We Have The Data to Prove Our Worth
By Karen and Erica
We have the data to demand equality. Let’s use it.
We went to a fascinating Citibank conference showcasing a new report—Women In The Economy. The bottom line—if barriers to gender equality were eliminated over the next decade or two, growth of at least 6% in GDP is achievable in advanced economies.
That number, which is conservative, is of course far greater than even the most positive estimate of the growth to be achieved by changes in the tax law or by infrastructure investments. For that reason, eliminating gender discrimination in all of its forms should be very high on the list of policies to be pursued by any government—federal, state and local. But it is not. We need to change that.
The speakers at the conference were all women who support gender equality. But they, Iike we, have learned that demanding change because it is the right thing to do is hopeless. No-one wants to be told to do what is right. However, if the business world can be convinced that a particular action will result in profit, huge profit, there is a chance people will overcome inertia and do something.
These professionals came up with a formidable analysis by studying data--hard facts. Their analysis challenges the invisibility of women-owned businesses—it shows that they are critical engines of growth that need to be seen as such.
We find the data compelling, and we support the approach. It is of course the same approach we employ when trying to get people to focus on the economics associated with the women of the Lustre generation. We believe that appealing to the notion that older women who have been long term, sophisticated participants in the workforce should be treated as valuable will get us nowhere fast. But in a rational world, selling us based on our economic valaue should work--eventually. We control vast resources that should command respect even if nothing else does.
So let’s keep at it—for us, and for women generally. Put our money where our hearts are—identify women-positive companies on the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, or source products through WEConnect, and make a difference.
We now have the data to prove our worth. And our money gives us power.