Gender parity can boost economic growth. Here’s how

international women's day 2019

(Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley


From the #MeToo movement to policy initiatives aimed at uncovering gender gaps in the economy and reducing gender pay inequality, the global narrative on gender parity among both the general public and policymakers shifted significantly throughout 2018.

For example, there was growing evidence that significant gender pay gaps persist and that they are caused by a multiplicity of factors; from gender differences in employment by occupation and industry, to gender differences in care obligations and discriminatory pay practices and biases.

One approach to closing gender pay gaps would be to place a higher value on typically female qualities and female-dominated occupations. Professionalising informal sectors, such as the care economy, and increasing the value of critical and predominantly female sectors, such as education, would help increase gender parity in those occupations and sectors.

 All in a day's work means different things to the average man or woman.

But is it a matter of choice or the persistence of social norms and barriers to entry that explain persistent gender gaps in occupations and sectors? Women in lucrative professions such as software engineering lack role models, and evidence suggests that the hiring, retention and promotion of female professionals are riddled with bias. Legislated maternity leave is still more common than paternity leave and women continue to take a more active role as carers for family members. And while those roles support families, communities and economies, female pay takes a hit and the burden of care continues to fall on women.

Around the world, according to World Economic Forum data, for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns 54 cents. There are many factors behind the wage disparity between men and women. One is the fact that women around the world are more likely than men to work part-time, and part-time work even for the same occupation and sector has a lower hourly wage with fewer social protections than comparable full-time work.

Another factor behind gender pay disparities is the “motherhood” penalty on female wages; there is a negative relationship between a woman’s wage and the number of children she has. According to OECD data, the motherhood penalty on women amounts to a 7% wage cut per child. An important step towards closing the gender pay gap would be more equitable sharing of parental responsibilities between men and women. Paid parental leave policies that provide both maternity and paternity leave help achieve this goal, by increasing fathers’ participation in childcare and reducing gender stereotyping in childcare and related household responsibilities.

The lack of gender parity in pay is just one of a number of gender gaps across economic, educational, health and political spheres. According to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, at the current rate of progress it will take more than a century to close the overall gender gap.

According to figures released by Standard & Poor (S&P) at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos earlier this year, if the labour force participation rate of women were equal to the labour force participation rate of men, the US economy would be 8.7% larger than it is today, the French economy would be 17% larger and the Japanese economy would be 14% larger. Economists now say that in the US, increases in gender parity would also lead to larger returns in financial markets. In the US, the effect of greater equality could spur an expansion of 3.6%.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘Break the cycle’ of disaster-response-recovery, urges top UN official, as death toll mounts from Cyclone Idai

In 2019, ‘reasons for hope’ in a world still on ‘red alert’: UN chief Guterres

The Commission neglects the services sector and favours industry

Healing of ozone layer gives hope for climate action: UN report

European Youth Forum welcomes adoption of Sustainable Development Goals and calls on European countries to not ignore them!

Italy should boost investment in training for the future of work

Are we sleepwalking into a new global crisis?

UK must end ‘unlawful’ administration of Chagos Archipelago ‘as rapidly as possible,’ top UN court rules

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

Leading Palestinian legislator calls for ‘new international engagement’ in two-state solution

Tech must embrace teamwork to transform the world

UN, Egypt help avert another Israel-Palestine war in Gaza that was ‘minutes away’, Security Council hears

Mental health problems costing Europe heavily

How big data can help us fight climate change faster

Health conditions for citizens of Yemen’s key port city ‘remain critical’ says UN agency

Why the World Cup is a bit like international trade

Around 260,000 children in DR Congo’s Kasai region suffering severe acute malnutrition

UN launches new framework to strengthen fight against terrorism

Humanitarian aid convoy to Syria’s Rukban camp: Mission Accomplished

New forms of work: deal on measures boosting workers’ rights

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Intel, Almunia and 1 billion euros for unfair potatoes

Here are the biggest cybercrime trends of 2019

We need new tools for the Big Data era

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about to hit the construction industry. Here’s how it can thrive

The fat from your next takeaway meal could help clean up global shipping

International Day of Cooperatives sets stage for long-standing production and consumption

UK must make clear what it wants, MEPs say in Brexit debate

Here’s what a Korean boy band can teach us about globalization 4.0

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

Erasmus+ will finance existing UK-EU mobility in the event of no-deal Brexit

UN agencies call for action to bolster rights of Europe’s stateless children

Berlin’s governing elite leads Eurozone to recession to win the September election in Germany

With field schools in Kenya, UN agriculture agency teaches techniques to combat drought

The Bavarians threaten Berlin and Brussels with immigration crisis

This is the life of a refugee: the constant destruction and construction of dreams every day

The China-US trade deal will be signed on time; the path is set

UN experts urge India to align new anti-trafficking bill with human rights law

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

Africa is ‘on the rise’, says UN chief Guterres, urging collaboration for better future

20th EU-China Summit in Beijing, 16/07/2018

Yanis Varoufakis: “Unsustainable debt turns the creditor into Leviathan; Life under it is becoming nasty, brutish and short”

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

Violence against women a ‘mark of shame’ on our societies, says UN chief on World Day

Civil protection: Parliament strengthens EU disaster response capability

Leaders need hard data to make the hard decisions about sustainability

Is it true that the G20 wants to arrest tax evasion of multinationals?

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

As the year closes out, UN political chief talks the art of diplomacy – and crises to watch in 2019.

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

Brexit: Is there anybody supporting a non-violent separation?

Climate changes and the imminent public health crises

COP21 Paris: The Final Agreement Adopted-full text

EU Banks still get subsidies from impoverished citizens

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

How to unleash the enormous power of global healthcare data

There is a way for Eurozone to reach a sustainable growth path

Can the next financial crisis be avoided?

Businesses can lead a revolution in disability inclusion

UN chief welcomes ‘positive steps’ towards peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s