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McKinsey Report: Empowering Women Could Boost the GDP by $28 Trillion

McKinsey Report: Empowering Women Could Boost the GDP by $28 Trillion

By Jillian Kramer

You've heard it plenty of times by now: In the U.S., full-time working women earn just 78 percent of what their male peers make, according to the White House — and to catch up, women would have to work just shy of another three months to make what men did the previous year. With those sorry statistics, it's even sadder to think the U.S. ranks 65th in the world on gender pay gaps, according to the World Economic Forum.

But it's not just women who are missing out. A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that by not closing the gender pay gap, there are serious, worldwide economic consequences. In fact, according to the report, advancing women's equality could add $12 trillion to global growth in just 10 years. 

For its report, the McKinsey Global Institute analyzed data from 95 countries that are home to 93 percent of the world's women and generate 97 percent of the global gross domestic product. It found that if those countries were to merely match the improvement rate of the fastest-improving country in their regions, women would add as much as $12 trillion to the annual global gross domestic product by 2025. Even better, if those countries allowed women to play identical roles to men in labor markets, those women could add as much as $28 trillion to the global annual GDP by the same year.

"We acknowledge that gender parity in economic outcomes … is not necessarily a normative ideal, as it involves human beings making personal choices about the lives they lead," researchers state in the report. "We also recognize that men can be disadvantaged relative to women in some instances. However, we believe that the world, including the private sector, would benefit by focusing on the large economic opportunity of improving parity between men and women."

The report uncovered some other alarming facts, including:

  • About 2.5 billion women globally are affected by inadequate legal protection.
  • Globally, women spend three times as many hours in unpaid domestic care work as men. They also do 75 percent of unpaid work around the world — and in the U.S. alone, that adds up to $1.5 trillion in value each year.
  • Only 36 women are likely to hold leadership roles for every 100 men worldwide

A world in which women earn equal pay for equal work certainly looks prosperous. What do you think of the report's findings?

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Photo Credit: Getty Images