10 Big Gender Equity Events From 2022
1. Educational Attainment
We increased our time to educational gender equity by 83% in the past two years, which means that we are on track to achieve gender equity in educational attainment by 2044. Considering that a country’s GDP per capita increases by 10% for each additional year of education, this setback will ricochet throughout the entire economy.
2. Women On The Global Agenda
Women made up 38% of all national delegates in discussions on perhaps the most pressing global issue: climate change. Gender inequity in this realm harms the planet as much as it harms the people living in it. Women are more likely than men to sign international treaties on climate resolutions, meaning more women in power would help mitigate the 18% global GDP write-off that’s expected if climate apathy continues.
3. Women In Politics
The 2022 midterms set another milestone for women in politics. Twelve women will serve as governors in 2023, the most number of women ever to concurrently serve in this position. A record 149 women will serve in the 118th Congress; the previous record of women in Congress was 147. Gender equity in politics matters because women are 10% more effective legislators and deliver 9% more money in federal programs to home districts compared to men politicians.
4. Removing Lead From The Glass Ceiling
The #MeToo movement took off in 2017 and we are just now beginning to see its legislative impact. This year Congress passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act — to end binding arbitration in sexual misconduct cases, and the Speak Out Act — to void NDAs in cases of sexual assault and harassment. These two laws weaken the strongholds of structural inequity and give agency back to workers, which is key to unlocking the $1.789 trillion opportunity of labor market equity.
5. The Pay Gap
The gender pay gap widened on average by five cents due to the pandemic. That backsliding plus record-high inflation (which rose twice as fast for women’s goods and services as men’s) accentuated the sting of the pink tax. Not only do women have even less money coming into their wallets, they also have even more money going out. Prior to the pandemic, gender pay equity represented a $512 billion opportunity for the US economy.
6. Redefining Masculinity
Usage of paid parental leave has risen among first-time fathers, from 10.8% in 1980 to 38.3% in 2020 (a 255% increase). Creating stigma-free pathways for fathers to engage more with their households improves outcomes for everyone. A gender-neutral allocation of household labor would increase output per hour by 5.4%, freeing families up to spend more time together.
7. Voting Rights
The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V. Wade is as much an economic story as it is a justice one. Roe’s overturn strips women of one of their three foundational rights: the right to vote, own property, and choose. The impact of this decision will not be lost on the economy. If state-wide abortion restrictions were removed, the wages of employed women ages 15 to 44 would increase by $101.8 billion.
8. Women’s Labor Force Participation
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 back into the labor force, we could close the worker-to-open-job gap by nearly 23% and tamper inflation.
9. The Future Of Work And AI
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 narrow the gender gap in future-of-work jobs, 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%.
10. The Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment collected more dust this year. The bipartisan joint resolution that would remove the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (thus paving the way for constitutional gender equality) lies dormant in the Senate. At this point, the Equal Rights Amendment has two viable paths to the US Constitution: 1. The Senate removes the deadline to ratify, or 2. We begin the entire process from the ground up.
There you have it, 10 major gender equity events from 2022. If you want to explore any of these issues in more depth and see how they compare to years past, download a copy of the 2023 Gender Retrospective. (It’s free and yours to socialize with colleagues or friends with proper attribution.)
This article was first published on my website.
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