This report from Mckinsey Global Institute explores the economic potential of narrowing gender gaps at the national level as well as across UK regions and examines the opportunity to address gender disparities.
Moving towards gender equality is not only a moral and social issue; it is important to future economic growth in the United Kingdom. This research explores the economic potential of narrowing gender gaps at the national level as well as across UK regions; it also examines the opportunity to address gender disparities within various occupations and sectors of the economy. Gender equality in work necessitates gender equality in society, so this research adopts a holistic view, assessing how gender inequality impacts a woman through her life, and identifying a comprehensive set of interventions to help UK stakeholders take action on gender inequality in the short and longer term.
Achieving full gender parity—whereby women are involved in the economy identically to men in terms of labour-force participation, hours worked, and sector mix of employment—could add £600 billion of additional GDP to business-as-usual forecasts in 2025.1 This may seem an unattainable goal in the next ten years, but the prize of even partial progress towards parity is well worth striving for. If every UK region matches the pace of the fastest-improving region over the past decade (our “best-in-UK” scenario), this could still add £150 billion in GDP in 2025—a 6.8 percent increase over 2025 GDP business-as-usual forecasts. This would be the equivalent of raising GDP growth by 0.7 percent per year for the next ten years. The uplift roughly equates to the size of the entire UK financial and insurance sector’s annual GDP today, or total annual government expenditure on education, defence, and transport combined.