The impact of Covid has been felt all over the world, but in many countries the greatest burden has been carried by women; who were often the first in line to lose jobs, or forced to leave employment to care for children and elderly relatives at home. In fact research from the International Labour Organisation estimates that women account for two thirds of the global jobs lost during the pandemic.
Whilst there is much talk about achieving gender equality in the workplace, and the benefits to the organisation, another part of the ‘gender gap’ discussion is that of gender parity (which refers to the equal contribution of men and women to every dimension of life - whether private or public).
The World Economic Forum’s Council on Foreign Relations https://www.cfr.org/womens-participation-in-global-economy/ estimates that achieving Gender Parity at work could add an extra $28 trillion (+26%) to global GDP.
Considering this at a country level, some examples show potential for an extra:
$770 billion (+18%) to India’s GDP - where currently only about 20% of women are in paid employment
$229 billion (+23%) to Nigeria’s GDP
$135 billion (+9%) GDP to Indonesia’s GDP.
To help realise these figures, there are 4 actions to accelerate the pace of change:
Plan for gender parity in the post Covid organisation, by re-skilling women ready for the high growth tech sectors.
Close any existing salary gender gaps, and focus on improving quality of work in the lower paid jobs.
Provide suitable childcare support and health benefits for all.
Encourage, support and mentor women moving into management positions to achieve government and business targets.
With the daily news of countries slipping into recession during 2023, perhaps part of the solution is currently sitting ‘at home’ as an underutilised resource.
What can you do to drive gender parity and help close the gender gap?