The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has just released a new report (attached), The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth focusing on the economic implications of lack of parity between men and women.
Gender inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge. If women—who account for half the world’s working-age population—do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer.
Even after decades of progress toward making women equal partners with men in the economy and society, the gap between them remains large. The MGI report acknowledges that gender parity in economic outcomes (such as participation in the workforce or presence in leadership positions) is not necessarily a normative ideal, as it involves human beings making personal choices about the lives they lead; the report also recognizes that men can be disadvantaged relative to women in some instances. However, they believe that the world, including the private sector, would benefit by focusing on the large economic opportunity of improving parity between men and women.
The report considers a “full potential” scenario in which women participate in the economy identically to men and have established a strong link between gender equality in society, attitudes and beliefs about the role of women, and gender equality in work. The latter is not achievable without the former two elements. They found virtually no countries with high gender equality in society but low gender equality in work. Economic development enables countries to close gender gaps, but progress in four areas in particular—education level, financial and digital inclusion, legal protection, and unpaid care work—could help accelerate progress.
How does your country rate on gender equality? Explore their comprehensive data set on gender equality and economic growth in different regions and countries around the world on Tableau Public.