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Fortune | These 5 gender equity events impacted the U.S. economy in 2022. Addressing them in 2023 could unlock a $3.1 trillion opportunity

Fortune Magazine

Jan 4, 2023

When we talk about gender equity, we often forget to talk about the impact it has on the economy. Yes, the pandemic stung women the hardest, for which we (carelessly and relentlessly) blame childcare or the paucity of paid maternity leave.

However, we often forget to mention how the pandemic has obliterated decades of progress toward gender equity, thus draining $3.1 trillion from our economy.

We are still crawling back from this 12-figure blow. So before we rush into another year, let’s reflect on five major gender equity events from 2022 and see how each of them cut straight through the economy.

Women’s labor force participation has been stunted

Women’s labor force participation dropped to 57.8% in November, and there are still 1.8 million women missing from the labor force since the start of the pandemic.

If we brought those 1.8 million women back into the labor force, we could close the worker-to-open-job gap by nearly 23% and temper inflation. If we went even further and sealed off the gender gap in the U.S. labor force completely, our economy would be $1.789 trillion stronger. (Labor force equity is one key factor to unlocking gender equity’s $3.1 trillion potential. We also need equity in other facets of the economy, such as pay equity and educational equity.)

The jobs of the future are leaving women behind

Gender inequity in STEM continues to rage on. Only 1.66% of women university graduates study Information and Communication Technologies compared to 8.22% of men.

We must continue to bridge the gender gap in the jobs of the future, otherwise, women, businesses, and our economy will be left behind. A Pipeline study across 4,161 companies in 29 countries found that for every 10% increase in gender equity, revenues increase by 1 to 2%.

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