Maddy Wilson

Maddy Wilson

Maddy is a content creator for SAP Analytics Cloud. She has a passion for everything digital and enjoys finding creative ways to simplify complex concepts. When she’s not behind her computer you’ll find her enjoying live music, watching a play, or paddling with her dragon boat team.

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March 8th is International Women’s Day and this year’s campaign theme is #BeBoldForChange. In 2017, organizers are asking participants to “help forge a better working world - a more inclusive, gender equal world.” It’s no secret that a global gender gap exists. But where in the world is it most, or least prevalent? And what are the factors that influence it?

Measuring gender equality

Every year the World Economic Forum (WEF) produces a Global Gender Gap Report. The Report uses a methodology to measure gender disparities in four key areas: health, education, economy, and politics. It contains information on 14 indicators within four subindexes, one for each of the areas listed above. The information is then used to create a Global Gender Gap Index. The index ranks the 144 participating countries based on their overall scores. The highest possible score is 1 (total equality) and the lowest score is 0 (total inequality).

The WEF makes the report data available to the public. So we decided to import it into SAP Analytics Cloud to see what sorts of insights we could uncover.

Analyzing the global gender gap

After importing the data into the Modeler, we used the latitude and longitude coordinates of each country contained in the index to geo-enrich the data. This process allows us to create geo-maps to view the gender gap by country.

The map below displays the overall score of each country in the Global Gender Gap Index using a choropleth layer. The cooler colors (green/blue) indicate high scores, which means smaller gaps. The warmer colors (orange/red) indicate low scores and larger gaps.

Global Gender Gap Index Map showing overall score

With a score of 0.87, the country with the highest overall score in the index is Iceland. Finland and Norway follow with respective scores of 0.85 and 0.84. So, what exactly sets these three countries apart from the rest of the world when it comes to gender equality? Once again we turned to SAP Analytics Cloud to find out.

What can machine learning tell us about the data?

To find out we start by using Guided Machine Discovery in SAP Analytics Cloud. This feature uses machine learning to reveal hidden insights within a dataset. With Guided Machine Discovery you can find out what the key influences are for a certain measure or group of measures with a single click. So what happens when we look at what influences a country’s overall score on the Global Gender Gap Index? 

Key influencers of the Global Gender Gap

The result? The biggest factor influencing a country’s overall score results from the Political Empowerment subindex followed by the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. This means that the higher a country scores in these two sub-indexes, the higher the overall ranking. Education Attainability is also a factor, but less impactful than the other two subindexes.

When comparing Political Empowerment with Economic Participation and Opportunity on a scatterplot, the highest ranking countries overall clearly stand out with higher than average Political Empowerment scores.

Scatterplot of the Global Gender Gap subindexes Political Empowerment vs. Economic Participation and Opportunity

More countries achieve high scores in the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex overall. But even so, no country has yet to achieve a score over 0.87 and the average score is an unimpressive 0.65. 

The top 3 countries’ scores range from 0.58-0.72 in Political Empowerment; however, the overall average score is extremely low at 0.20 and there are more than a few countries that are close to touching the 0 line. When we look at the Political Empowerment scores on a choropleth map layer, it’s easy to see how it’s a world-wide issue.

The Global Gender Gap Political Empowerment chloropleth map

Why gender equality is great for business

Using 10 years of data the WFH predicts that at the current rate of change the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. And while this news is disheartening, innovative organizations across the globe are taking steps to close the gap.

For example, SAP is the first technology company in the US to ever receive the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) certificate. The certificate recognizes commitment to gender equality in the workplace. SAP CEO Bill McDermott says, “a culture of inclusion is a higher performing culture”.  What more can companies want of their workforce than to be high-performing?

According to a 2015 report by McKinsey, organizations that put a priority on gender equality in the workplace will achieve greater growth. The report finds that the global GDP has the potential to increase by 12 trillion dollars with the advancement of women’s equality.

With this level of untapped economic potential, organizations across the globe would be wise to work on closing the gender gap.

How can SAP Analytics Cloud help?

Closing the gender gap starts at an organizational level. With SAP Analytics Cloud you can analyze your staffing data to see how you currently stand on gender equality. Guided Machine Discovery reveals the key influencers within your data without having a data scientist on staff.

With these insights and benchmark knowledge in hand, organizations can work towards enabling a more inclusive, gender equal workplace and world.

To start revealing hidden insights in your own data, sign up for a free 30-day trial today.


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