“The End of the Mancession?” is the title of this article in TIME but the story is really about the growing economic power of women. It is not surprising that men outpaced women in recent employment gains – “Men gained over a million jobs last year, while women gained only 149,000.”( link to article ) Men lost the majority of jobs over the past couple of years due to the hard hit areas of construction and finance. Those areas have recovered and many men are back at work, awesome. Though women stand to gain jobs over the longer term because of the sectors of the economy that are growing, my worry is that these areas tend to be lower paying industries like health-care. Overall the future employment outlook for the US remains a big concern.
We need to be a country that continues to emphasize innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. In these areas women are underrepresented for a variety of reasons and in addition face barriers to accessing capital. This concern fuels my passion for “Gender Lens Investing” – the proactive stance towards using one’s investment dollars to support and empower women.
The good news, as the article points out is that “BCG estimates that women will earn the majority—some $5 trillion-—of the world’s new income over the next five years. No wonder banks like Goldman Sachs are starting to rate industries according to how much of the female dollar they are poised to capture. Merrill Lynch recently went “long on women” and companies targeting female consumers, noting that it expected women to “increasingly become the -higher-income earners of U.S. households.” In my view, that’s the most important reason that you’ll ultimately see female employment rebound. The growth industries are those that cater to women. And you can bet that the people who run those companies are going to want to hire plenty of female employees who understand those markets, and those consumers.”