Council on Foreign Relations
The Women’s Workplace Inequality Index
In recent years, the positive relationship between women’s economic empowerment and the success of a country’s economy has become more widely understood. Despite an increased awareness that with greater gender equality comes greater national prosperity, many countries still limit and undervalue women’s work and participation in the labor force.
We partnered with the Women and Foreign Policy (WFP) program at the Council on Foreign Relations on a second project that sought to dig deeper into the legal barriers and obstacles women face when attempting to enter the workforce. The resulting collaboration offers users an immersive overview of the global breadth and scale of inequality as well as a deep dive into how countries rank in the effort to eradicate these barriers worldwide.
Building on research from a 2018 World Bank survey and report, The Women’s Workplace Inequality Index begins with a curated set of data points illustrated on a global map. A scrolling story unfolds one fact at a time until nearly the entire map is shaded in with bright yellow, indicating the presence of a barrier in that country and highlighting the extreme pervasiveness of inequality. As the user reaches the end of the narrative, they scroll through a wall of the 50 surveyed legal barriers, evoking the lived experience of exclusion that the data represents.
From the outset, it was a challenge to find novel yet useful formats for surfacing the insights buried within a vast dataset exploring 50 legal barriers in 189 countries across 7 key performance areas. To do this, we created an easy-to-scan visual card scoring system that makes it easy to grasp overall rankings, draw out top-level metric comparisons, and ultimately inspire a healthy dose of competition. Furthermore, the curated set of filters suggest useful views of the data by region, income group, and key performance areas.
The individual country page offers users the most comprehensive and focused view of what this dataset means at a national level. Scores are broken down by performance area and placed in stacked bar charts, making it easy for users to quickly pinpoint where the greatest need for improvement lies. A scatter chart also enables users to visually understand where their country sits relative to their most immediate neighbors then zoom out to the global scale. To encourage greater local action, the list of barriers and reforms pulls in only those relevant to the country selected.