Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An expanding pool of female talent

The world of work has changed dramatically in the last generation due to falling fertility, aging of populations and migration, as well as increased access to education and technology. ILO data indicates that women now hold over 40 per cent of jobs worldwide.
Research demonstrates that women’s ever increasing participation in the labour market has been the biggest engine of global growth and competitiveness. Human capital has become key for companies to maintain a competitive edge in economies around the world that are increasingly based on knowledge and technology. Business groups and development actors increasingly view gender equality as an important plank for longterm economic growth and development. A recent study by Booz & Company points out that in terms of emerging markets, women consumers and entrepreneurs across the world altogether represent the “third billion” after the first and second billion markets in China and India.

Women with business experience 
Today, women own and manage over 30 per cent of all businesses, ranging from selfemployed (or own account workers), micro and small enterprises to medium and large companies. However, women tend to be concentrated more in micro and small enterprises. They represent around 24 per cent of all employers in all regions except the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where they are around 6 per cent. By comparison, women represent 31 to 38 per cent of own-account workers across all regions except the MENA countries, where they make up almost 13 per cent of those who are self-employed.

Behind these average global statistics there are great variations between countries within each region and between regions, with some countries having a tiny per cent of women engaged in business activity while in other countries, women run nearly half of all businesses. 

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