98 Countries Have a Higher Percentage of Women In Parliament Than The U.S. 2

If you’re an elected female representative in the United States (U.S) Congress or are a senior official in a government body, you’re statistically one of the privileged few compared to many other countries globally. Not in terms of the prestige of a position in the U.S. Congress or the power you wield, but in terms of the limited number of the female gender who find themselves there.

On 3 January, the 115th U.S. Congress was sworn in. According to World Bank data which shows the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments, less than 1 out of 5 members of the US Congress are women. To be precise, only 19% of the seats are occupied by women.

This places the U.S. in an unenviable position. 98 other nations fare better when it comes to gender diversity in Parliament. The graph above displays those nations which figure in the top 10 in terms of gender diversity, along with the U.S.

Situation improving, but miles yet to go

It is prudent to state that though the U.S. lags nations like Cuba, Argentina, and the Philippines when it comes to women representatives, the situation has improved.  The World Bank data showed that in 1990, only 6.6% of parliamentary seats had women occupants. The increase to 19.4% over 26 years is an improvement, but can be termed as gradual at best.

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Interestingly, there are actually a number of investment vehicles available which invest taking into account workplace diversity in terms of gender and ethnicity, among other criteria. They are part of the ‘S’ of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) criteria.

Among the ETFs that invest in companies by looking at workplace composition are the Workplace Equality ETF (EQLT) and the SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity ETF (SHE).



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