Jacki Zehner On Women, Money, and Changing the World  » Goldman’s Research on Women

April 20, 2011

Goldman’s Research on Women

There are a lot of reasons not to like Goldman Sachs right now (including that they only have one board member that is a woman) , but let me give you a BIG positive. For years now Goldman has been producing cutting edge research on women and the economy. They have highlighted the growing economic power of women in terms of their collective purchasing power as well as how a country will be better off on multiple fronts by working to narrow the gender gap. Please find below a link to their reports and a synopsis. Thanks to Goldman for this compelling reserach.

-An alternative source of highly educated labour is already at Australia’s disposal and with the right set of policy options this pool of labour can be unlocked. Closing the gap between male and female employment rates would have important implications for the Australian economy. The authors estimate that closing this gap would boost the level of Australian GDP by 11%. Indeed, much progress in closing this gap has already occurred over the past 30 years with the rise in the female employment rate since 1974 boosting economic activity by 22%. In this respect, Australia is only 2/3rds of the way to unlocking the hidden value of the female labour pool.

-In the BRICs and N-11 countries, gender gaps in education, employment, health and political representation are narrowing. At the same time, laws and social norms that have discriminated against women are shifting in many countries.Together, these factors are giving women greater decision-making power. Improving gender equality coincides with the rapid growth of the “global middle class.” Sectors likely to benefit from women’s growing buying power include food, healthcare, education, childcare, apparel, consumer durables and financial services.

-The Chinese proverb that ‘women hold up half the sky’ has long been more aspiration than fact. In developed and developing countries alike, gender gaps persist in education, health, work, wages and political participation. Education is key to gender equality. Educating girls and women leads to higher wages; a greater likelihood of working outside the home; lower fertility; reduced maternal and child mortality; and better health and education. The impact is felt not only in women’s lifetimes, but also in the health, education and productivity of future generations.

-Don’t underestimate the power of the purse. Higher female participation in the workforce can help mitigate some of Japan’s demographic pressures and raise the long-term trend growth rate. Womenomics is likely to become a secular investment theme, and we identify potential beneficiaries.

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