The economic recovery will depend on women and what businesses can do to attract and retain them. Grant Thornton Chief Economist Diane Swonk spoke with Uche Enemchukwu, a benefits attorney and partner at Nelu Diversified Consulting Solutions who works with a broad range of employers on benefits plan and diversity issues, about employment inequalities by gender, including the continuing gender pay gap.
Median women’s earnings are only about 80% of men’s; over a lifetime, this adds up to $900,000 in lost earnings. During the pandemic, school and daycare closings added to the traditional childcare penalty that women suffer. Even high-wage women suffer a “mommy penalty” when having to choose between competing professional and family demands. The economic impacts have been especially severe for women of color.
Why should your organization care? Swonk and Enemchukwu discussed several reasons. Businesses are competing for a shrinking labor pool. Birthrates and immigration are down, and baby boomers are retiring. Employers can’t afford to miss out on half the labor market. And diversity, equity and inclusion issues aren’t just PR anymore. How you treat women, both as employees and as customers, is increasingly transparent to the marketplace. A good reputation means better employees, marketing, social capital and bottom lines.
Listen to the full conversation or the individual segments to learn more about what makes a more equitable company a more profitable company.