Gender equality is big business! USA’s GDP could be $2.1 trillion higher annually (10%). Report from McKinsey. April 2016

Achieving the economic potential of women in work could add $2.1 trillion in GDP in 2025 or 0.8 percent to annual GDP growth in the United States over the next decade. Every state and city can make further progress toward gender parity and add at least 5 percent to their GDP, and half of US states can add more than 10 percent.

  • In a best-in-class scenario in which each state matches the state with the fastest rate of improvement toward gender parity in work over the past decade, $2.1 trillion of incremental GDP could be added in 2025—10 percent higher than the business-as-usual figure.
  • Achieving this potential would require about $475 billion more capital investment in 2025 to help create the 6.4 million jobs needed to secure that boost to GDP and improve productivity.
  • Thirty-eight percent of the potential can come from higher female labor-force participation, 32 percent from narrowing the gap between men and women who work part time and full time, and 30 percent from changing the mix of sectors in which women work to increase employment in more productive ones.
  • All states can increase their GDP by at least 5 percent in the best-in-class scenario over the businessas-usual scenario by 2025. Twenty-five states, including those with large GDPs such as Florida and New York, could gain more than 10 percent. The 50 largest cities we analyzed can increase GDP by 6 to 13 percent over this period.
  • Worldwide, enhancing women’s economic potential has gone hand in hand with achieving greater social gender equality. Based on the relationship between capturing economic opportunity and tackling societal barriers to women’s economic participation, MGI has taken a broad view of gender inequality in the United States using ten indicators of gender equality in work and society. US gender inequality is low or medium on four: labor-force participation rate, professional and technical jobs, higher education, and maternal mortality. Inequality is high or extremely high on six: leadership and managerial positions, unpaid care work, single mothers, teenage pregnancy, political representation, and violence against women. These six should be prioritized as “impact zones” for action. To give an idea of the considerable challenges that the United States faces, there are just 66 women for every 100 men in business leadership and managerial positions, women do almost double the unpaid care work that men do, and there is one incident of sexual violence for every two women in the United States
  • Ten indicators are used to develop a State Parity Score (SPS) that indicates the distance from gender parity in all 50 US states. In four of the six impact zones, ten states account for more than half of the women affected.
  • The City Parity Score (CPS) measures the distance from parity of the top 50 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or cities. While there is variability in performance among cities, all cities have an opportunity to improve on gender equality.
  • Action by individual organizations and collaboration among them are both required to accelerate change. Businesses can promote gender diversity in their own organizations in areas such as recruitment and performance evaluation. Governments can consider ways to make paid parental leave and improved child care a reality for more men and women, and can introduce state-level programs to address issues like teenage pregnancy. More cross-sector collaboration between governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations is needed. More work is required to collect robust and consistent data on gender inequality to inform discussion about which interventions are likely to be most effective

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