Global Talent Gender Gap



  • The case for gender egalitarianism
  • Prestige economies and cultural tightness
  • Functional literacy and inclusiveness
  • Strength-based approaches to fostering “female” leadership styles
  • Humanitarian principles and global egalitarian mindset


The case for gender equality

Although women represent half of the population in education and global workforce at career start and mid-level management, men outnumber women in all sectors’ leadership positions. The role of female talents in future leadership is a critical challenge [1] for the growth of economies [2]. A study among a big sample across 26 countries found that work-life balance, commitment, and turnover thoughts are related to perceived job autonomy that is, for women, mediated by present gender egalitarianism [3].

Prestige economies and cultural tightness

Prestige governs economies, causing countries with high expenditure in research and development to have comparatively fewer female members (e.g., Japan with 11.6% female researchers, and only 9.7% professors), while low-expenditure nations (e.g., the Philippines and Thailand employ female researchers beyond 45%) [4]. To stay with the example of Japan, nations with similar challenges related to vocational stereotypes, job availability constraints, traditional bias and a collective mindset, even when not having as much government promotion of female employment as Japan, tend to have fewer women in corporate executive positions. Roibu and Roibu (2017) ascribe this to the strictness of how social and work rules are enforced [2]. Indeed, cultural tightness, i.e., the fierceness of norms, contributes to explaining why some organizations in some countries are less successful in advocating women leadership than others [5]. However, the finding of male domination in higher leadership positions seems to be more generally a phenomenon somewhat independent of nationality, culture, and even legislation for gender equality [4].

Functional literacy and inclusiveness

Fast technological change can negatively pronounce skill deterioration during work interruption, such as caused by maternity leave [6]. Also, education needs to be carefully analyzed regarding whether it is suited to improve social inclusion or whether, in contrast, aggravates competitive exclusivity [7]. For example, functional literacy programs shouldn’t be designed as a reading and writing capability only, but as emancipatory enablers that integrate reading, writing, and socio-economic and political understanding for democratic participation and the self-efficient creation of social networks and wealth [8].

Strength-based approaches to fostering “female” leadership styles

Some woman may be more sold on power-promising, rewarding, and recognizing careers [4] and learn how to play the neo-liberal corporate game. Many, on the other hand, do also keep a philanthropic attitude that might not be come to success in an economy that rewards competition [9]. Leadership styles are evolving though, and the value of emotional intelligence is bringing female leaders, albeit slowly, into pole positions [10]. Strength-based approaches to talent development can help also preserving gender-specific genuineness throughout personal careers [11].

Humanitarian principles and global “female” mindset

The human species can change its mindset, and a female leadership style based on humanitarian principles might be precisely the fit for an increasingly globalized and cooperating world [12]. Millennial women are expected to have a high interest to play a global role [13]. Already existing transnational women’s movements [10] may additionally help to boost self-esteem to create more egalitarian local and global environments.



[1] Andrews, S. (2017). Leadership, EQ, and Gender: Global Strategies for Talent Development. TD: Talent Development, 71(2), 7.

[2] Roibu, I., & Roibu, P. A. (. (2017). The Differences between Women Executives in Japan and Romania. Oradea Journal Of Business And Economics, Vol 2, Iss 1, Pp 81-90 (2017), (1), 81.

[3] Halliday, C. S., Paustian-Underdahl, S. C., Ordonez, Z., Rogelberg, S. G., & Zhang, H. (2017). Autonomy as a key resource for women in low gender egalitarian countries: A cross-cultural examination. Human Resource Management, 57(2), 601-615.

[4] Morley, L. (2014). Lost Leaders: Women in the Global Academy. Higher Education Research And Development, 33(1), 114-128.

[5] Toh, S. M., & Leonardelli, G. J. (2013). Cultural constraints on the emergence of women leaders: How global leaders can promote women in different cultures. Organizational Dynamics, 42(3), 191-197. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2013.06.004

[6] Jung, J. H., & Choi, K. (2009). Technological Change and Returns to Education: The Implications for the S&E Labor Market. Global Economic Review, 38(2), 161-184. doi:10.1080/12265080902891461

[7] Appleby, Y., & Bathmaker, A. M. (2006). The new skills agenda: increased lifelong learning or new sites of inequality?. British Educational Research Journal, 32(5), 703-717.

[8] Kagitcibasi, C., Goksen, F., & Gulgoz, S. (2005). Functional adult literacy and empowerment of women: Impact of a functional literacy program in Turkey. Journal Of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 48(6), 472-489.

[9] Morley, L. (2016). Troubling intra-actions: gender, neo-liberalism and research in the global academy. Journal Of Education Policy, 31(1), 28-45.

[10] David, E. (2010). Aspiring to leadership …… a woman’s world? An example of developments in France. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, (4), 347. doi:10.1108/13527601011086577

[11] Garcea, N., Linley, A., Mazurkiewicz, K., & Bailey, T. (2012). Future female talent development. Strategic HR Review, (4), 199. doi:10.1108/14754391211234913

[12] Werhane, P. H. (2007). Women Leaders in a Globalized World. Journal Of Business Ethics, (4), 425. doi:10.1007/s10551-007-9516-z

[13] Stefanco, C. J. (2017). Beyond Boundaries: Millennial Women and the Opportunities for Global Leadership. Journal Of Leadership Studies, 10(4), 57-62. doi:10.1002/jls.21505

About mathias sager

Thinking and writing for happiness, painting colorfully, and enabling personal growth for all. Fostering co-operative and humanitarian principles, economic and social equality, as well as environmental sustainability. Using broad international experience and progressive, egalitarian and global outlook to promote care for the next generation.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Global Talent Gender Gap

  1. With the exception of the years when I was a construction worker I’ve always had female supervisors. If anything my current day job has more women than men in the higher positions.

  2. The nurturing leadership style, to which many refer as “female”, is better suited for the increasing connectedness, on which the inchoate global society will depend.

Leave a Reply