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Gender inequality is costing the world $28 trillion

AP Photo/Vincent Yu
She works hard for the money.
By Corinne Purtill
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

A new report quantifies what enlightened employers have long known: gender parity in the workforce has enormous value.

A new study from the McKinsey Global Institute analyzed current and potential economic output in 95 countries around the world, and found that if women and men contributed equally to the workforce—same hours worked, equal pay, equitable representation across all fields—it would add $28 trillion to global GDP by the year 2025. That’s an increase of 26%, according to their findings.

For now, women make up half the world’s population, but just 37% of the global GDP.

To understand the reasons for this gap, authors looked at 15 factors that affect women’s presence in the workforce, from family planning availability to wage parity to legal and political representation. They found high or extremely high levels of gender inequality in at least half of those factors, in 40 of the 95 nations surveyed.

However, the study also revealed signs of progress in the global fight for equality. Fewer than one-fifth of surveyed countries, for example, still show drastic gender inequality in educational attainment.


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