Pushing gender equality can deliver a sizeable additional economic growth and could add Rs 46 lakh crore (USD 700 billion) to India's GDP in 2025, a McKinsey report says. According to the new report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) titled The Power of Parity: Advancing Women's Equality in India', bridging the gender gap will have a huge economic impact and the boost could translate into 1.4% per year incremental GDP growth for India.
"Advancing gender equality can deliver sizeable additional economic growth and broad-based prosperity to the world -- nowhere more so than in India," the report said, adding that delivering that impact will require tackling significant gender gaps in society and driving a national agenda for change that involves all stakeholders.
About 70% of the increase would come from raising India's female labour-force participation rate to 41% in 2025, from 31% at present. This would bring 68 million more women into the economy over this period. "Bridging the gender gap will have a huge economic impact and could add Rs 46 lakh crore ($700 billion) to India’s GDP in 2025," it added.
"India's share of women contribution to GDP is at 17%, much lower than the global average of 37%, and the lowest among all 10 regions in the world analysed by MGI," McKinsey & Company India Director Rajat Gupta said. Interestingly, 26 countries in McKinsey's data-set of 95 have a lower per capita GDP and human development index than India. However, many of these have higher levels of gender parity.
"The Indian economy will obviously gain if we bridge the gender gap in the workplace, but this gap cannot be plugged if we do not consider gender equality in society and change our social attitudes and unconscious bias towards women," he said.
“We have to ask our corporates to give importance to merit, and at the same time increase their intake of women. After taking them in, it is also important to provide an environment for them to grow. Very important ingredient of this (growth) is to create merit based, gender neutral work environment.... We have to ensure that all women get responsibilities, positions and jobs that they are capable of and based on their performance, and not based on biases that women cannot manage their home and work together. This only allows them to grow in the organisation. ”
— Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank speaking at the 8th edition of HR Summit 2015 organised by CII in Mumbai yesterday.