Women in the workplace: A $12 trillion opportunity

Large-scale research on gender diversity demonstrates the enormous financial impact of women as a demographic. Here's what you need to know about this crucial issue.
Written by Michael Krigsman, Contributor
When Women Thrive

Image from When Women Thrive

The lack of gender diversity in the workforce is a problem of enormous proportions. According to the global human resources consulting firm, Mercer, "educated women who are not in the workforce represent a potential GDP increase of about $12 trillion."

Since 2014, Mercer has been researching the topic of women in the workplace. Called When Women Thrive, this research represents a large undertaking. The 2016 report involves participants from almost 600 organizations in 42 countries and includes data on 3.2 million employees, making it the "largest study of its kind."

Economically, countries with low worker replacement ratios that continue to exclude women (and other groups) will find that productivity and GDP shrink. Moreover, changes in workforce availability and the demographics of who is buying goods and services indicate the scope of gender parity and diversity in driving economic results.

The report explains that women are now major consumers of healthcare, financial, and other products and services. As a result, smart companies are designing products that meet the needs of this significant demographic.

For all these reasons, the call for gender parity isn't limited to fairness or global political correctness but rests on clear economic principles. In other words, gender parity is good business and helps companies make money.

Because gender diversity is such an important topic, we invited two experts to present their views on a special episode of CXOTALK:

  • Pat Milligan is Global Leader of Mercer's Multinational Client Group and leads the When Women Thrive research effort. She is one of the most influential HR thought leaders in the world.
  • Naomi Bloom has long been the top HR technology industry analyst in the world. The largest human resources technology vendors rely on her advice when developing their software systems. Thus, Naomi's influence on the HR market is considerable.

For this special CXOTALK, Naomi serves as a guest co-host for the conversation with Pat Milligan. Their discussion sheds light on the economic, social, and business impact of gender diversity in the workplace.

When Women Thrive

When Women Thrive, from Mercer

The video embedded above includes a summary of the When Women Thrive research along with analysis and specific advice from both experts. If you care about this important topic, take a few minutes and watch.

The video above contains a summary of our full CXOTALK conversation. You can watch the complete, 45-minute discussion and read the entire transcript at the CXOTALK site.

Please see the list of upcoming CXOTALK episodes. Thank you to my colleague, Lisbeth Shaw, for assistance with this post.

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