By Joyce Gannon
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new study from global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. reveals closing the gender gap could pump trillions (yes with a T!) into the U.S. economy. In order to close that gap and focus on empowering women, the study suggests tackling several key issues which prevent women from achieving their full potential. The study specifically points out the low rates of women in top management jobs and a dearth of females in political positions.
Closing the gender gap in the workforce could pump $2.1 trillion annually into the U.S. economy by 2025, global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. projected in a report released last week.
To achieve that ambitious target, McKinsey said, more women would need to join the workforce and to fill more full-time positions. They also need to be employed in industries such as manufacturing and technology that produce more than the education and health care sectors where women now have more representation.
In the Pittsburgh metro area, achieving parity between men and women at work could drive $13 billion more annually in gross domestic product, while the state of Pennsylvania could realize $70 billion a year more, McKinsey said.
GDP is the monetary value of all goods and services produced annually or quarterly and is a primary indicator used to measure a country’s or region’s economic performance. The projections are “best in class scenarios” based on matching the best improvement rates in all states over the past decade.
While the study calls for increasing the number of women in the workforce, they would not replace male workers.
McKinsey’s GDP numbers could be difficult to achieve, but the potential economic impacts for advancing women “could be very, very large,” said Sevin Yeltekin, associate professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. “You can squabble about the exact figures. But we know the results are going to be positive, even if they are not as large as in the McKinsey study.”