Aim for Gender Parity: Australia can win big

Australia (as well as other countries in the Asia- Pacific region) could potentially reap massive economic benefits by 2025 if it takes accelerated steps towards gender parity. This is the conclusion drawn from the just- released report by McKinsey Global Institute—ThePower of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in Asia Pacific

The report calculates that the region by “advancing women’s equality could add $4.5 trillion to their collective annual GDP by 2025, a 12 percent increase over the business as usual trajectory.“ Australia, it is projected, could increase its GDP by $225 billion (at today’s rate equivalent to AUD 297 billion) which in percentage terms makes it one of the biggest potential beneficiaries in the region to advance gender equality.

The three main economic levers for achieving this very significant extra growth, according to the researchers, are: increasing women’s labour force participation rate, increasing the number of hours women work and raising women’s productivity relative to men’s by adding more women in higher paid sectors.

Fundamental to the report is the premise that equality in the workplace cannot be achieved without equality in society. Accordingly, metrics across a range of societal and economic dimensions form the basis of the report’s calculations.

The report is particularly relevant to Australia because it is one of seven countries that has a specific section dedicated to it. In many areas (such as maternal mortality and education levels) but not all, Australia is a leader in the region regarding the advancement of women. Nevertheless, even in some of the areas where it leads, notably gender equality at work, there is much ground to cover before the full potential of the country’s women can be realised. On the global scale, Australia is lagging the best, but the report notes that Australia has the opportunity to be a leader if the appropriate steps are taken.

Symmetra will be covering the MGI POWER OF PARITY report more extensively in its soon-to-be-released Symmetra Quarterly together with many other D & I issues of interest. 

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