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Gender Parity At Work Needs To Be "All About The Money" - Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman

I recently joined the Council on Foreign Relations as a Term Member. Like most life-membership organizations that operate out of massive Park Avenue townhouses, the makeup of the membership is predominantly white and male. The Term Member program, I'm told is more diverse, which you can see at their events where a diversity of races and genders is represented in the room (although I have yet to meet a transgender Term Member).

Another positive development at the Council is the programming around the economic benefits of women's workforce participation. Today, I attended a panel on "The Status of Women in the Economy" and every argument for why we need more gender parity at work was presented. I'm not going to repeat all the stats in this blog. Rather, I'll point you to a report that Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Rachel Vogelstein wrote for the Council that is packed with great data points that I summarized in a previous post.

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For Employers

The Simple Reason Why Economists Say Hiring More Women Matters

Hint: it's all about growing the GDP

As the CoFounder and President of PowerToFly (a.k.a. someone who spends her days working with companies to close the gender gap) I get asked the same question constantly: "why is it important for companies to hire more women?" The answer is simple if you look at the economic data that shows what would happen if we had the same number of men and women working in the United States.

But before we go there (this is only a three paragraph post, so scroll down if you're impatient for the answer), let's look at how the U.S. fares when it comes to the gender gap in global labor force participation. Check out the highlighted chart below that gives higher numbers than the U.S. Department of Labor (about 63% to 79%). In comparison, the Department of Labor data cited on the International Labour Organization site shows "the U.S. labor force climbed during the 1970s and 1980s, reaching 60 percent in 2000. However, in 2010 this figure has declined to 46.7 percent and is not expected to increase by 2018 (DOL 2011)." Either way, the disparity between female and male participation is pretty grim.

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