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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Gender Gap

March 11, 2010, 6:24 AM
A century after International Women’s Day was founded to promote gender equality a stark gender gap still exists in the workplace in countries across the world. “A new report by the World Economic Forum finds that even though more women are employed around the world than ever before, and now make up 52 percent of U.S. workers, major multinational companies are failing to capitalize on their talents. In surveys with human-resources executives at 600 companies across 16 industries and 20 countries, the Forum's Corporate Gender Gap Report found that disparities in education and health have all but disappeared worldwide, but when it comes to political empowerment and economic participation, women haven't advanced much. ‘Women are as healthy and as educated as men,’ the study's author, Saadia Zahidi explains, but ‘no country, and few companies, have actually reached gender equity.’ In the United States, the study shows that female employees still tend to be concentrated in entry- or mid-level positions, and that the biggest barrier to female leadership isn't parenthood or opting out (as conventional wisdom would have it), but ‘masculine or patriarchal corporate culture’ and a ‘lack of mentors’. Women still make 78 cents for every dollar a man earns in the United States, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity—an inequity that is repeated the world over—and one that is often blamed on motherhood.”
 

Gender Gap

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