Equity Economics

The business case for gender equality has never been clearer. A mere six percent increase in women in the workforce would increase Australia’s GDP by approximately $25 billion. Crucially, such an increase in the female workforce participation is considered entirely feasible in Australia.[1]

Globally, in a ‘full potential’ scenario, in which women’s labour market participation is identical to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 per cent could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025. To put this in context, this would be roughly equivalent to the size of the combined Chinese and US economies today.[2]

Gender diversity is essential for businesses, both financially and organisationally. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.[3] In 2016, female CEOs in ASX 300+ delivered a 9% increase in revenue, compared to the group-wide average of 0.5%[4].

Organisationally, companies with three or more women in senior management tend to score more highly on criteria such as leadership, direction, accountability, coordination and control, innovation, external orientation, capability, motivation, and work environment.[5]

In 2016, female CEOs in ASX 300+ delivered a 9% increase in revenue, compared to the group-wide average of 0.5%

In Australia, women’s educational attainment exceeds that of men, and has for over two decades.[6] Yet, we have not managed to close the gender gap in workforce participation[7]. But perhaps even more alarming is the extraordinarily stubborn and seemingly immovable gender pay gap, which has hovered between 15%-19% for over twenty years.  According to WGEA the full-time total remuneration gender pay gap is 23%. On current projections, that pay gap is expected to remain in Australian workplaces until at least year 2067. We'll all be too old by then!

 ... the extraordinarily stubborn and seemingly immovable gender pay gap, which has hovered between 15%-19% for over twenty years. 

 



[1] The Grattan Institute (2012), Game-changers: Economic reform priorities for Australia 

[2] McKinsey Global Institute (2015), Diversity Matters

[3] Ibid

[4] KGPM (2017), Diversity, investment in digital technology drive Australia’s mid-market success

[5] Centre for Ethical Leadership (2014), Building a business case for gender diversity

[6] ABS (2016), Gender Indicators, Australia

[7] WGEA (2017), Gender workplace statistics at a glance