The case for gender equality is strong. Why is progress so slow?
Progressive executives know that gender equality is not only the right thing to do but also the smart thing. That’s why more CEOs, heads of state, and university leaders are committing themselves to gender-equality goals for the institutions they lead.
But gender equality is proving difficult to achieve. How can companies and public institutions move more quickly? This CEO’s guide synthesizes multiple sources to make quick sense of a complex issue.
The promise of gender equality
Gender equality gets a lot of attention these days, and for good reason: it is not only an issue of fairness but also, for companies, a matter of attracting the best workers, at least half of whom are women. There is also considerable economic value at stake for companies and nations.
A new study by the McKinsey Global Institute finds that the world economy could add trillions of dollars in growth during the next ten years if countries met best-in-region scores for improving women’s participation in the labor force (Exhibit 1). Countries in Latin America, for example, would aim to achieve Chile’s annual rate of increase, 1.9 percentage points, while East and Southeast Asian countries would try to match Singapore’s improvement of 1.1 percentage points a year.