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Improving female employment can lead to economic gain, report shows

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Improving female participation in the workplace in OECD countries could boost total GDP by US$6 trillion. While closing the gender pay gap could increase total GDP by US$2 trillion, according to the Women in Work Index, published by PwC.

The index also reveals the top three OECD countries on the index are Iceland, Sweden and New Zealand. The five indicators that were taken into account are gender pay gap, female labour force participation, the gap between male and female labour force participation, female unemployment and female full-time employment.

In China, there is a significant gender pay gap of 25% according to the report’s estimates.

“This is partly explained by social and cultural attitudes regarding the role of women. The economic gains from closing the gender pay gap in China is substantial – generating a 34% increase in female earnings, equivalent to $2 trillion,” said Zhou Xing, PwC China diversity leader.

To effectively close the 25% gender pay gap, China’s challenge in improving gender equality in the workplace lies in reviewing labour policies and focusing on strengthening working women’s rights, from which policy recommendations can be made.

“China continues to have one of the highest female labour force participation rates (69%) and also female full-time employment rates (89%) in the world. In recent years, China’s remarkable achievement on female economic empowerment has been the rise of female entrepreneurship opportunities and the number of Chinese businesswomen topping the world’s self-made billionaires list,” said Raymund Chao, PwC Asia Pacific and Greater China chairman.

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