Release the economic potential female

Libérer le potentiel économique féminin

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Companies with a high proportion of women at their head, displayed long-term returns of 36 % above the stock Exchange, considers the analysis firm State Street.

Experts said the last few years that a better place of women in the economy had the power to generate greater prosperity and more sustainable. The most recent research suggests that they had under-estimated that power.

If the accidents of life you are propelled to the rank of minister of the Economy somewhere in the world, and that someone happened to you one day by saying to you that he knew how to increase your gross domestic product (GDP) of 35 %, you can bet that you would stop to listen.

The small evil one in question could be one of the experts who have contributed to a record unveiled Thursday by the international monetary Fund (IMF) on women and economic growth. To achieve economic progress extraordinary that it would make you sparkle, it is necessary that you are able to fill the gap that accuse women in matters of employment and that your country is among the half furthest behind in the world. Although less dramatic, the potential gain would be all the same to 10 % on average in the developed countries.

The main factors are now well known, starting with the participation rate. On average, only half of women of working age have indeed a job in the world, compared to 80% of men. For economists, this is a terrible waste of manpower.

There are also pay inequalities that make, in employment and skills equal, on average, women earn 25 % less than men, reducing the purchasing power of workers.

Women are also over-represented in the economic sectors, informal, working conditions more precarious, and continue to shoulder a disproportionately large unremunerated work, such as caring for children and aging parents.

The growth in the female

While they account for about four-fifths of the shortfall, these factors are not the only ones to weigh on economic growth, pursue our experts of the IMF. We realize more and more that women are not only a workforce that is under-utilized and under-remunerated, but also different.

Whether for reasons cultural or innate, women tend in particular to be more cautious in relation to risk and are more inclined to cooperation than men, observe-t-on. These qualities prove to be valuable in itself, especially among business leaders, and members of boards of directors, and especially in the sectors of high technology and services with a high component of knowledge. Companies with a high proportion of women at their head, displayed long-term returns of 36 % above the stock Exchange, considers the analysis firm State Street. In the financial sector, we recognize these leaders by their liquidity reserves more important, the lowest proportion of non-performing loans are profitable, and their greater ability to withstand shock.

But the last 20 % of the economic potential lost due to inequalities between men and women in matters of employment has less to feminine qualities that are superior to those of men as a matter of diversity and complementarity which translates into productivity gains, concluded last year a study by the IMF on the development of science in the field. This improved chemistry has the power to benefit all by generating better economic growth and better wages.


The differences between men and women in matters of employment have several causes, to start with all of these laws that continue to disadvantage women in matters of working conditions, financial services, entrepreneurship, maternity or retirement, reported a study of the world Bank on Wednesday. On average, women have, as well as three-quarters of the economic rights of men, up to five small percentage points compared to the proportion of 70 % as measured ten years ago. Only 6 of the 187 countries studied displayed a perfect score (100 %), including France, Sweden and Belgium, followed closely by Canada, 97.5 %, later by United States, to 83.8 %, and very, very far by saudi Arabia at the tail end of the pack, with only 25.6 per cent.

In developed countries, the delay in wage of women is mainly due now to the fact that they need a reduced hours basis, or flexible, to care for their children, says a pioneer in the field, Claudia Goldin, of Harvard University. Also, the IMF recommends, among other things, for governments to offer quality daycare at affordable prices, and to adapt their social policies to a more flexible world of work.

He warns that setbacks are not impossible, since women are particularly over-represented in the jobs of office routine and sales assistants, highly threatened by automation. “Gains hard-won earnings could be eroded quickly,” he cautions.


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