“Contemporary Global Perspectives on Gender Economics”, academic text by Susanne Moore (2015)

IGI book linkThis text, published in July 2015 includes chapters from an international academic collection of academics and practitioners in the fields of economics, sociology and diversity.

About the Book

The rise of women in the workforce has led to many campaigns for wage equality and the impartial treatment of both sexes as they pursue careers previously designated as either a man’s or a woman’s job. The impact of these campaigns has been felt, but a sense of gender stereotyping still affects not only the social and cultural well-being of the modern organization, but the drive for innovation and economic success as well.

Contemporary Global Perspectives on Gender Economics challenges current economic theory, targeting the way gender is often used for economic gain or increased market share. Experts realize that company growth can no longer be achieved by taking a conventional approach, but few follow through with introducing new frameworks that change the way diversity is treated. By acknowledging that issues like childcare and the wage gap are not only a woman’s challenge, this book speaks to legislators and policymakers, economic developers, corporate practitioners, educational faculties, and students of all disciplines who are looking to change the way gender is viewed in the workforce.

This essential reference source features chapters that combine the concepts of gender theory, sociology, and economics and cover topics including economic equality, gender bias, the history of gender economics, industrial creativity, and the impact of social connectedness on life satisfaction.

ORDER THE BOOK OR CHAPTERS ONLINE HERE

How women contribute $3 trillion to global healthcare

June 8, 2015 8.25pm AEST
Women make up 90% of the world’s nurses. EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo
The traditional focus on women’s health tends to emphasise only their healthcare needs. But women are important providers – as much as they are recipients – of healthcare in their homes and wider communities. This involvement is undervalued economically, politically and culturally. Data analysed from 32 countries, constituting about 52% of the world’s population, and reported in the Lancet Commission on Women and Health, shows that women contribute around US$3 trillion in healthcare annually. The report is the culmination of three years work and represents an important milestone in the consideration of some of the key issues affecting women and their role in society.

Huge economic contribution

Women play a vital role in the global healthcare workforce as nurses, midwives, community health workers and doctors. In some countries 90% of nurses are women. Although they are still less likely than men to reach senior positions in healthcare professions, in some countries (such as the UK), women now predominate in terms of medical school intake. This does not, however, translate to equality in terms of those who go on to practice medicine once trained, nor equality in pay. The report also documents the vital role that women play in healthcare that goes unpaid. This includes contributions made by women and children to giving care in the home. An ageing population, living longer but experiencing chronic diseases, means a larger demand for care, much of which is traditionally provided by women and children. Such informal care responsibilities, while enhancing the care provided to individuals and making significant savings in the formal care sector, can impact caregivers in a number of ways. As well as affecting their own health, it can also hinder their ability to take up educational, employment and social opportunities. Valuing the input of unpaid labour is certainly not straightforward but the commission undertook detailed research to “value the invaluable”. They estimate that women’s unpaid contributions equate to 2.35% of global GDP, with a large variation around this depending on assumptions made about wage rates and other factors.

Unpaid caregivers are predominantly women. shutterstock.com

This worldwide picture is reflected in the UK, where the informal care sector is dominated by women, with similar effects on their health and employment options. Just in terms of the ageing population, the demand for unpaid care is substantial. In England, about 1.4m older people with disabilities living in their own homes currently receive unpaid care. Plus there are predictions that the demand for this care will rise sharply and a growing “care gap” will emerge in terms of the availability of unpaid carers. As welfare cuts in both health and social care sectors in many European countries are implemented over the next few years, it is likely that these demands will only intensify.

Women’s health

The report also analyses the health status of women worldwide over the course of their life times. It focuses on the shifting burden of disease and illustrates that while there have been important advances in priority areas such as maternal and reproductive health, there is still some way to go. Deaths from communicable diseases and maternal, perinatal and nutritional disorders decreased by about 20% between 2000 and 2013. But there are still big variations across the world and in the ten most fragile countries (mainly in sub-Saharan Africa) deaths from these largely preventable conditions account for two-thirds of the 3m neonatal deaths and 60% of all maternal deaths. The commission also broadens the focus beyond traditional concerns that relate to reproductive health, to consider the entire life-course of women. It concludes that more attention to chronic disease and non-communicable disease is required as conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer, diabetes and mental health disorders are now the leading causes of death and disability for women in almost all countries. The position of women in society has a major impact on their access to healthcare and chances of avoiding or managing these health conditions.

Why women?

It is worth noting that choosing to focus specifically on gender to categorise health status is not universally accepted as the best analytical approach. Particularly by those who see the complex interplay between a range of determining factors (such as socioeconomic status, race, geography) as being far more important for an in-depth understanding of health and health inequalities. The authors recognise this issue in part by referring to policies that have improved overall healthcare. But they contend that the shifting demographic, social, political and environmental arena presents specific and complex challenges to women which require targeted rather than general measures. For instance, by ensuring that the political and cultural barriers to accessing healthcare by women are recognised.

Empowering women through education has important health benefits. EPA/Jalil Rezayee

The commission also makes suggestions for acting on their findings. Their solutions look at the role of women more broadly in society. They also suggest specific policies to address education, access to healthcare, workforce and remuneration policies, as well as changes to the way in which statistics and research studies account for women. It seems very appropriate that rather than focusing only on things that can be done for women, there is a need to empower them. In recognition of the huge amount women contribute towards care giving, it makes sense that women who themselves are healthy contribute to a “virtuous circle” of health. The authors make the case that those who experience gender equality and are valued in their societies, are best placed to make a substantial contribution to their own health and well-being, as well as that of their communities. As Kofi Annan once said:

When women thrive, all of society benefits, and succeeding generations are given a better start in life. See the original article in the Conversation

Summer School on Gender Economics and Society – 6-10 July 2015 – ITCILO Campus, Turin, Italy

Summer School on Gender Economics and Society – 6-10 July 2015 – ITCILO Campus, Turin, Italy

RESOURCES; ITC, International Training Centre

The importance of gender strategies to promote growth and development and to improve welfare systems is widely recognized. This is reflected in the increasing commitment of both international organization and national governments towards programmes aimed at strengthening women’s participation in economic life, in politics and in institutions, as well as in the progress of theoretical analysis and development of indicators to monitor and evaluate policies and programmes from a gender perspective. The course will have an interdisciplinary approach, focussing on the gender dimensions of the economy, and their different impacts on society.

Summer School on Gender Economics and Society - 6-10 July 2015  -  ITCILO Campus, Turin, Italy

Programme Information

Target: Master and Phd Students in Economics, Sociology, Politics, Demography, Management Engineering and related disciplines, from both European and non-European Countries.

Maximum number of students: 40

10-15% of places could be allocated to non-students involved in research work and mentoring.

Course length: One week.

Course structure: The course will be organized in: morning lectures; afternoon sessions (devoted to seminars, case studies, best practices and experiences) and late afternoon poster sessions. A more detailed programme will be available at the beginning of May.

Fees: Participants are required to partially contribute to the course costs with a fee of 300 € for students and of 400 € for non-students. The fee will cover course material and lunches at the Campus of the International Training Centre of the ILO, Turin. Participants will have to cover their costs for travel and accommodation in student residences (at reasonable rates; at least 20 free accommodations will be provided by the University and Polytechnic of Turin).

Certificate of attendance: provided at the end of the course.

Applications: will open on April 20, 2015 and close on May 22, 2015.

The application form can be accessed on-line at:

http://app-gender.itcilo.org/index.php?mod=activity_iscription&act=detail&id=184

Accepted participants will be notified by the end of May.

SEE MORE HERE http://www.itcilo.org/en/the-centre/areas-of-expertise/rights-at-work/gender-equality-and-diversity/news/summer-school-on-gender-economics-and-society

Enough is Enough – What’s happening to our men?

images-2

“The number of working women in the United States is about to surpass the number of working men. Three-quarters of the people who have lost jobs in the current recession are men” (Harvard Business Review September 2013),  yet women still earn on average 77 cents in the dollar to that of a man. On the surface these statistics seem like a great thing, and to a degree they are, but if women remain the bulk of the underpaid workforce and men remain the bulk of those in power, there will be even greater issues for women in the future.  As the article points out, many companies are still failing to provide the right products and services to women and these companies are the one’s who will suffer in the future because of women’s increased financial ability to consume and influence.

There are other issues for men when their working lives are impacted by long-term unemployment and these can include a loss of self-esteem, a loss of financial stability and general emotional insecurity.  This can be difficult for those men who were previously the breadwinner and may feel a loss of identity. The change in status for them in their home life and the way they think that they are perceived by the community can lead to depression and illness which will ultimately impact the economy.

There may be more severe impacts on society, particularity if some men start to see themselves negatively and begin to relate to women in a different way because of these feelings of inadequacy and fear.  Books like “Guys and Guns Amok, Domestic Terrorism and School Shootings from the Oklahoma City Bombing to the Virginia Tech Massacre” Kellner (2008), cite a ‘crisis of masculinity’ because men’s previously secure identities are now in question and a change in breadwinner status could lead to an increase in violence because some men can not cope with the change in their status.  Kellner says;

Quote

Direct extract

 

One can only speculate how a major change in the status quo of gender balance of the workforce may impact society, but it is something that we need to understand quickly.  Kellner also believes that ‘white men fear losing their status as the dominant group’ (pg.; 93) because of globalisation and multi culturalism.  This combined with the increased agitation by women for their own equality, may push some men to violence when fear and insecurity turn to anger.  Kellner goes on to talk about ‘anti statism’, ‘anti politics’ and the increase in ‘militaria’, but we won’t continue on that vein in this discussion – suffice to say that there is fear out there in this current globalised economic climate where, particularly in America, women are now overtaking men in employment.

Added to the economic loss of employment for male Americans is the fact that the numbers of those incarcerated in the United States continues to rise, with the prison population rising from 744 thousand to 2.2 million between 1985 and 2002 (Giroux) alone.  In the United States a prison officer now earns more than a school teacher, and there are alarming numbers of young coloured American men permanently incarcerated.  What sort of message are we sending to young men?

Enough is enough! How do we fix this? Its up to each and everyone of us to Question, Question and Question some more and then demand transparency in our organisations to compare wages. We need to question government policy and create discourse that help to positively influence the way society thinks about work and gendered roles.

REFERENCES

Kellner, D (2008).  “Guys and guns amok: domestic terrorism and school shootings from the Oklahoma City bombing to the Virginia Tech massacre”,Paradigm Publishers, 01/01/2008

Giroux, H: http://www.henryagiroux.com/online_articles/class_casualties.htm

FURTHER READING

This great article in the Harvard Business Review spells it out http://hbr.org/2009/09/the-female-economy/es?goback=.gde_2306571_member_267262109

ABOUT THE AUTHOR SUSANNE MOORE

Susanne is the Founder and Chair of The Centre for Gender Economics and Innovation™ and is credited with developing the emerging fields of Gender Economics and Diversity Economics. Now a Sociologist after a career in ICT and business, she has a focus on Gender, innovation and performance at an organisational level through her consulting. She brings a practical business experience coupled with academic rigour to her consulting practice around Gender Economics. An advocate for the advancement of women in leadership, she developed the Diversity Program Review Framework™ (DPRF™) in 2012, a diagnostic which measures both the program’s standalone effectiveness from a program management perspective, and assesses the viability of program’s data for further research in Diversity Economics and as input into organisational profitability and sustainability in creating the next generation of Business Transformation.

Susanne is passionately interested in equality, equity, truth and justice and how these attributes can improve business performance through transforming business ideologies and shifting traditional business paradigms.

She is an articulate, professional, entertaining and thought provoking speaker follow her @susannemoore or @gendereconomics

About Gender Economics – changing the discourse

Gender Economics is the fusion of sociology, economics and gender studies and looks at shifting current perceptions of gender and how we use these perceptions in framing economic policy. Very often, it is an intersection of gender, values and beliefs that create policy decisions, many of which are based on outdated models. It is important that we start to understand how economic research is conducted, how the statistical analysis is created and how this flows into policy decisions and ultimately the business bottom line.

“Gender Economics is about “dissecting and creating a new discourse around economic theory that fuses Economics, Gender and Sociology”[1]

Think of a persistent organisational challenge and start to unpick it by looking at the assumptions and environments that created the challenge in the first place, chances are the core of the challenge has been created by imposing outdated business models, values and measurements that no longer work. Then reframe the challenge by applying new thought paradigms and you may very likely uncover innovations that lead to increases in performance. Traditional gender stereotypes have shifted and organisations can no longer assume that they are catering to the working heterosexual white male with a wife at home because the ground rules have changed. According to Wikipedia[2], the US LGBT consumer market in 2013 ‘is estimated to have an overall buying power of more than $835 billion’. This demonstrates that marketing to this group requires specialisation to reap the benefits of that economy.

Much of our business culture is centuries old from the structures to the drivers, and our organisations must change to keep pace with a global economy where diversity, and cross-cultural management enforce new skills around managing complexity.

In 2009, the Harvard Business Review[3] made the bold statement that “Women now drive the world economy”, and estimated that globally women will control about $20 trillion in annual consumer spending over the next five years. Look at any social networking site or news stream and you will see articles that recognise that the financial empowerment of women is a game changer. Businesses must now attract talent from a wider pool, some from necessity, but many recognising that by developing a “Women’s Employer of Choice” reputation, it will ultimately help them increase their competitiveness in the market. However, it is not as simple as painting women’s issues with a ‘pink’ brush, organisations must understand the shifts that have taken place in gendered stereotypes and how this sociological change now affects business structures and changes in economic policy formation.

Gender Economics looks at how gender influences economic decisions and how those decisions impact gender. The way we target gender for economic gain or increased market share can either benefit or degrade the rights of marginalised groups, often leading to policy formation with an underlying gender bias overlaid with a view on how economics, policy and gender interact with society.

This emerging field challenges current economic theory, broadening the conversation to encompasses sociological complexities currently at play in society – ie: we look to deconstruct economic policy, reconstructing it in a manner that allows us to develop rational and objective tracks for further research.  Issues of female inequality have persisted for decades if not centuries and instead of talking about the issues, Gender Economics explores underneath the issue and provides new discourses that have the power to change the way we work and live. A simple example of Gender Economics and a persistent issue is the gender wage gap in Australia that continues regardless of the amount of effort and talk that goes on. In 1907 Australia passed a little known policy known as the “Harvester Judgement ”[4] that saw the start of the pay gap for women in preference to that of the ‘working family man’. This policy was introduced primarily to give organisations a competitive advantage using cheaper female labour. This precedent continues today with feminised work segments in organisations exploiting cheaper labour, focusing on scarcity instead of the abundance of leveraging that diversity through innovation[5].

Much of our business culture is centred on the concept of scarcity, of not enough to go around but where did this thinking process start? Staying competitive by having unique products that differentiate you from the rest of the marketplace can lead to a culture of aggressive competition and cost cutting. With more organisations becoming lean and agile what if the model moved from one of scarcity to one of ‘abundance’. What are the attributes of abundance, is it just a mind shift or can we create business models that promote it? Numerous studies of company board makeup show that the accepted female attributes of sharing and collaboration lead to a richer business environment and higher profits.

Gender Economics is the new Business Transformation, the next major resource, and will open a channel to increased innovation and creativity through Diversity of thought and the ability to maximise the management of our increasingly complex environments. Organisations that understand that gender balance is the new competitive edge will be better equipped in a global marketplace where women take their place at the decision table. An increased awareness of women’s economic impact at a country level and greater gender diversity at a company level means women are learning to invest in themselves and their financial future.

There are many persistent gender issue’s that just don’t seem to go away and this is particularly true in areas of gender inequality, and I feel that this is because we so often talk ‘around’ the issues instead of deconstructing them and understanding why they are issues in the first place. The next steps are to start unpicking current thinking on economics and business, start reframing our thinking, putting age-old issues into new contexts – that is Gender Economics at its core!

ABOUT SUSANNE MOORE

Susanne is the Founder and Chair of The Centre for Gender Economics and Innovation and is credited with developing the emerging fields of Gender Economics and Diversity Economics. Now a Sociologist after a career in ICT and business, she has a focus on Gender, innovation and performance at an organisational level and as well as consulting, she is conducting a research project on ‘The Profit Impact of Organisational Gender Diversity programs”. She brings a practical business experience coupled with academic rigour to her consulting practice around Gender Economics. An advocate for the advancement of women in leadership, she developed the Diversity Program Review Framework (DPRF) in 2012, a diagnostic which measures both the program’s standalone effectiveness from a program management perspective, and assesses the viability of program’s data for further research in Diversity Economics and as input into organisational profitability and sustainability creating the next generation of Business Transformation.

Susanne is passionately interested in equality, equity, truth and justice and how these attributes can improve business performance through transforming business ideologies and shifting traditional business paradigms.

She is an articulate, professional, entertaining and thought provoking speaker follow her @susannemoore or @gendereconomics

This article, written by Susanne Moore was previously published by Global Merces Group Oct 2013.

REFERENCES

[1] Quote by Susanne Moore 2013

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_marketing#cite_note-1

[3] http://hbr.org/2009/09/the-female-economy/es

[4] MacIntyre, Stuart (1985) ‘A fair wage’ in Winners and Losers: The Pursuit of Social Justice in Australian History, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, Ch.3, pp. 51-58 (excerpt)

[5] Diversity Program Review Framework™, Susanne Moore (2012)

How can we nurture female tech entrepreneurs? By Ryan Holmes Mar 6 2015

By Ryan Holmes via ‘Agenda’ World Economic Forum

Mar 6 2015 

“That women are underrepresented in the startup community is hardly news. Just 1.3% of percent of founders at privately held, venture-backed companies are women, according to a 2012 Dow Jones study titled Women at the Wheel. After all these years, the face of tech startups is still a young guy with fashionable stubble and thick black glasses.

I’d like to think my company is anything but a stodgy old boys club. As a social media company, the heart of our business is building relationships. Our employees are by and large young, progressive and open-minded.

But the numbers don’t lie. Recently, out of every 10 people interviewed for a tech position at our office, roughly nine were men. At that time, we had approximately 50 engineers and developers on our team, and fewer than 20 of them were women. (By contrast, the gender breakdown is closer to 50-50 for other departments.) Figuring out why this is and what can be done about it, however, isn’t easy.

You can point to the scarcity of female role models in tech, though thankfully high-profile leaders like Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg are slowly changing that. Or you can blame it on the obstacles to building a culture of entrepreneurialism among women: According to a recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, more than half of women doubt their abilities to start a business, while men report having a much more robust professional network for advice and inspiration. This is despite the fact that “at all levels, women are rated higher in 12 of the 16 competencies that go into outstanding leadership,” according to a 2012 report by Harvard Business Review.

But it’s hard to get around a simple reality: Computer science, the backbone of any tech startup, is still a male-dominated field. (Of course, you don’t have to be brilliant programmer to launch a startup … but it definitely helps to understand code on some level.) Women comprise fewer than 30 percent of U.S. computer science and engineering programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, according to the National Science Foundation. Coding, in particular has traditionally been seen as a guys’ thing. But does it have to be?

Girl Dev is a pilot program started from our offices at HootSuite. Once every few weeks for several hours, groups of women interested in improving their computer coding skills meet in our building. The focus is on teaching not just the basics of HTML and CSS but more advanced topics including Javascript, PHP and app development in a supportive and non-competitive environment.”

Read more

 

REFERENCE – Agenda, World Economic Forum https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/03/how-can-we-nurture-female-tech-entrepreneurs/

Call for Papers, GGEC15 Academic Symposium Sydney

Photo credit Freedigitalphotos.net

Photo credit Freedigitalphotos.net

About the Symposium

The next Australian International Gender Economics Global Conference, the GGEC15 will be held at the University of NSW, city campus on 10 June of 2015.  This will be an academic session with the major conference taking place every second year. The theme for the 2015 Conference is “Gender Economics, Innovation, Performance”.  Find out more here http://centreforgendereconomics.org/ggec15-sydney/

%d bloggers like this: