More equal employment of men and women could add $12 trillion to the global economy
McKinsey’s Global Institute Report on the need for mothers to ‘return to work’ is titled: ‘The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth. The estimate of $12 trillion growth in globaL annual GDP is based on women’s workforce participation coming nearer to men’s. McKinsey’s report also considers a ‘full potential’ scenario in which women play an identical role in labor markets to that of men. In this estimate, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.
The McKinsey report states that advancing gender equality is a social and economic imperative and is also a pressing moral and social issue. In September 2015 they presented their “Editor’s Choice” of the most important articles that month. The editors state, ‘these articles offer insight into why women remain underrepresented at all levels of organizations and what companies can do about it’.
Why do women work fewer hours in the paid workforce than men?
In considering why women’s labor force participation and share of leadership roles is not equal to men’s the McKinsey articles focus on ‘equality’, ‘parity’, and ‘unawareness of inequity’. That is, they state that the difference between men and women in hours worked in the paid workforce is an issue of injustice, inequity, lack of fairness, and unawareness of the unfairness of men working more hours in paid work than women.
It is because they focus on
* the unfairness of women working fewer hours of paid work and receiving less pay, and
* the unfairness of women doing more hours of unpaid work
that they they stress the gender imbalance in paid work is a ‘pressing moral issue’.
Who are Mckinsey’s?
Wikipedia describes McKinsey’s as follows:
McKinsey & Company is an American multinational management consulting firm. It conducts qualitative and quantitative analysis in order to evaluate management decisions. Eighty percent of the world’s largest corporations are counseled by the firm, which is considered the most prestigious management consultancy. McKinsey publishes the McKinsey Quarterly, funds the McKinsey Global Institute research organization, publishes reports on management topics, and has authored many influential books on management. Its practices of confidentiality, influence on business practices, and corporate culture have experienced a polarizing reception.I
The McKinsey website states, ‘McKinsey is a global firm, comprising more than 9,000 consultants and nearly 2,000 research and information professionals.’
So McKinsey’s consult to eighty percent of the world’s largest corporations and employ more than 9,000 consultants and nearly 2,000 research and information professionals. Despite a research staff of nearly 2,000 they do not even mention the main reason, in fact probably the only reason, why women work fewer hours in paid work than men. The reason is mothering and the value women put on their role as mothers to their own children. As the Australian Grattan Institute’s Game-Changer’s Report stated, ‘the vast majority of women who do not do paid work, or who work part-time have children’. The major reason women’s participation in Paid work is less than men’s is because of women’s role as mothers–the role that 83 per cent of women in all OECD countries clearly state is their most valued role and the most important work they do. Women also say that their work as mothers is not valued by society. If proof were needed that women’s work as mothers is not valued by society, this McKinsey Report would be Exhibition 1.
The McKinsey researchers have, apparently unwittingly, sided with the views of one group of women–a minority group, the group Catherine Hakim calls ‘work-centred women’. Work-centred women comprise about 16 percent of all women. In doing so, the researchers have totally ignored the views, and even the existence, of the other 84 percent of women–the home-centred and adaptive groups. For researchers to align themselves with the cultural denigration of mothers and mothering is indeed ‘a pressing moral issue’. It is also a perplexing academic issue. How can serious and respected researchers be so blind to such obvious data? How can the protocols of research fail so calamitously? Presumably, without realising it, the researchers were victims of group-think. They did not realise they had become isolated from different and conflicting viewpoints.
Surprisingly, as they are experts in the fields of economics and production, the researchers totally overlooked the value of the work that mothers do, that is their work as mothers. The McKinsey researchers are unaware of the value mothers contribute to the economy through their work as mothers. For example, children arrive at school unequal. Some are already well ahead in learning and others well behind. Schools fail to overcome these inequalties. It is estimated that famiies are responsible for 8o percent of schooling achievement, and much of that ‘production’–production of human capital–is done by mothers. Children’s intelligence is strongly predicted by the number of words spoken to the child, in the home, up to the age of three. Mothers are largely responsible for those spoken words. The mother’s relationship with the child in the first three years, first five years is largely responsible for the child’s mental and emotional health and resilience, their social competence and ability to get along with others, their ethical and moral formation, their capacity for empathy, forgiveness, and conflict resolution.
What is the point of adding $12 trillion or $28 trillion to the global GDP if $20 trillion or $30 trillion is wasted on illnesses, addictions, violence, failure to learn, marriage break-ups, depression and anxiety illnesses, due to a lack of mothering?
No. An equal rate of paid employment by men and women is not a desirable goal because it forces mothers to abandon their most valuable and valued role, being mothers to their own children and making the contribution to their children’s development that no other person on the planet can equal. Nor is it a just and equitable and moral goal because it is based on a total denial of the wishes and insights of a large section of the population, mothers of young children.