growth tracts across decades must represent all individuals in a country who want to work."

In the Human Age, companies are struggling to identify skilled talent. If qualified women are unable to apply for jobs because of gender-specific barriers, companies will unlikely be able to sustain their talent pipeline and fulfill their business objectives. Public and private stakeholders in a regional workforce must collaborate in providing women with skills training that companies demand and the long-term career planning that will anchor women in the workforce. 

As part of the WEF Women's Leaders and Gender Parity Programme, several new task forces were created to drive initiatives that expose women to better economic opportunities and sustain their careers across various life phases.  Taskforces in Mexico, Turkey and Japan are fostering public-private collaboration on closing the economic participation gender gap by up to 10% in each country. Monica Flores, ManpowerGroup Mexico and Central America Managing Director, serves on the WEF Mexico taskforce.

Francoise Gri, ManpowerGroup's President of Southern Europe, is a member of the WEF Women Leaders' Advisory Board and Global Gender Parity Group. Gri was recently named to Fortune Magazine's prestigious list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in International Business (the ninth consecutive year she's earned a Fortune ranking). Last month Gri's new book on her career path as a woman, and women in the workplace, was published. In 2012 her book titled "Pleading for Responsible Employment" was published.  

Mara Swan, ManpowerGroup Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, participated in the "Gender Dynamics, a Systemic Approach to Gender Parity" session at the 2012 WEF Annual Summit. She was recently named a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Leadership and also honored as HR Executive of the Year for 2012 by Human Resource Executive® magazine.

About ManpowerGroup

ManpowerGroup™ (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, creates and delivers high-impact solutions that enable our clients to achieve their business goals and enhance their competitiveness. With over 60 years of experience, our $22 billion company creates unique time to value through a comprehensive suite of innovative solutions that help clients win in the Human Age. These solutions cover an entire range of talent-driven needs from recruitment and assessment, training and development, and career management, to outsourcing and workforce consulting. ManpowerGroup maintains the world's largest and industry-leading network of nearly 3,900 offices in 80 countries and territories, generating a dynamic mix of an unmatched global footprint with valuable insight and local expertise to meet the needs of its 400,000 clients per year, across all industry sectors, small and medium-sized enterprises, local, multinational and global companies. By connecting our deep understanding of human potential to the ambitions of clients, ManpowerGroup helps the organizations and individuals we serve achieve more than they imagined – because their success leads to our success. And by creating these powerful connections, we create power that drives organizations forward, accelerates personal success and builds more sustainable communities. We help power the world of work. The ManpowerGroup suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup™ Solutions, Manpower®, Experis™ and Right Management®. Learn more about how the ManpowerGroup can help you win in the Human Age at

ManpowerGroup is the most trusted brand in the industry, and was once again the only company in our industry to be named to the Ethisphere Institute's 2012 World's Most Ethical Companies list for our proven commitment to ethical business practices, including an outstanding commitment to ethical leadership, compliance practices and corporate social responsibility.

In January 2011, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, ManpowerGroup announced the world has entered the Human Age, where talent has replaced capital as the key competitive differentiator. This concept of talentism as the new capitalism continues to resonate and was echoed as a core theme of the 2012 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Learn more about this new age at

Gain access to ManpowerGroup's extensive thought leadership papers, annual Talent Shortage surveys and the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, one of the most trusted indices of employment activity in the world, via the ManpowerGroup World of Work Insight iPad application. This thought leadership app explores the challenges faced by employers navigating the changing world of work and provides in-depth commentary, analysis, insight and advice on strategies for success. 

Follow ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres on Twitter: Joerres is one of only 20 Fortune 500 CEOs who leverages a Twitter account to get his message out.


SOURCE ManpowerGroup

CONTACT: Marsha Barancik, +1-414-906-6417,, or Mark Jelfs, +1-414-906-6675,

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