How Adding More Women to the Workforce Can Grow the Economy

Beyond many of the obvious reasons to hire more women (we're better at managing risk, we're more productive and we offer diverse ideas, to name a few), a new study from Catalyst shows that increasing the number of women at work can grow economies. In some cases, it can double a country's gross domestic product (GDP, or the total value of goods and services produced in a country in one year). 

What's almost more startling is a separate number included in the report. According to Catalyst, women conduct 75% of all unpaid work, which includes child care, elder care and other domestic responsibilities. Holy shit! We're worth a hell of a lot of money. In fact, if unpaid work were counted in GDP, estimates show it could add about $10 trillion to annual output.

There are a few things we can do to create economies that are more fair to women, according to Catalyst. First, we need to enact better parental leave policies, including paid time off for ALL new parents. Second, we need to uphold (or in many cases, enact) laws that close the wage gap. Finally, we need to encourage men to uphold these values. 

- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #18

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