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The 10 Metrics of ‘Womenomics’

From "Gender Lens Investing" by Jackie VanderBrug and Joseph Quinlan

In 'The Inequality Issue' (Fall 2017), Jackie Vanderbrug, co-chair of Bank of America's Impact Investing Council, describes how important gender-lens investing is to a thriving global economy and defines the term 'womenomics'.

'Womenomics’ offers a lens on how the growing economic power of women is fundamentally changing our world. The following are 10 metrics of womenomics, ranging from the growing number of female entrepreneurs to women’s growing purchasing power. Without this lens, people — and investors in particular — can easily miss how quickly things are changing.

  1. Labour force participation. The greater the number of women participating in the formal economy with paid jobs, the greater the opportunity and upside for economic growth.

  2. Rising education levels. In many parts of the world, girls now outperform boys academically and more women are getting college degrees than men.

  3. Purchasing power. The global purchasing power of women was estimated at $15 trillion in 2015.

  4. Gender pay gap. Women working full-time in the U.S. earned 79 per cent of what men earned in 2014.

  5. Unpaid work. Women still do far more unpaid work than men. The OECD defines unpaid work as “an important aspect of economic activity” that is indispensable to the well-being of individuals.

  6. Women entrepreneurs. Even with challenges in accessing capital, 200 million women started or ran businesses in 2014.

  7. Corporate gender diversity. Evidence continues to mount that the spectrum of women’s representation in a firm and a strong pipeline of women helps drive superior results.

  8. Paid family leave. With rapidly-aging populations worldwide, it is more imperative than ever to keep working moms and dads formally engaged in the economy.

  9. Women in politics. The more women participate in the political decision-making process, the more diverse the debate.

  10. Women and technology. This sector presents game-changing potential for both women and the global economy.


Read the whole article in The Inequality Issue (Fall 2017) of Rotman Management. The magazine offers the latest thinking on leadership and innovation and is published three times a year. 

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