Increase in female workers ‘could boost economic growth’

June 7, 2013

Working women could play a key role in boosting UK economic growth, a new study has suggested.

The report, from the Women’s Business Council (WBC), has set out a series of recommendations on maximising women’s contribution to the economy.

The WBC argues that by equalising the participation of men and women in the labour market, economic growth could increase by 0.5% a year, potentially amounting to 10% of GDP by the year 2030.

According to the organisation, 2.4 million women who do not currently work wish to do so, while an additional 1.3 million are looking to increase their working hours.

The WBC’s recommendations include:

  • Broadening the choices and aspirations of girls before their working lives begin, by means of a partnership between schools, businesses and parents
  • Encouraging firms to offer flexible working options, to benefit both working parents and older women who care for other family members
  • Helping older women to realise their potential, including retraining options
  • Supporting women who want to start their own business

Ruby McGregor-Smith, Chair of the WBC, said, ‘It has never been more important to fully capitalise on the skills and talents of all people, regardless of their gender. By creating opportunity for all, raising aspirations and enabling people to maximise their talents, we will deliver stronger economic growth’.


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