GENDER EQUALITY ESSENTIAL TO INCREASING ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY

Susanne Moore

Can you imagine a world where each morning you wake up and face a day where you find that you are going out into a world that throws obstacles in your way at every turn and when you try to explain those obstacles, you just cannot?  You know they exist, you feel the results of them; you know that some people treat you differently.  Sometimes people talk as if you don’t exist, or worse make light of what you are saying whilst you are standing there as if you aren’t there at all.  You know something is happening that feels like exclusion but when someone asks, you are not able to explain what you mean.  You know you could have a better job, you could have more money and you could feel more in charge of your life but somehow these simple things elude you.  People around you tell you…

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Gender gap costs country $195b, says economist, via Sydney Morning Herald National 9 May 2013

By Adele Ferguson

Sydney Morning Herald National 9 May 2013

TIM TOOHEY, GOLDMAN SACHS

TIM TOOHEY, GOLDMAN SACHS

Australia is missing out on $195 billion or 13 per cent of gross domestic product by failing to close the gender gap, chief economist at Goldman Sachs Tim Toohey said.

Mr Toohey said living standards would rise, productivity would increase and pension liabilities would fall if certain policies were introduced to help close the gap.”

 

I am speaking at the EuropeanPWN Madrid 27 May, 2013

Susanne Moore

susanne-profile-photoI will be speaking about my life, my entrepreneurial journey and Gender Economics at the European Professional Women’s Network (EPWN) in Madrid Spain on Monday 27 May, 2013.

“EuropeanPWN – Spain brings together management-level women from a variety of businesses and professions from multinational companies to small businesses to entrepreneurs. Our objective is to provide a cross-generational networking, experience-sharing and leadership training platform to international professional women based in Spain”

 

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104 Million Women in 59 Global Economies Started Businesses

Womens' Business Social

Womens’ Business Social (Photo credit: JodiWomack)

via Mojalink

April 16, 2013 Gail Romero

“Although the impact of women’s engagement in the global economy cannot be underestimated it is difficult to ensure success without professional business training and preparation. The ability to start a new business is entirely different then actually growing a business to successfully empower a woman economically, grow jobs and make serious gender and economic changes in a community, region or nation.

In 2010, 104 million women in 59 of the world’s economies started small and medium sized enterprises, creating millions of new jobs and changing dramatically their domestic, as well as the world’s, GDP. When women start businesses, the impacts can be monumental if they are successful. They create income for themselves resulting in economic empowerment. Multiple studies and research also indicate an additional side benefit – dramatic reductions in gender based violence (GBV). In a 2008 UNDP study the actual GDP income can be impacted by as much as 7.5% and household income reduced by 4.5% based on GBV. Currently the statistics implicate that 1 in 3 women suffer from gender based violence in the world today. Stopping gender based violence can actually save lives and increase economic viability in entire nations – with women and children benefiting as well.

Another important aspect of economic empowerment is when women are seen as role models by their families and communities. If successful, the family can appreciate social and economic stability and household income will rise. Numerous studies indicate that when women earn income they are more prone to invest in their families, ensure that their children have access to education, better food and healthcare. In turn, those same studies indicate that in many countries men will use similar income advances for personal purchases such as alcohol, tobacco, tea houses, sexual encounters and gambling.

Despite these proven truths, barriers to women’s economic empowerment still exist. A serious lack of easily accessible and robust programs exist to provide resources to the fastest growing source of economic growth in the world – women. This goes well beyond the micro-credit loans initially started by such illustrious world leaders as Nobel Laureate Mohammed Yunis from the Grameen Bank and Sir Fazil Abed from BRAC International. Micro-Credit loans for the poorest of the poor, those who live on less than $1.25 a day provide important initial beginnings to start businesses. These are critically important however may not necessarily grow jobs in a magnitude necessary to fuel economic growth, social, and political stability. A much more dynamic level is necessary to steady communities and nations during economic failings.

In all of these programs, there are three goals:
• Make sure that countries around the world appreciate the economic contribution and potential that women present to their economies,
• Cooperate with reducing the barriers that still exist to women’s full and unencumbered participation in the workforce,
• Develop technology platforms for business resources, education and mentoring that can accommodate the economies of scale necessary to ensure more successful growth of women owned businesses and jobs growth.

At the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation – Women and the Economy Summit this past September, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined significant benefits that the world expects from closing this gender work gap. Part of her remarks: are of particular importance as it relates to the robust programs that MUST be employed.
“But that great, global dream cannot be realized by tinkering around the edges of reform. Nor, candidly, can it be secured though any singular commitment on the part of us here. It requires, rather, a fundamental transformation, a paradigm shift in how governments make and enforce laws and policies, how businesses invest and operate, how people make choices in the marketplace.
The transformational nature of this undertaking that lies ahead is, in my view, not unlike other momentous shifts in the economic history of our world. In the 19th century, many nations began moving from an agricultural to an industrial economy. Then the inventions and mass productions of that era gave rise in the 20th century to the information age and the knowledge economy, with an unprecedented rise in innovation and prosperity.”
We are now in the 21st century – a century where women are in the news as leaders, authors, presidents and CEOs. We are in a new century of leadership, collaboration and expectation. We have a constant stream of articles and blogs about networking, collaborating, having it all and leaning in. It is a century where technology and social media can play an integral role in shaping ideas, sharing, educating and mentoring.

We are now in a century where we must no longer “tinker around the edges” but take advantage of our enormous technology platforms and social media to break the gender barrier for work and jobs. We can use our technology for more than posting a picture or following a celebrity – we can, we must, and we will use technology to help mentor women in business globally and grow jobs – for women.”

see the original article and comments here

Gail Romero is CEO and Founder Collective Changes – Senior Counsel MacKenzie Romero Consulting

“Cost of gender gap put at $195b”,but still too much focus on flexibility and not enough on economic and political policy change

Cost of gender gap put at $195b

March 9, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media

Another unfavourable and I think unhelpful comment in this article that focuses only on the key issues of childcare and workplace flexibility.  It is limiting and makes women sound like special cases instead of addressing the real issues of centuries of legislation that created an unequal gendered workplace.

In the article, this quote “Diversity strategy and compliance expert Prue Gilbert from Prue Gilbert Consulting said the key focuses for government should be childcare and workplace flexibility.”  is one that I think is unfavourable and unhelpful.  More than just focusing on these issues we need [Australian] government policy changes that assist and encourage ‘families’ and single parents to return to the workforce without losing key financial incentives.  Many parents suffer from increasing tax burdens on second income’s and reductions in child care subsidies making a return to work less attractive financially for those wishing to return to work.  Many older female workers (over 40) are finding it difficult to stay in, or return to the workforce because of the stigma’s of agism and the traditional feminized role that some of these women may have held in previous positions that makes the cost of this experience harder to complete with less expensive younger workers.  So again, lets not just put it all down to flexibility and childcare, this is a complex issue that has taken many centuries of legislation to embed itself and needs to now be dismantled bit by bit.  I am not saying that flexibility and childcare arn’t important, they are, but they are only part of the issue.

However the article does point out some salient facts that if we do manage to keep more women in the workforce there are significant implications for the economy.

“Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that female participation in the workforce fell in the 15-to-19, 20-to-24 and 45-to-54 age brackets over the past three years.

Figures compiled exclusively for The Saturday Age by Goldman Sachs reveal that in dollar terms this equates to an estimated $33 billion in GDP foregone between now and 2016. ”Lifting female participation is one way to do this and, given the politics around immigration, it is the most politically expedient path. It also utilises a highly educated resource that Australia has already invested in,” he said.

Shadow minister for finance Andrew Robb said the analysis, while sobering, showed there was enormous potential to materially boost female participation with the right policies.”

http://www.theage.com.au/national/cost-of-gender-gap-put-at-195b-20130308-2fr6n.html

AWRA answers call for gender diversity

Original article published in Gas Today Thursday, 2 August 2012

AWRA answers call for gender diversity

Thu, 2 August 2012

The Australian Women in Resource Alliance helping the growing gas sector meet its skilled workforce needs through building greater gender diversity.

Australian Women in Resource Alliance (AWRA) Project Officer Marie Henry says that developing a greater level of workforce diversity has become a priority for employers embracing the great opportunities and challenges within Australia’s evolving energy sector.

“The country’s top six gas projects alone have a capital expenditure of more than $154 billion and the industry is reporting the shortage of professional and skilled workers could double by the end of this year,” she says.

To meet this challenge, resource industry employer group AMMA is facilitating AWRA. This part federally-funded initiative has a very clear objective: to boost the resources industry’s skilled workforce through the increased attraction and retention of women.

Ms Henry says “While women represent 45 per cent of the total Australian workforce, they make up just 16 per cent of the resource industry. This unfavourable figure has seen a number of industry stakeholders and academics unite under the AWRA banner to increase the representation of women in resources to 25 per cent by 2020.

“It may seem an ambitious goal, but we believe this can be achieved through the widespread implementation of workplace policies and procedures that both promote the employment opportunities abundant in the industry and ensure our workplaces cater to a gender diverse workforce.”

AWRA says that its Way Forward Paper is the first step in creating awareness of the economic benefits of gender diverse workforces.

The paper outlines how AWRA can facilitate the appropriate cultural change and promote best practice workplace policies to increase the participation of women in gas, mining and oil roles.

In coming months AWRA will also release its various Way Forward guides, which address a range of workplace practices and specific policies that will help our industry achieve this goal.

“Through support of the AWRA initiative, we can better promote the gas sector as an attractive career pathway for women and start making some real progress towards meeting our workforce needs,” says Ms Henry.

REFERENCES

Gas Today – http://gastoday.com.au/news/awra_answers_call_for_gender_diversity/076692/

Australian Minerals and Mining Association website